Maintaining a Healthy Balance Between Build Season and Life

Hello fellow humans,

As we all know, Build Season takes up a LOT of time for us, so much so that I think its important for us to at least try and maintain a healthy balance between it and the rest of what’s going on in our lives (homework, social lives, sleep). Many of us, (I included) have trouble doing this sometimes, so I thought that maybe it would be helpful to share how exactly one may go about doing this.

So, what are some things you all do to maintain a healthy balance?

I’ll go first. For me, build season comes third in my list of priorities.

  1. Sleep
  2. School
  3. Build season
  4. Other things

Most of my friends are mates at school or in robotics, so my social life does continue to live on. But I find that as long as I get enough sleep, and make sure to put my schoolwork first, I get things done more efficiently and end up being much less stressed and tired during build season compared to my last build season, when I did not do the above.

Secondly, I don’t go to robotics every day. I make sure to get rest days in, and on days I don’t go to robotics meeting, I drop off the face of the robotics world (at least for most of the day). That means I don’t browse r/frc, I don’t browse CD, I don’t look at my team discord, whatever.

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Having exprinced extreme burn out as a student (four years never missing a day of build season) one thing i finally learned as a mentor is, plan a few days that are yours. The robot will be there tomorrow. Yes, take time for school and grades, but most importantly take time for you. Makes sure to keep yourself healthy both physically and mentally. Took me four years as a student doing a constant grind to learn this.

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A big thing I am a proponent of, get your team to meet less often. We only meet 3 days a week plus the MLK and President’s Day holidays. We’re at about 21 hours of total meeting time since getting back from kickoff. It doesn’t seem so bad to make most meetings if there aren’t a lot, and you tend to be very productive at them.

We do still do some parts look up or design/research at home. For that I recommend like you said to occasionally have days with little to no robotics contact. I will admit to still browsing CD a bit, but it’s not much different than glancing through Facebook if you aren’t in the working mindset.

I only go into the shop a few days a week, somewhat schedule dependent. And I’m never there the entire time the shop is open when I am there.

I’ve told the students to not show up every day, or for the whole time every day. I’ve told some of the other mentors that I have no qualms chasing a student out of the shop if they are there all day every day.