An OM Grad’s Advice for College Freshmen

Throughout his high school years at Oakland Mills, Savon Warren was a varsity baseball player, a member of the Alpha Achievers, and a Red Lobster employee. He now attends Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. 

In his first year at Old Dominion, Warren is excited about his classes and has some advice to share with high school seniors. He is in his second semester and is taking a diverse course load, including Intro to Communications, Statistics, Ethics, and Interpreting the American Past. While he prepares to become a business major, some of these classes are needed, while others are just interests of his. 

When people think of college, they think of how stressful and work-intensive it can be. Warren, however, advises that the workload “isn’t that much different to AP classes” and “most teachers are pretty laid back.” Most people assume teachers would not care if you fail, yet Warren says it is the exact opposite. His teachers motivate him and want him to do well throughout college. He likes to believe that this is because of the relatively small size of his school, but he was always talented academically, managing to be an Alpha Achiever and a member of the NHS (National Honors Society) whilst managing a job and baseball schedule throughout almost all of his high school experience. He is now doing great in college with all A’s. However, he does regret putting stress on himself to get the work done. “You should want to challenge yourself but don’t stress about the work,” he says in reference to getting good grades.

Covid has also very obviously played a large role in his life and college career. He wants to be more social, but it is difficult because of all of the safety restrictions his school has in place. While he has adjusted to life in college, he hasn’t fully been able to get comfortable because he can barely see other people and has only had one in-person class all year. “If Covid wasn’t around, I would be more settled in.” He believes the virus makes it hard to be a freshman during this time because of how most seniors in high school missed out on a graduation last year. This fact, and having to learn how to manage your first year in college, makes this all the more stressful.

But not all news about college during this time is negative. Warren has always been rather social and extroverted so managing this pandemic has been a little difficult for him, but even without a roommate, he has been able to make friends. The social aspect of college “feels like highschool” to him, which is rather comforting to hear for upcoming college freshmen. 

Warren loves spending time with friends and family, along with playing video games and sports. Being social in your freshman year of college is obviously very hard whilst in a global pandemic, but Warren is handling it well while succeeding academically. One final piece of advice from Warren is to live in the moment rather than taking things for granted. “Enjoy the little moments like hanging out with friends or going to football games because you see with Covid, life can change in an instant.”

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