This Season from a Freshman: On the Bus Home from FIRST Championship

May 11, 2017 by Ryan Mares, FIRST Team 93, NEW Apple Corps, Appleton, Wis.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on Reddit. The author, a ninth-grade student from Wisconsin, shared his thoughts as he rode the bus home from FIRST Championship St. Louis.


I'm just going to start off by saying that this year was mind-blowing. I had done other robotics programs, but I was not expecting FIRST Robotics Competition to be this insanely fun and helpful. Yea, a lot of the meetings aren't the most enjoyable things in the world, and it sucks when you have to struggle to find time for homework, but I think that everyone in FIRST will agree with me on the fact that it's all worth it.

Competitions are insane. I love that it's just one huge building full of a ton of like-minded people, and that they all love FIRST. There's a passion you can Team 93feel that every person has for robotics. They want to win, and they've put in the time to build a robot that they think can succeed. And when you do win, it's one of the best feelings. All those hours you spent on this dang bot turned out to be worth it.

Winning Isn’t Everything

Also, I'd like to talk about going to FIRST Championship in St. Louis. It has been one of the most memorable events in my life. The atmosphere in the stadium was astounding. It was also great to see all the top teams’ robots and learn from them. (I'm talking about you, Team 254, The Cheesy Poofs, from the Winning Alliance) My team didn't make it out of our division, but it was still super fun to watch other matches and hang out with friends. Seeing those finals games gives me the drive to learn more and work harder so that my team can make it to Einstein someday.

I have learned so much this season. From how to code in Java to how electricity runs through a robot, it's all stuff that I will be using later in my life. FIRST is preparing me to succeed. But FIRST Robotics Competition isn’t just about the robots; it's the people too. You have to work well with your team, or you won't get anything done. Alliances must also cooperate if they want any chance to win. You learn how to work with others, and that's an invaluable skill. FIRST is giving the next generation all the tools it needs to build a better tomorrow, and I can't wait to be a part of it.

So I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on FIRST Robotics Competition. I'm on a bus heading home from the St. Louis FIRST Championship, and I decided that I'd just throw down what I'm thinking. Thank you so much to everyone involved in all things robotics – you're changing to world for the better. And to the FIRST Alums of 2017, I'm going to miss you guys. Whatever you go on to do with your life, I know that you'll do it exceptionally well. The future is bright.


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