Worried the robot’s not going to get done
Worried we won’t do all the other stuff associated (like shirts, and thank you letters to sponsers and shipping, etc)
Worried that our robot sucks (which it does) and depressed at all the quality ones you see in the showcase (which i realize are not neccesarly the average, but it’s still depressing)
Angry that every dimension is a little bit off 30 1/8 by 36 1/ 4 and 60 and 1/16
Worried that no one’s doing the code and we have nothing for the autonomous.
Worried b/c the tread is too big and not enough time to order a different one
Any other teams completly student run having a tough time?
I mean COMPLETLY (like we had to pick up the stuff and register online and take care of the money, and t-shirts and shipping, and so forth?)
I don’t see how you guys can handle making the whole robot and doing everything else at the same time.
Last year, although we were not completly student run, but we had many of the same issues. Our robots drivetrain barely worked, none of the sub-systems were fully operational, our autonomous mode never worked properly, we didn’t even have it working when we shipped it. Our robot SUCKED.
That was without a doubt the best year I have ever had with FIRST.
Even though our robot didn’t work properly and no one else saw the true work of art that he was, we were all proud of our EARL(name of robot). Many people may argue that a true FIRST team should have more mentor involvment, and I agree with that. But this year and two years ago just aren’t the same as last year. Our team is not as close as it was. We have been unable to recreate the type of team we had. Now some people on my team may disagree with me, but I felt more inspired and much more like a team last year. My first year on the team, we won nationals, and I can assure you that the feeling of winning as a divided team is much less rewarding then losing together.
So, my advice to you is this: Don’t stress yourself more then you need to. Try to enjoy what your team has to offer. When you get to your first regional, use your robot as an excuse to interact with other teams. Get help wherever it’s needed. I know how depressing it is when your robot doesn’t work. But I also know that the true spirit of FIRST exists in your team, not your robot.
The robot isn’t the whole purpose of the competition. Just getting far enough along that you have somthing built is a major accomplishment as itself. Sure, its fun to go to the competition and see how your mad building skillz stack up against other teams, but thats not the whole point of the competition. Have fun this year just “learning the ropes” of the competition and how it works, and co0me in next season better knowing and better prepared to compete. Hope to see you at nationals next year!!
Hokie4Life is exactly right in that the robot isn’t everything. Some teams including ours is run as a business and the robot is only a small part of it. I suggest you go to the comps if possible, even if you don’t compete, just to see other robots up close, ask questions of the teams, and get ideas and learn from your mistakes. Also learning the concept of Gracious Professionalism is important also. There was a team at the NYC regionals about two years ago that lost all thier mentors and the students showed up with a nonfunctional, partially built robot. Our team, when not competing, went over to their pit and built them a semifunctional robot which gave them a chance to get on the field with. They were clueless and basically watched us and learned. I don’t know their team number off hand but I believe it was in the 700’s and we will never forget them and they will never forget us, team 237. That was GP at it’s best. I can’t guarantee that will happen to you but no matter how bad things look their’s always a brighter side and the possibility to learn.
P.S. If anyone from that team is out there drop us a line and let us know how you’re doing.
Depression is caused by stress that you turn inward. There is no need to get depressed. Have a team meeting, talk about your situation, get a plan of action going, give people action items to work towards your primary goals.
I think #1 is going to be passing inspection. If you cant fit the bot in the max-size box you cant play, so you need to figure out how to get the size down to 30x36x60
second is making sure your bot at least runs - if it can move on the playfield you can at least push balls around, push the moble goal around, or be defensive by getting in your opponets face to keep them from scoreing faster than you
get the idea? time for an eleventh hour team meeting - set your priorities - do what you can before ship date, and you will probabally think of stuff after you ship it that you can do in the pits to make it even better.
Last year our team had a line following auton mode that worked sorta ok, but after we shipped the bot we realized a way to make it simpler, faster and more accurate. We totally redid our auton mode at our first regional, and we hit the wall dead center in 3 seconds in every match!
Dont dispair - you are getting a taste of what real engineers go through every day
the 11th hour is the finest hour!
1020 is student run and it was very difficult. Aim to sustain a team and have fun while learning and growing and getting more people into FIRST. It couldn’t hurt to get some sleep, too!
I’m not implying anything, but if your depression goes beyond worries from the build season - don’t hesitate to get some counseling - it’s a pretty common thing to do.
Best of luck…hold on tight for week six!
I just want to say to all that posted above that you guys are right on with your encouragement.
I enjoy reading these types of post more than any others. These encouraging post themselves are inspirational to me who is an engineer. It is further evidence to me that FIRST really does payoff and the hard work we all do has so much positive influence on so many.
Brandon’s completely right… our team is largely based on peer mentoring. While last year’s frustrations turned into a dark cloud over our heads, the kids worked through the rain.
Sometimes, a bad start, a disappointing season, or even a comment from a peer can really get you down in the dumps. I think the majority in this thread know that it’s possible, but there are a lot of ways to bring yourself back up. Counseling, sitting down with a mentor, or even just going out with a group of students after a meeting keep things in light spirits.
Last year, 1020 went to a local coffee shop after weekend meetings. It really did help to relieve stress (and most of the time I ended up laughing until I was so tired I didn’t want to move). This year, the students still go out occasionally, and it seems as though this informal time together really helps combat any negative feelings.
Things’ll get better - competition is right around the corner!
Something else to remember - at the competition there is some time for last minute adjustments. There is also a ton of mentors, engineers, and help from other teams that are always very happy to help a team in need.
Next year spend some time to round up a few more adults. Even just a team mom helps a ton. Best of luck!!!
The sun only shines as long as you believe that it does. Be happy, as long as you keep your hopes up and never give up its all good. Youll get somehting out of this experience, even if it isn’t what you expect to get out of it. If you need any help you can call teams around your area. In SoCal teams are always on the phone with each other and mentors going back and forth. Your team isn’t alone, you have the whole FIRST community on your side.
If you are in need of guidance, get the Yellow Pages, lookup some kind of engineering firm, machine shop or similar outfit, and tell them your plight! You may not succeed with the first few, but somewhere along the line, you will find a friend.