- College and high school are NOT the same. Expect the food to be weird, people to be new, classes to be large, dorm rooms to be small, and above all, robotics to be different. Since FIRST Robotics is a program for students K-12, your role will change.
- Just because you can’t participate on a team doesn’t mean you can’t stay involved. Find or start a student group at your college, volunteer at local events, and try to connect with local teams.
- If you decide to help the team you were on in high school, just know you are walking a fine line. As an alumnae, students will often interact with you as their peer rather than superior which can strain the mentor-student relationship. It’s important that you don’t do work for the students as it takes away from their experience.
- Your old team most likely has changed in some capacity since you left. While change can be good, it can also be hard when things are not how you remembered. It’s important to let your old team do their own thing and not overstep your bounds as an alumnae.
- College is THE best time to figure yourself out. Be open to new experiences and people. Living in the “glory days” of high school won’t help you expand yourself as an individual. Have a balance of how much you talk about the past with what is going on in the present.
- Being in FIRST does not mean you have to be an engineer. It’s okay to pursue different interests whether it be the arts, sciences, or business. It’s also completely normal to not know what you want to major in right away. In fact more than 50% of college students change their major at least once!
- Contrary to popular belief, college is not some huge party. While you are able to do whatever you want, you are responsible for when things get rough. In college, you are literally paying for every minute of class time and what might have taken a year to go through in high school, now takes three months. Just do yourself a favor take school seriously and don’t skip class.
- The most important thing is to enjoy your time at college. If you find yourself not having fun, perhaps you should think about why and do something about it. Join different clubs, request a new roommate, switch majors, or even transfer to a new college.
Best of luck on your adventures! Remember there is always someone within FIRST Ladies to support you and offer advice should you need it.
This blog was written by Claudia Dube. If you are interested in blogging for FIRST Ladies, click here to sign up on the schedule.