'Advice of an ODU Graduate' Photo Series

Brooke Nicholson | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Morgan (pictured above) enjoys a sunny day skateboarding near ODU

There’s nothing more exciting than walking along that long stage at the end of four long years, and finally receiving some reward for all the hard work you’ve done. But that moment seems so far away when you’re starting off at a new school away from home, old friends and family. It seems like you’re never quite prepared, no matter how much work you put into starting your new life.

For recent spring class of 2018 mechanical engineering graduate, Morgan Babecki, that day to walk along the decorated stage couldn’t have come fast enough. After four exciting, and sometimes stress-inducing years as a mechanical engineering major and electrical engineering minor at ODU, here’s some things he says could help incoming freshmen that he wish he knew when first starting off.

“Don’t procrastinate,” he says. “You’ll have to do it eventually, so don’t add the extra stress of waiting too long to do it.”

This was especially true during his senior year in mechanical engineering, where seniors are required to start and finish a yearlong project with their assigned group. But most kids starting college have the pre-conceived notion that some of the work they will be given in college will be just like high school, when in fact it is nothing like what they are used to.

Morgan poses next to his college graduation present

“Make time for yourself,” he adds, “it doesn’t always have to be about school. Enjoy your time.”

College students are among some of the most stressed out within their age group, and sometimes school work or a major project can get in the way of a night out to de-stress and realign themselves. ODU offers a huge variety of student-run organizations and clubs to join, such as the student government association, sororities, fraternities, creative writing clubs, sports and many more, for students. This can be a great way to get away from essays, tests and finding common ground with the people on campus. Studies show that some of the biggest regrets college students have is not joining clubs, or not getting involved with something during their time at college.

“Utilize your resources, this can be a huge mistake students make. If you are struggling in a class, don’t hesitate to seek help in it. Utilize resources that the school provides, like the library and its many programs you cannot get outside of the college. Make friends in your classes, they can also be a great source of information, especially if you’ve missed a class and need help catching up.

Oh, and chegg.com. Don’t forget to use Chegg for help in math classes,” said Babecki

Babecki now works as a full-time junior engineer at Alliance in Midlothian, Va., the company he has interned for since he was 14.

"Anything is possible, just putting your mind to it is the first step."