10 Things You Could Do In The Offseason

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Once you finish AP/IB exams and hear the final bell of the year, you find yourself with plenty of free time and no robots to occupy all of it. While we here at MentorBuilt are clearly Mentors with Jobs and absolutely no free-time to run a satire website, we have some suggestions for how you can spend your off-season!

10) Read Summer Chief Delphi

We actually hate this option. Why would you do that? We don't know. Do you want to see the same 5 threads that have existed on Chief for 10+ years regurgitated? Do you want to start a fight? Are you secretly a robot trying to figure out how to get past those pesky mods? If you answered yes, then summer CD is for you!

9) Sit inside all day in front of a computer making pixels move

Are we talking about video games or CAD? Maybe programming? Any of the above! Nothing says "summer" like being immobile in a dark room, and while we're not a huge fan, its still better than summer CD.


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8) Prototype new concepts

Differential swerve is so hot right now. Now is the time to build those new ideas and test them out. Does this likely mean lots of time in front of a computer? Yes. Are you using your brain? Hopefully! You're probably thinking, "why is this option #8? Its a great use of time!"

7) Work on the submitted awards

Why do teams wait until build season to write Chairmans/Woodie Flowers/Dean's List/Etc? You have all the time in the world and none of the distractions of building a robot to write in the off-season. You can even use this head-start to find holes in your submissions that you now have months to fix before the deadline!

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6) Work on your pyramid scheme outreach and set up demos at local events

The off-season is a great time to achieve the goals of FIRST. Start some workshops or camps, bring the robot to the local chili-cook-off, or build a wheelchair for a disabled dog - spread STEM appreciation like the best infectious disease there is! For added Chairman's appeal, work on acquiring funding and resources to start more FIRST progression teams - or, if you're more interested in impact over FIRST's bottom line, use those resources to strengthen existing programs or start the best program to fit the community's needs.

5) Read Books

Pretty much every Mentor Built staff member enjoys reading. Read stuff that's interesting, read to learn, read for fun! Set up a hammock in the shade with a nice cold lemonade and have a great afternoon! Go lay in the sun (with sunscreen) and acquire mild skin damage while getting lost in a book! You can be anywhere from the comfiest spot on your couch!

4) Work towards a goal every day

Do you want to get better at drawing? Are you interested in being able to run a mile? Do you watch Ratatouille and wish you were as gifted as Remy? Practicing every day at whatever it is you want to do is a great way to Get Gud.

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3) Get a Job and/or Volunteer

Nothing gives you purpose quite like having a job (paid or not). Recurring commitment builds character and also makes you more appreciative of the free-time you do have. Volunteering can not only be fun, but is a great way to meet interesting people with similar interests (and looks good on college apps). Meanwhile, jobs = paycheck and paychecks = ice cream... or buying other teams' swag, whatever.

2) Spend time with your friends/family

Hang out with your friends. Have a non-robot-related get-together with your team. Spend time with people who you consider family and show those around you that you care. You abandoned them for 3 months to get metal shavings in your hair... its the least that you can do. 

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1) Enjoy life outside robotics and expand your horizons

Want to learn how to knit? Do you miss playing pick-up basketball? When's the last time you played proper fetch with your dog? Build a go-kart or a kite or a spaghetti tower - the world is your playground.

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