FIRST helped to foster my passion for the STEM field – it’s one of the main reasons why I chose to pursue an engineering degree in university.
I began my FIRST journey on the FLL team in grade 6 and had an absolute blast. Our mentors, FRC SWAT 771 team members, always talked highly of the FRC program and their team experience. Needless to say, once high school came around, I was beyond excited at the chance to join SWAT. Going from a small FLL team to an FRC team with almost 50 members was daunting, but everyone there was always willing to help me learn and grow, a common trait found amongst the entire FIRST community.
From the people I met, to the experiences I had, FIRST enabled me to explore new opportunities and learn about what I was interested in. Having the chance to try out just about every subteam on SWAT also gave me a little bit of insight. There were highs and lows, the highs being some of my favourite memories, and the lows being some of the most important mistakes I’ve learned from, but all together, it made for unforgettable years.
Paired with my interest in STEM subjects at school, FRC only confirmed that engineering was the field I wanted to study in university. STEM is very multifaceted with many specific and intersectional areas to focus on, and I am very grateful for the exposure to the engineering side that was provided by FIRST.
Deciding to pursue an interest you may have in STEM may seem daunting and exciting at the same time, but it’s all about getting your foot in the door and finding opportunities to learn. It may be choosing to take STEM-based elective courses or picking a STEM-based major in university. Either way, if there’s a part of you that’s interested and willing to invest the time, it’s worth the shot.