Is it bad to be over-dedicated to your team?

Each team has the dedicated few that show up to every meeting, build session, and PR event, but is this a bad thing? I have heard that over-dedication can be a bad thing for a team and the student. I personally consider my self an over-dedicated student and so is my friend, Budda648. However, I find that being over-dedicated is not a bad thing, you just do more than everyone else and you occasionally get made fun of for not having a life outside of robotics. (By the way, robotics is my life right now:D)

Really I don’t think there is such a thing as overdedication. It just shows that you take pride in what you do and you enjoy what you do. Really the only thing I could see against that is really finding that balance between your schoolwork and robotics. If you think you are “overdedicated”, but your grades aren’t suffering because of it…I say more power to you.

I would have to put out my own experiences here. Sophomore year, I was at every meeting for the longest time I was allowed to be. Junior year I’m now working a job 20 hours a week and in much harder courses at school. My grades take priority, and in order to maintain those grades it was necessary to cut back my time at meetings. Now as far as my job, I found that to be of a lesser priority and cut back my hours to a mere 5 hours a week, just enough to pay my bills.

So is being over-dedicated a bad thing? No. Is letting your grades slip a bad thing? Yes. Is losing sight of your priorities a bad thing? Yes.

If you can maintain your grades, still be able to get 8 hours (8 hours is a joke I know) of sleep, and pay your bills while being dedicated to robotics, then go for it.


as long as you dont start to think its ‘your team’ or that you somehow are more deserving of the benefits and priviledges that go with being a team member

you might be an extreemly dedicated person, or you might be obsessed with FIRST as a way to avoid other aspects of your life

it all depends on the individual and their circumstances.

we should produce a warning signs list of addictive behavior:

  1. do you have to think about FIRST when you get up in the morning?

  2. do you feel uncomfortable at a party unless you are wearing a FIRST tee shirt, or talking about your robot?

  3. do you work on your robot when you are alone?

  4. has your dedication to FIRST caused relationship problems with your family or friends?

  5. Have you ever done FIRST things with total strangers?

  6. When you cant participate in FIRST activities do you feel sad and depressed?

  7. Have you ever stayed up for 48 hours working on a robot?

  8. Do you lie to your friends and family about how much time or money you spend on FIRST?

  9. Do you fantasize about taking your robot to school, to work, to church, to the prom? Do you rationalize reasons why this would be a good thing?

  10. Do you try to convince others to join FIRST?

  11. Do you see the humor in this list? :^)

1-10: Yes.
11: No.

I’m overobsessed and proud of it, too.

I don’t think that it is a bad thing if you are over-dedicated to your team but I think it is an issue if you want to be involved in every single thing that the team does. If you want to be in charge of everything and don’t let other people get a chance. I admit at times I have been guilty of this. If a new project arises, I immediatly want to be a major player in it, almost like I don’t want to miss an edxperience. But things like this can be corrected and every team needs those “over-dedicated” members, its just a fact of life.

Of course it can be bad to be over-dedicated to your team. If your grades slip or your health declines because you’re too busy doing things for the team, then that is certainly bad. Back when I was president of my college’s Campus Activities Board, another student wanted to be involved in every activity we planned. This student kept ignoring these pains in her lower back because every free second she had was spent working on a different event, from calling performers and caterers, to lining up security and ambulances for each event. Eventually those pains sent her to the hospital with a really bad kidney infection and it did do permanent damage to one of her kidneys.

Also, you can over-extend yourself and take on too many tasks, which often leads to a sloppy job being done because you just don’t have the time to do everything. You just can’t do it all.

Now, if you’re spending all of your free time with your team and your health and grades and what not are all okay, and you are completely happy doing so, then I would just consider you a truly dedicated team member, not over-dedicated.


Madness takes its toll… please have exact change ready. -Unknown

As others have said, your grades and your health should come before robotics. That said, I don’t think there is such thing as over-dedication, there are just different degrees of dedication. The only problem I can see from being extremely dedicated is that if the others around you aren’t learning or aren’t involved as much as they want to, when the super dedicated graduate from high school, the team might suffer from having them gone and disappear. Just remember to leave your team better off than when you found it. As you advance through high school, be sure that others on the team will be able to take over when you are gone. Hope that makes sense…it did in my head. :wink:

I am not overdedicated… I just have no life outside of FIRST. That’s it. And it is fun. I am just dedicated to something that many people don’t understand and don’t have the comprehension to understand it. Although, I am never made fun of? (That I know of, those 648 kids can be really mean sometimes) Besides, I just like doing this stuff. Of course, there are somethings that I don’t even understand. e.i., programming. It’s just fun.

I am also the student in charge of PR that is why I show up to all PR events. It is a big step from 2 years ago when I hardly ever showed up :rolleyes:

And of course, there are those who hardly ever show up but get a lot of credit. I am not going to name names. Bryce you know who I am talking about.

I am one of those people you would refer to as being overdedicated (Two weeks after Nats and I’m still hanging around here?) I ahve barely ever missed a meeting, and I spend nearly all of my free time doing something or another dealing with robotics. I’m not obsessed, I still have a life, but it does take a lot of my extracurricular time, and NO, I would NOT bring my robot to the prom, i’ve got a better bot lined up. :smiley:

This year we were a rookie team. Having less than 10 truly dedicated members, I would not consider it a bad thing. We would not have a robot if it were not for the dedication certain students put out. Now as for the little questionaire… I did not even realize how addicted I was to this! wow! My friends were all thinking that I was going to take the robot to prom!

What? Obsession? What?? looks around wildly

“Over-dedicated” is a relative term. =)

Personally, I talk about FIRST all the time. This is mostly because our team is going through some rough stuff at the moment, and there are a lot of problems whose solutions aren’t going to find themselves. Often I hear people tell me, “Geez, you and Kristi talk about FIRST way too much.”

I don’t think that’s necessarily true. I think some people are much more passionate about certain things than others. Is it bad to be “over-dedicated” to the football team? I see being over-dedicated as having a negative connotation. You can be as dedicated as you want, but when you start calling it “over”-dedication is when you have a problem. On that note, I think it’s bad to be over-dedicated to school.

Don’t get mad just yet! It IS important to do well in school, but it’s also important to see the sun every once in awhile. I think the key is balance. If there are other things in your life, you should be fine. Personally I’m a very…intense person. Yes I may be a little obsessed with FIRST, but I’m also a little obsessed with lots of other things (like sports and my youth group.)

I think it’s great to see people truly dedicated to FIRST. Or to anything for that matter. I think it’s great to see students who normally aren’t excited about school be excited about robotics. Do they still need to do well in school? Of course. But there’s nothing wrong with having some passion every now and then.

The prefix “over” simply means too much. There are many people in FIRST who are very dedicated to their teams. There are few people who are overdedicated. I believe that overdedication is a problem, because when one is overdedicated, one ties their own personal well-being with the success/failure of the robot/team. Such a person can’t easily have fun with FIRST, because FIRST does not encourage success, but instead inspiration.

The real problem in “under-dedication.” You have to be dedicated in some sort to be good at what you do.

Over-dedication can be a problem in some cases…

This is my senior year in high school i took 5 ap courses this year some being the most challenging my school has to give. This being said i spent hundreds of hours in the machine shop this year and countless hours at night here on delphi the end result being a significant drop in grades from my junior to senior year. thankfully i had allready been accepted into college but still…overdedication can be a problem…remember FIRST is just an extracuricular activity in which most of the work is technichan’s work…what gets you into college are good grades and a good course load…as my mom always said, “getting good grades gives you the freedom to chose to be whatever you want and go wherever you want”

Yeah, those are the bad ones. The good ones do the bad stuff, plus wear T-shirts and pins to school everyday, despite being spit upon by their fellow classmates…

Over dedication… I mean, what’s that!!! :slight_smile:

umm i’m competely dedicated to my team-- die for S.P.A.M. that’s pretty much it-- but i still maintain my school work and grades ofcourse since our team makes sure we maintain a 3.0–no D, or Fs allowed to travel-- and well I can’t always go to all night meetings since of school but I’m totally dedicated-- i always support our team and other teams too–but when i miss a meeting i’m sad-- i luv going to the meeting cause well robotics is my stress relief-- and i luv working on the machines-- :slight_smile:
I think u can be dedicated as long as you don’t act like you own the team- it’s a team and you all work together.

and to that list-- yes i find humor in it!!

reading through Ken Wittlief’s “checklist”, I said “yes” to every single question (although the stuff about “working on robots” is in my case altered to “working on stuff for robotics”).

I’ve lost count about how many arguments I’ve gotten into with my mom and aunt about my involvement in robotics (and subsequently, the amount of money spent on it).
and my non-robotics friends all make jokes about the amount of robotics-related stuff I carry around in my purse with me at all times (y’know…the essentials…safety glasses, zipties, mini-screwdrivers, measuring tape, duck tape…etc)

gotta love that robotics!

  1. Do you fantasize about taking your robot to school, to work, to church, to the prom? Do you rationalize reasons why this would be a good thing?

points to sig line

Without Robotics, I probably wouldn’t have a life - okay, so I don’t have one anyway (taking 4 APs and having the oddest lunch period in the school will do that to you), but without Robotics I’d have a negative life. :wink:

So yes to 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 (and possibly 3).
No to 4, mainly because almost all of my friends are on the team.

Yeah, my mom wonders why I would ever keep safety glasses, 3 or 4 sharpies, plastic chain and 1/2 inch collars in my purse… It’s because I love robotics! I come to all of the meetings too, and I really care a lot about the team, but I don’t know if I would say that I’m overdedicated. Also, unlike some people, Robotics hasn’t taken me away from relationships with people, but instead has brought me close to a lot of other people.