by Jay B, Sophomore 2nd Year
As many you already know, the past year as well as the beginning of the new year have been far from what any of us would deem normal. March 2020 was a month of doomsdays as cities all over the United States began to completely shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic; chaos, uncertainty, and fear ran throughout the country. In the midst of the madness was robotics. In March, FRC 4188 had been winding down from victory in Gainesville and now was in preparation for our Columbus qualifier, which was to be hosted by us. Unfortunately, the night before what was to be another victorious competition, our season was brought to a complete halt when the Columbus qualifier along with the rest of the 2020 FRC season was cancelled.
The team, like everyone else in America, had settled into their homes for quarantine. For the longest, it seemed as though quarantine would last a lifetime, and robotics was far gone. However, hope struck when we were granted permission by the school board superintendent to meet for robotics under COVID-19 restrictions. We were excited to meet after many months spent apart. Meetups began and things were back to “normal”, well except for one thing. Me, I had become a virtual robotics student.
Due to the virus, I decided that it would be best for myself to stay home. However, I did not want this to hinder my robotics life, so I decided to do my robotics work virtually. Most of my media work for the robotics team is already on the computer, so it was not a drastic change for me. However, what has been the hardest is balancing school, robotics and my mental health. I’ve come up with ways in order to keep the balance and try to stay on top of everything that life has thrown at me. In order to keep up with the rest of the team, I use resources such as Zoom and Slack. In order to tackle both school and robotics, I allocate specific days to spend my afternoons doing robotics or schoolwork. Then, in order to unwind, I go skateboarding. These strategies have helped a lot with keeping me on top of things. Throughout the time of this new normal, I genuinely feel like giving up everything, but then I remember my friends, family and wonderful team that I have behind me supporting me in all I do. And that makes things a bit easier.