We all know that FIRST is "the hardest fun we"ll ever have," and that it's all about building robots and improving our communities. But the truth is, most of our experiences extend way beyond riveting metal together and writing business plans. When you join FIRST, there are so many unexpected (but awesome) aspects that come along with everything that's advertised. So here are the Top 5 Things No One Tells You When You Join FIRST.
1. You're going to eat a lot of pizza. This one is just inevitable. If you're on a FIRST team, pizza parties are just a thing. Whether it's late night strategy sessions, robot demos, or just a break from building. There's also a pretty good chance your team has their own stash of take-out menus and Pizza Hut coupons, and maybe even a designated Pizza Mentor.
2. You're going to make a ton of friends, but you're only going to see them twice a year. FIRST has a way of bringing people together, and can be the catalyst to some life-long friendships. And while it can be annoying when your squad is spread out across the world, nothing can top that long-awaited reunion at Champs. Prepare yourself for some crazy group chats and weekly Skype calls.
3. You aren't going to understand the button craze. Everyone loves the buttons, it's okay - we don't get it either. Just play it cool and collect as many as you can. Or don't, maybe you're more of a wristband person. Either way, if you join FIRST you're going to end up with way more robot swag than you could ever imagine, whether it's from teams or event sponsors. Good news is, you probably won't need to buy a drawstring bag or pen ever again.
4. You need to learn the important people's names. Don't be that person who doesn't know who Dean Kamen is. Dean, Woodie, Don, Frank, Ken, just learn them. Everyone will judge you a little bit if you don't get hyped when a FIRST celebrity comes to your tournament - it's cool to get excited.
5. You're going to love it. FIRST is the best thing you're ever going to do, that's just undeniable. If you don't love your time in FIRST, you're probably doing it wrong. You're going to learn a whole lot and you're going to change lives. Get ready for the hardest fun you'll ever have.
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