So I have a bit of an issue. I did IQ as a middle schooler, and that was a blast. I really loved doing it and was really excited to do VRC this year. So I signed up for my school team, and that’s when I hit a wall. Our school team was not the best. They have never placed high enough to get to states, and they usually finish close to last. Because of our poor performance, we don’t get much funding. We still have to use the V4 motors.
On top of that, I’ve been having some problems with my team. We’re supposed to meet Mon-Thurs for 1-2 hours, and that’s not happening. My team captain shows up for like 5 minutes a day because he’s in the middle of college apps, has AP homework, etc. That goes for most of my team, actually. A lot of them are here for the resume, not because they want to be. They show up twice a week if we’re lucky, and for 1-hour max. A lot of the time, it’s only me. I do most of the building, and the engineering notebook, and that’s just a lot. As a freshman, I don’t know all that much about it, and I’m doing the best I can. Also, I make a TON of rookie mistakes. It’s really frustrating and eats up valuable time. We have a competition in just over three weeks, and our robot is nowhere near ready to compete. I spend a lot of time at robotics, and I feel like it’s just not paying off, and I’m not really enjoying it anymore. On the contrary, it starting to mess with my head a little. I literally dream about robotics now, and how I forgot to do this, OMG our competition date moved up it’s tomorrow and I decided to rebuild the whole thing, etc. etc. `
So what do you think I should do? Stay, leave, come up with a different plan, talk to my team (I have, but if you have something else I can say, do tell)? I’m sure a lot of you have been in similar situations before. I’ll appreciate any feedback. Thanks in advance!
If you’ve already talked to your peers on the team, the next stop in trying to fix your team is your coach. Also look through your friends and acquaintances for people who would make good teammates, and try to enlist them. You might not be able to correct or remove a bad teammate, but you can always try to add a better one.
If your school’s team still doesn’t pan out, the next step is probably finding a different team. Back when I was trying to get off my school’s dysfunctional FRC team VEX had just started up as FVC, so the only way to compete was to start a brand new team. Over a decade later, the odds of finding an already-existing independent team are much higher, so take a look around your local area.
If vex is what you love doing, stick with it, even through the rough bits. It can be really frustrating having teammates who don’t share your passion, but you shouldn’t let that ruin it for you. You may want to check out these threads.
What you are experiencing is really common - People will drop like flies in robotics. People seem to think that building is just good fun and you don’t have to do any real mathematical and physics application. It gets to the point where you expect to have to do everything by yourself. Do not let results get to you. My team has never reached states, but gosh darn there’s a reason why its called State Championships.
I’m a junior this year and a good bit of the leadership responsibility was left unfilled. I’m doing my best to take it and run with it. If you need money, use large events as fundraising opportunities, see through sponsorship proposals, whatever. It pays off. The whole team has gotten more involved and we are getting really close to finishing our first iteration of our designs. I spent hundreds of hours thinking up potential issues with our designs over the summer and it is really starting to pay off, I am confident we will make it to states and I see it possible to go even further.
It takes only one to turn your program into something really special - see it as an opening for leadership, not a reason to quit.
I’m glad your team is getting more together. I’m (for some reason) the only freshman and girl on my team, so getting a “leadership position” is a lot more difficult. A lot of my team really only uses this as a college apps thing, they’re in a bunch of different clubs and graduating soon anyways. They don’t really care about robotics, because we don’t do well, and their other clubs do.
You aren’t going to be given a position. Blaming that on grade or gender is just going to set you back. I’m suggesting just being more active and trying to organize your club’s members, even the unwilling ones. If they don’t want to be bothered with it then let them do nothing and pick out those who do. It all starts with just being persistent and trying to be more active.
think like what most of them have said - don’t stop doing what you like.
and maybe it will help if you want to consider relooking into your expectations/goals for this season?
For freshmen team, normally the target is rarely to win states, etc.
You might feel much better if you see your 1st year as a time for you to learn and pick up as much about vex as possible, and at the same time, use this year to find like-minded people that you can rope in as our team mates.
And you will be more than ready to go for your 2nd season
I am going to second what Deicer said. If you truly love robotics, DON’T quit. You cannot let the others let you down. In a situation like this, you need to take on the team so that they see what you are doing for your team and how you are a big asset to it. Do what you do best. I know it is a lot of work. I am going through similar stuff on my team. If you are afraid that they won’t see you as a leader, then be a leader. If they are not going to lead your team to win, then lead your team to win. Even one person can make a big difference, no matter the grade, no matter the gender.
^ I third this. Just think, even though vex can have its times, would you be happier doing vex again, even with a not so great team, or not doing vex at all. And if you do decide to continue vex, like @Curio_Bot32 said, take lead if decisions need to be mad and no one is making them. Hopefully it works out this season but if it doesn’t, others will (or at least should) see your efforts and want you next year.
But most importantly do what will make you happy/don’t do something that will make you miserable.
i would say go at it a one man/woman team is doable and the other people can suport u i am a freshmen in a similar situation but at the beginning of the season i asked my robotics advisor not to be put with the seniors because same thing u have they have things to do and our edr teams have sucked and they have no drive to change that push through and the people on the fouroms can help u avoid any beginner mistakes just reading a lot of current topics will help
I think all of us would relate to this not gonna lie
The fact that robotics is in your dreams means that you enjoy VEX as a whole but you don’t enjoy the people involved. If everyone is focused on AP tests, college applications, and SAT exams thats not their fault. But for those who barely go after school just for the resume thats where it is borderline unacceptable. People should do what they love, not just because of mere resume credit. If you dont like how robotics is, and nobody is stepping up to lead, who isn’t telling you to not be a leader? Step up and lead the robotics team, who cares if you make mistakes because we all make mistakes during our high school and even during our lifetime. As a freshman, I led the entire robotics organization of 7 teams filled with sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Step up, be a man or woman with the confidence to succeed. Although this sound cliche, dont let others bring you down.
Please stay. Build something simple. Learn to drive your robot in a way you can score the most points, even if it is a simple clawbot. I have seen super-sophisticated engineering marvels fail and pushbots win. If you stay positive, focused and passionate then good people will come. Delegate and explain what you need done, don’t assume everyone knows anything about robots. You never know, you might even get the ones that are there just for the credits engaged and interested. And then you have a team and then you are a leader.
Most importantly, you have “the right stuff” that comes harder to others - passion!
As for the quote above, please read this article from robohub.org:
I will garuntee you that gender has no importance in VEX. No males or females, just Engineers who wish to change the world. Do you wish to believe that you have no opportunity to be a leader just because you’re a female? Who has been causing you such trouble to doubt yourself? All I have to say is you’re not the only one who believes these things and it sucks to hear that so many females believe they are incapable to be a leader. GirlPowered is meant to get more females involved with VEX, but they dont shine light to women that they are just as capable as men. I realized that, as there are a disproportionately large amount of males than females in VEX student-made alliances. In the alliance I formed, TVA, we tried inviting GirlPowered teams into the alliance, and yet many declined because they say they are not “competitive enough to be in alliances.” And because of that there are 45 males and only 6 females within TVA. Yet all of the GirlPowered teams within the alliance have been consistently qualifying for worlds through the state event, by both winning the state tournament and/or design award. Both males and females are capable of accomplishing the same exact thing, the only problem is the incorrect interpretations you put on yourself. As I say again, I will garuntee you that gender has no importance in VEX. No males or females, just Engineers who wish to change the world.