That overworking yourself is a huge problem, and some times you just need to back off and take a break. Also it’s ok to relax and not worry about every little thing.
I would say that the world isn’t fair, and if you want to get something done, you better go and get it done and not sit around and wait for it to happen. Also people could easily ruin your season, and it’s best to get those people out.
The hardest lesson I learned is to back up and look at the big picture more often. Too many times we’d re-learn stuff the hard way rather than bring in prior experience that happened to be located elsewhere on the team.
I would like to echo these two posts. As a student I always put in no less than 200 hours over the 6 week build season. While I truly got a lot out of that time, I learned very quickly that I cannot continue that same intense dedication while trying to balance both college classes and work.
Although I am still friends with many of the current Seniors on my team, it’s a difficult transition to make from student to mentor. As Kristin pointed out, I need to constantly remind myself that I’m no longer a student myself.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. After last year, we lost most of our CAD team. So, while retaining my roles with strategy and electrical, I took on the task of CADing much of the robot this year. It got done, but there were weeks where I would get ~20 hours of sleep, total. For me, FRC has always been a lot of fun, from start to finish. It has always made me happy, but it didn’t this year, at least until I had a couple weeks away from it all, to sleep and to focus on other things. FIRST is inspiring. Sometimes, so inspiring that it sucks you in. The above story happened in parallel with having problems with my relationships, friends, and family. I was so buried in my work that I rarely talked to my friends or anyone else, and it took a toll on me and those around me. Much like many other people on CD, I love what I do. I love FRC, but, just like anyone else, I need people in my life in order to function. This is for any incoming FRC student- everyone says that academics comes first, but that’s not the only thing. You come first. Know when you need to take a step back from it all, for your own health and happiness.
Side note: I also learned, don’t cantilever things. Our robot was very saggy this year. If you ever saw us doing something to our shooter that looked like robot chiropractics, now you know why.
I can get really, really crabby when I’m running on fumes. I need to recognize it and keep my distance from the students if that happens.
Nobody is right all the time, *especially *me. I get really heated defending stuff that’s just plain wrong.
The hardest thing I’ve learned is that there isn’t one “right” path for your future; what you expected may not be what you need.
I’m a junior and I’ve been on my team since I entered high school. I’ve always had a passion for STEM, especially after my mom took me to a FRC regional when I was 9. It didn’t come as a surprise to many when I ran for a leadership position on the team for next season. After all, I worked hard all season and had a lot of experience with both electronics and programming - to the extent that when there were issues in the pit, I was called instead of a department head.
Unfortunately, I lost the election to someone with less passion and less experience on the team. I wasn’t completely surprised since our election system kinda boils down to a popularity contest, but it definitely hurt.
Still, I know that I’m a valued member of the team and I still have as much respect as I did before; I don’t need a title to know that. Our team plans to expand a lot next year by implementing CAD, and since I’m not tied down by leadership duties, I’ll have a lot more wiggle room helming that initiative. I’ll still be able to leave my mark on the team, even without a fancy position.
This year, I learned a lot about how other teams work, both in our area and around the world, and it brought me a new rush of perspective. As a result, I came to the uncomfortable realization that my team is just not doing as great of a job as I thought it was in many areas, from teaching students to designing robots. To be clear, I’m still excited by what we’re doing and proud of our accomplishments. But I had an idea in my mind of how comparatively successful we are, and it turns out that idea is unrealistic.
I’m continually inspired by how awesome other teams are, and I’m really trying to use this perspective positively to motivate improvement, but it’s still hard to accept the fact that we’re not as good I thought we were.
I learned that dealing with people is a lot harder than dealing with robots, and that I’d rather deal with the robots.:]
Opportunities will not always arrive at the most convenient times, but you have to be ready to capitalize on them when they do.
I moved from making highlight reels and running AV setups at events to teaching people to do those jobs.
For highlight reels specifically, I problem was that I can’t expect students to have all the knowledge I had when I was their age. I expected too much out of my volunteers because of how much I was able to do in the past. But I did manage to learn how to teach people the skills they needed to reach what I had done in the past. They learned enough to let me take a back seat and just work on other projects during DCMP, they are a great bunch of kids that I can’t wait to work with again.
One of the hardest lessons I learned was the importance of maintaining communication and appreciation in the team.
In the last few days of build season, the stress started piling on. Things were said, feelings were hurt, things were misheard and misinterpreted, people felt unimportant, mistakes were made, and some people almost walked out.
We realized as things started boiling over and worked hard to help improve the situation. We eventually went on to have our best season ever.
Even today, as happy as I am that my team made it to Einstein for the first time ever, I still sit and think about the things that have happened. Clear communication is important. Appreciation is even more so. Make sure you all take a moment to thank your team-mates for just being there. Don’t let the heat of things make you forget that your team should be a family.
I learned that some teams are a better fit than others, and that’s okay. It’s hard to leave teams that you have invested time in, especially when you adore the students, but sometimes it’s for the best.
Joining 1024 was one of the best choices that I made, and I’m grateful that they recruited me to help. The team I left isn’t a bad team, they just weren’t a good match for me.
I also learned that it’s okay to sit back, and watch how a team works before jumping in to get fully involved.
The hardest lesson for me on my team was to appreciate everything that everyone has done on the team for this season. I am apart of build/drive team and did not realize how much our marketing team has done for us. We had a group meeting before Worlds to tell everyone that we appreciate what they have done so far for the team. At the Asheville district event we had a rough start to competition but eventually we figured it out.
In all because of all of this that has happened I believe we have grown better as a team and we made it to Worlds because of it!
I’ve learned to focus my energies into my spheres of influence.
These past two years have been frustrating for me. I’ve watched FIRST split the Championship. California continues to stall on Districts. Our 24 FLL teams in Davis are nearly unanimously ready to quit due to poor local event structure.
I’ve barked up all those trees and quickly found that my feedback/advice for improvement is either unwelcome or falling on deaf ears.
I only have so many hours in a day. I’ve decided to focus my time on the students I can impact through my mentorship of 1678 and local leadership in the Davis community.
We are running summer camps based around Vex IQ to smooth out the transition to Vex IQ in the fall.
I’ve dropped off the local RPC, in favor of helping organize a local off-season FRC competition.
While it is hard to realize your feedback is not valued, it doesn’t seem so hard when there are so many other groups and organizations that welcome your energy, experience and enthusiasm.
A thing I’ve learned every season is that I cannot do everything, nor can I be everywhere at once. Nobody can, so there’s no reason I should expect myself to. It’s not bad that I have to keep remembering that. It’s just a process.
I’ve also finally learned how to prioritize school over FIRST. Next school year, I’ll finally be in a state where I can mentor a team if I so choose and balance my schoolwork.
For me personally it was learning how to step back from my leadership in electrical and let my little ducklings learn how to do things hands on.
stepping back especially in your senior year is a difficult thing. Lets be real its your last year and you want to do everything and make the most of it. The look of confidence on the younger one
s faces when they realized they do know what theyre doing is priceless. i found It was much more rewarding to help develop the passion for STEM in another person over the season.
seeing someone else do the work that you would normally be doing is hard at times and there were times where i was sad and i felt like i didn’t`t do much, but now that i look back at it i can see the passion that these people now hold that i helped instill. When you take a step back you can really appreciate how much FIRST impacts lives.
FIRST has taught me so many valuable lessons. My team members taught me how to be patient and kind (even though i wanted to hit them at times). They also taught me what real friends are. My mentors taught me that even though my family hasn’t before me, i can go to college and that success stories aren`t just in fairy tales. my mentors also give me the resources i need to be successful. My team is my family and they have taught me so much that it would be too long winded to write it all. Leaving them is so bittersweet im proud of my team and im confident in the leaders for next year but ill miss seeing my family almost every day, ill still visit(and mentor in my professional years). even when i get older these people will always be in my heart.
Thank you to all of the mentors and students for changing my life.
The past four months have been simultaneously the best months of my life and the worst months of my life. And I learned that it’s okay.
I learned that you won’t always go to Championship.
I learned that FIRST is family.
I also learned that being on drive team is one of the most coveted positions on any team, but it is also one of the hardest.
To elaborate on all of my statements, this is season is my fourth and final FRC season as a student. I entered the season with huge hopes and huge fears; losing our two programmers to graduation was terrifying. I tried my best to learn from them over the summer, but, in the words of Coldplay, sometimes you try your best and don’t succeed. I was the programming group leader, but I wasn’t the best programmer and I learned that it’s okay. My job was to offer support and guidance, not single-handedly program a robot by myself.
After attending Championship for three years in a row, I became very accustomed the idea of attending. I was so excited to go to St Louis. After our performance at FiM St Joseph, I could feel that dream slipping away. But then we went to FiM Lansing and we were picked as the second overall draft. We went home with the blue banner, but I knew we still had work to do. So, we moved on to FiM LSSU. We won Chairmans for the first time in my team’s history. Personally, it was my ninth presentation and I was the only person sustained from the first presentation in 2014. I was so proud. I was excited for MSC.
I never thought I’d have to say that we won two blue banners, but didn’t make it to Championship.
For awhile, I was bitter. I was sad and I wanted nothing more than to experience Championship as a drive team member.
But I learned that sometimes it’s just not your time. Not everyone can go to Championship every year and this was our year to not go. It sucks, but all of the teams that went from Michigan deserved it so, so, so much. I’m so proud of the way Michigan showed at Championship. Am I sad my team couldn’t be there? Yeah. But am I still bitter about it? No.
This post is getting super long-winded, but I wanted to touch on one more thing. One week before Lansing pits opened, my mom died. My team was absolutely amazing. Everyone was so supportive and was there for me in anyway I needed. Three of my teammates came over after I found out with food, card games, and hugs. I’ve never felt so blessed. That’s when I learned FIRST is family.
So, if you read this, I learned a lot this season and I hope that my experiences inspire someone in some way, shape or form. If you’re like me and didn’t get to go to Championship this year, use that as your motivation next season. If at first you don’t succeed, try again! When you do get to go, it’ll be awesome. I promise.
Don’t try to do everything. You have to trust people under you to do things right.