First off, I’d like to start by saying if this seems to be in the wrong sub-forum, please move it to the correct one.
This was my second and last year in FIRST. I’ll be done with FIRST by September.
My first year in FIRST was a great year, I learned the design process, how trying to program physical items in a virtual world is a lot harder than programming virtual items in a virtual world, and how I had to deal with limited resources. Competition was equally as eye-opening as it was fun. Almost everyone there had a fun attitude and we were all there to play and wreck kiddos (but not really). Although we did not rank high and did not get to play in the finals matches, I still had a great time as did all my colleagues on the team.
In my second year, I used what I learned from my first year to teach the new kids and hopefully sit back and relax a bit. And that did happen, but to an extent where I feel dissatisfied with my involvement in developing the robot.
As the designated drive coach, I was to develop a strategy I thought would be viable, and had to help come up with a design that can be manufactured with our abilities. I had to coach the design and manufacturing team into what my general strategy was, and then they took over from there. Because of our limited resources and experience, I had to keep the strategy realistic to our abilities, and I had to modify my strategy after every little niggle that we came across in the design process.
We bagged up the robot two days ago and now it’s sitting in the unused home ec room in the back of the engineering class we operated out of, and now I’m left wondering… What next?
I felt more distanced from producing the robot this year, but that was a mutual decision from all the senior members to allow the new kids to get a feel of what it’s really like to design, build, and program (nobody actually learned much in terms of WPILib because nobody is interested in programming :ahh:) a robot.
I’m glad that I no longer have late nights working on the robot, but at the same time I’m going to miss it in a horribly twisted and sadistic way. I’m going to miss the excitement of finishing the robot by midnight on stop build day, I’m gonna miss spending long Saturdays hammering bolts through misaligned holes, I’m gonna miss the Sundays where everything had to be disassembled because it wasn’t built to spec.
FIRST Robotics is a unique program and I’m gonna miss it.
But all good things must come to an end.
I guess the real point of this is… Where do I go after FIRST?
There’s college and I’m sure there’s robotics there, but do they really offer the same intensity and good clean fun that is FIRST Robotics?