I begin writing this with three minutes until midnight.
Today marks the end of build season.
Today is the end of late nights, the end of excused chores and late homework. Today is the end of Mountain Dew and Pizza being the staples of life. Today is the end of bad programming and physics jokes, endless That’s-What-She-Said puns, and the joking questioning of everyone’s sexuality. Today is the end of abusing the label maker at three in the morning to put “Gullible” on the ceiling. Today is the end of massive pool noodle fights because the “code is compiling”. Today is the end of “I hope this works” after you have checked it for weeks, to see it finally does. Today is the end of build season.
While this moment is not the end of FIRST Robotics, as the competition is yet to come, it is the end of many pieces that we will miss from our lives. The all-absorbing obsession of robotics is coming to a close. For many it is coming to a final close, as they are seniors and will never have this experience again. It’s sad to think about.
As my team scrambles around at the last minute to pack our crate, bickering like crazy, I finally realize why I am going to miss this so much. Over the past six weeks Roboteknix has built more than a Robot.
We have built a family.
A horribly corrupt, ill-fitting, dysfunctional family that will never cease arguing, but it is a family none the less.
As Thomas has been reminded merely minutes ago, this is not a club. This is far more then any little school extracurricular, this is a FIRST Robotics Team. There is so much more that comes with that package when you sign up. For better or for worse, you are stuck with these guys to live with and problem solve for the next six weeks.
These six weeks have been some of the most productive, most intense, most enjoyable, and yes, probably the most stressful, I can say I have experienced. It was well worth it.
Better still, it’s not over yet.
The competition lays ahead – regionals and championships, prizes to be taken, teams to meat, collaborations to be made, friends to acquire. This is not the most important part, by far, but it’s going to be FUN.
See you there,
Team 2865 Roboteknix,