QotW [05-11-03]: Forging Friendships

While FIRST’s main mission is to create an environment that promotes lifelong learning, many times friendships and relationships between students, mentors, and families are formed. Some of these friendships have lasted throughout FIRST’s history; meanwhile, some have just begun. Although last week M.'s question dealt with the discrimination some have experienced, FIRST’s environment is generally aimed to be warm, friendly place to be.

Question of the Week 05-11-03: What kind of friendships and relationships have you forged through FIRST with other teams, mentors, and students? What kind of impact do these have on your life, whether you are actively involved with FIRST or not? Do you believe FIRST’s general atmosphere is geared toward cultivating these relationships?

Viewing ChiefDelphi, the Indiana FIRST Forum, and others, I can see that many people are familiar with each other in the program and have come to rely on these people in their everyday lives. The gap bridging the path between ‘in-FIRST friends’ and ‘out of-FIRST friends’ seems to have burned long ago.

Please keep this as a tasteful thread and remember that I’m asking about your friends and FIRST, and not simply opening up a thread to give ‘shout-outs’.

P.S. - M. asked me to take over this week while she attends PARC. She will be returning next week.

Personally, I have made a great many friendships through FIRST, both on geographically close teams, and teams far away. Through the ChiefDelphi forums, and the Tigerbolt chatroom, I have made a great many friendships with students on teams from Washington state, to Wisconsin, to New York State, to Virginia, and all the way down to Florida.

These team-run networks of participants are key in creating and maintaining strong inter-team friendships, and I, personally, am very thankful for them.

Locally, through working with the Western Regional Robotics Forum, I have made a great many friends, as well. Setting up things like off-season competitions, and seminars and workshops are other great arenas for us to interact with our counterparts on other teams. I’ve made some great friendships with both students and mentors / coaches on many local teams.

I believe that, because of the fact that the FIRST game is usually not fantastically competitive makes it a lot easier to become friends with members of other teams. Sure, if the game is 2v2, you might be against them, but friends understand the game, and honestly, there’s the same chance that you’ll be teamed up with them.

I would definitely have to say that FIRST is a great vehicle for creating friendships between students all over the country, not even taking into account the kind of effects it has on them through learning. Oh yeah, we learn from eachother, too. :slight_smile:

FIRST made me friends with an Avalanche fan. (DJ) That is a whole accomplishment on it’s own. FIRST has many - many powers that are not yet understood.

I have made countless friends through FIRST… :smiley:

Great Question!

I think the structure of FIRST, or at least on my old team, was geared so that students ran most of what was going on and was thought of as equals with our wonderful mentors and advisors. With respect going both ways, students were able to have a greater connection with these adults because it was more of a friendship rather than student-pupil relationship.

I think the format also helps facilitates great inner and intra team bonds. There are so many elements to the program, that people with all types of different strengths were essential and accepted. Even as a manager type person on my team, I was in the trenches day and night all year long and the bond the people I’ve shared that with is indescribable. Even though, I can’t put it in words, everyone here knows what I’m talking about and that’s the bond I share with them. The understanding of how much dedication most people in FIRST have is one of the best foundations for meaningful friendships.

Also the environment of competitions where spirit and helping others is up there, if not higher than the actual competition also helps build friendships.

I’m sure that part of Dean’s vision was to have these relationships and connections span nationwide (and now its even going worldwide). I love learning about the little nuances of different areas and have encoutered a plethora of great and diverse personalities. It’s also nice to know that if I get a chance to go to DC next year (or anywhere else later on) that I’ll have some familiar people through FIRST to be there.

I have made so many friends in FIRST. Many of them are better friends than the ones I see at school every day. Like Jim, I met many people through the Tigerbolt chatroom. I also met a lot of people at competitions. It is really great to meet people that you would normally never meet anywhere else. I think that meeting all these cool people is possibly the greatest quality of FIRST.

Cory

FIRST has introduced me to so many people, both on my team, and on other teams. I’ve gotten to know tons of people from other teams through these forums, but I think the people I’ve met in “real life” on my team have been an even bigger part of it. Of all the friends I regularly talk to, probably 90% of them are team members. I talk to them between classes, during classes, at lunch, on the phone, or online. I spend most of my day with people I’ve met on my team. I used to be friends with band people, and people I knew in middle school, but now, my closest friends are all robotics people. We spend so much time together during the season, that our build team and drive team have become a very close group.

I don’t know where I’d be if it weren’t for some of the people I’ve met in FIRST. I’m not sure what else to say.

I don’t think they’re great because they’re in FIRST. I don’t think being in FIRST did anything to make them great. They’re good people. They’re hard to find. Anywhere.

Finding them in FIRST has been one of the luckiest things that’s ever happened to me.

Great question Amanda.

My first 2 years in first, i was always nervous talking to people from other teams. We had a little get together with the technokats my first 2 years and i can remeber how it was sorta awkward becasue my team wasn’t very social with other teams but we still had a pretty good time. Then this year i have been able to meet alot of great people and forge friendships that i hope last beyond my involvement in FIRST (which i hope is nowhere near over yet!) I attribute much of this to my presence here on chiefdelphi as well as the fact that i am much more confident now. Up until this year my team still felt like rookies, i think alot of that was caused by the fact that the teams our team was always around and doing things with were teams like 45, 71 and 68, and we always felt like we were nowhere near as established and successful as they were. But after winning alot of spirit awards, sportsmanship awards, an imagry award, a chairmans award and doing well in competition this year and in offseason competions in the last 2 years we finaly realized this year that we aren’t rookies anymore. I know that Cart from my team took missy from 135 to the prom and John (the base driver for 461) took a member of 234. I have been able to talk to people alot easier now and i have no problem walking upto someone and talking to them at a first competition now.

FIRST friendships are great. Amanda and i talk on the phone almost every night, and we dont just talk about FIRST but our discussions cover all sorts of topics. And now i have friends on alot of the indiana teams and the indiana teams have become a very strong community that is willing to help each other out and we all get along great.

I have befriended all sortsa people through first. From Engineers like Bob Evoy, Darrell Noble, and Andy Baker. To teachers like the teachers on my team Mr. Florence and Mr. VonWerder. And numerous students i cant even begin to count. And alot of college kids like Amanda on 1020, Kevin on 1064 and all the purdue kids on my team. All of these people are amazing, and continualy impress me and drive me to be a better person. Plus they are just fun to talk to. Picking the brain of anyone involved in FIRST can often lead to stimulating conversation.

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again FIRST changed my life and probably to a large amount saved me from going down a path that wasn’t healthy and could have lead to me not being here anymore. Without the people and friends i have met through first i dont think that i would be the person i am now.
Thats just about all i have to say about that…

FIRST Friends 4eva!

I dont typically answer the question of the week but this one seems to catch my attention

First of all, I like the fact that you didnt limit it to just students, rather you included engineers and mentors in the queston. My personal experience with FIRST has allowed me to make the type of friendships that take years to devolop. FIRST seems to accelerate the friendship process, finding the one common interest that you look for in the beginings of a “true” friendship.

I have met people throught the FIRST experince that I never would have had a chance to. Ranging from individuals, to whole teams, to engineers and OMG even teachers. Who woulda thought a high school kid would befriend a 35 year old teacher and share things that youre typically “not allowed” to tell a teacher, they still dont wanna know…hehe…

I have recently come to realize that my best friends (for the most part) are the ones that I’ve gained through FIRST.

Once again thank you FIRST for everything.

I am so proud :D. First question from Amanda, and its so good! (where is your question John ;). but don’t bother replying to my question in this thread :wink: :wink: )

Oh boy, how do I begin? The friends and mentor I met in FIRST are the reasons why I am the person I am today. Without them, I would be some where struggling to figure out what I want to do with my life, and how to do it.

My FIRST friends are my inspiration and motivation to do more with my life, and the best support when I needed someone.

Just a few examples… Without the support of one of the friends, I probably would’ve done something really stupid that would’ve ended my life.

Without the imspiration and support from a mentor, I would have done so much in WRRF and teach workshops and run off season competitions.

Then the bunch of good friends I met in FIRST are the best friends I have. You know who you are.

Think think FIRST’s atmosphere had a lot to do with these friendships… Especially back at year 2001 when all 4 teams worked together… Without that year, there wouldn’t have such a strong friendship and bonding between teams in FIRST and especially in WRRF over here. But I also believes it depends on the people… If they want it bad enough, they are willing to put aside their status on teams and reach out to others, which is what happened.

I think I’ve made more assasination plots against me rather than actual friends over CD. :rolleyes:

I think that everyone makes friends on the different trips of FIRST. I have made friends with people from my team, people from local teams, and friends with people from far away teams. I think that this is one great aspect of first. What I find interesting is that when you get to the events, you don’t say kill or be killed. When I get there, i take a look at the bots, chill, do some programming, and meet some new interesting people. I think that FIRST has the most culturally diverse group of people. I think that this is the reason that we have so much fun. We get together for the love of bots, what i say, its a loser convention. Don’t 4get losers get along with everyone. LOL. I hope that all of you guys have as much fun as I do in every event.

Good Luck to everyone at the invitationals

Friends in FIRST keep me going. If the relationships were not there, I would probably not keep doing this.

I really enjoy going to FIRST events and seeing old and new friends. FIRST is like a “family”, where we have 1 main thing in common: that we went through the 6 week build process. The fact that we all went through this process together bonds us, kinda like a family. This bond gives us mutual respect and an unspoken association.

A family is a place where you can “pick up” a fellow FIRSTer or you can “correct” them if they are misguided. It’s also a place where you can give credit and congrats to a fellow FIRSTer and feel good about it. Also, someone may come along and offer you advice or congratulations when you least expect it. It is very special.

I’ll stick around to see friends for a long time. I hope you will too.

Andy B.

I have made so many friends in FIRST, both on my team and from other teams across the country. I’ve become friends with students, college mentors and adults – what other program could do something like that? Like Andy said before, FIRST is a family. Families go through good times and bad, but they are always there for each other. Seeing and meeting people at the competitions means so much to me - it is so insanely cool. And the friendships I have with people on my team (or who have been on my team) is just awesom. Without the people I have met through FIRST I might not be here at all! Thank you, everyone. :slight_smile:

  • Katie

“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.”

The majority of my friends are on FIRST teams. My team is like a second family to me. Through FIRST, I was brought into contact with some very wonderful people who grestly impacted my life. Next year, I’ll begin studying mech. engineering. I was inspred to choose my major after working with the mentors on my team. I’ve also been involved with the RCU. Through that, I met Kristen Kelso. She’s been a great influence with her “wicked” work ethic. she’s also supported me and my ideas greatly. With herhelp and support, I’ve been able to work not only with my team but also get out there into the reast of the FIRST community. As for the atmosphere of FIRST and it’s impact on these relationships, FIRST is about inspiration. With out these realationships we would be called FRST.

*Originally posted by Andy Baker *
**FIRST is like a “family”, where we have 1 main thing in common: that we went through the 6 week build process. The fact that we all went through this process together bonds us, kinda like a family. **

So who is the crazy uncle, no one talks about?

I agree 100%. Even during the roughest times in this competition, there was always someone I could turn to, that kept me going. I’ve got “a few” years left in me because of the people I’ve met, and the fun we’ve had together.

*Originally posted by Amanda Morrison *
**While FIRST’s main mission is to create an environment that promotes lifelong learning, many times friendships and relationships between students, mentors, and families are formed. Some of these friendships have lasted throughout FIRST’s history; meanwhile, some have just begun. Although last week M.'s question dealt with the discrimination some have experienced, FIRST’s environment is generally aimed to be warm, friendly place to be.

Question of the Week 05-11-03: What kind of friendships and relationships have you forged through FIRST with other teams, mentors, and students? What kind of impact do these have on your life, whether you are actively involved with FIRST or not? Do you believe FIRST’s general atmosphere is geared toward cultivating these relationships?

Viewing ChiefDelphi, the Indiana FIRST Forum, and others, I can see that many people are familiar with each other in the program and have come to rely on these people in their everyday lives. The gap bridging the path between ‘in-FIRST friends’ and ‘out of-FIRST friends’ seems to have burned long ago. **

All I’m going to say is: from New York to California, from Brazil to Britain. I’d say just about everyone in FIRST can at least be considered an acquaintance. I have met many people from around the world (I guess I can actually say world now), and some of them are now good friends of mine. I’ve talked in Tigerbolt since the beginning (disregarding that hiatus thing), and am back to my regular chatting. Hey, if you can’t make friends in FIRST, then something’s not right.

*Originally posted by JVN *
**So who is the crazy uncle, no one talks about?
**

I nominate Ken L.

Matt

I was thinking more along the lines of Dave Lavery. :slight_smile:

HEY!

Gzznork!

:yikes:

Well, OK, maybe yes.