CLEVELAND — They said farewell as seniors during a school year unlike any other, and now they prepare to begin college during another surge in COVID-19 cases.
Add in a new campus, classmates, and coursework — the combination could be overwhelming.
"I have some nervousness about it,” said Rasheen Adams.
Adams, who's about to begin his film and media arts studies at Cleveland State University, wanted to reduce some of the worry, so he signed up for CSU's Summer Bridge Enrichment Academy.
"The idea behind this is that by being familiar with your environment you are more likely to be more successful," said Tachelle Banks, Academic Innovation and Initiatives, Cleveland State University.
For the last three weeks, 150 incoming freshmen like Adams have been living on campus getting acclimated with the area along with academics.
"It's a university's responsibility to actually acquaint them and help them position themselves to be successful,” said Banks.
Along the way, they've not only learned how to navigate from building to building, but they've also embedded themselves in the community.
"That sense of community is really beneficial when they come back on campus and say hey, I know you, I know where I need to go and where I need to be and I have trusted adults and individuals who have invested time, energy and effort into me," said Banks.
For Adams, it's been a game-changer.
“I felt like it was a great transition to get a feel for the college life so I wouldn't just dive in headfirst and not know what I am doing," said Adams.
With college now just a few days away, this Cleveland teen tells us he feels more confident and thankful CSU gave him this chance.
"It says to me that they care, that they are willing to make the environment more comfortable for their students and not have the anxiety so they can prepare themselves to succeed,” said Adams.