Two students reflect on first year at West Point

Aug 2, 2023

This past fall, Wareham’s Lavina Burman and Connor Prindle prepared for the upcoming school year just as any other first-year college student would.

However, unlike most college students, Burman and Prindle were headed to the United States Military Academy West Point where “Duty, Honor, Country” would become their motto for the next few years.

Both hailing from families with relatives who have served, Burman and Prindle were inspired to also pursue careers in the military.

Burman’s mother, Jacqueline, said, “It was a grueling 13-month admission process, which included securing a government nomination.”

Though only one nomination was necessary, she said, “Lavina secured three: one from the president, one from our local senator and one from our local congressman.”

Burman said, “I just thought it was something more I could do outside of just going to school.”

She added, “I can serve my country and prove myself and there's a lot of amazing opportunities that being at West Point could offer me.”

She said her ultimate career goal is to go into aviation. 

Burman said this past year has been “stressful, honestly, but I'll say rewarding.”

She added, “I feel like I improved a lot as a person.”

This year, Burman said she completed the approximately 19-mile Norwegian Foot March, made dean’s list both semesters and just graduated from Air Assault School over the July 30 weekend.

One of the most challenging aspects of attending West Point is time management, Burman said. 

Prindle shared similar sentiments.

Between classes, homework, drills, exercising and preparing for upcoming parades and ceremonies, there is not a lot of free time, Burman said.

Prindle said, “I've always had a good sense of time management, but at West Point you really need it.”

He added, “Just being able to maintain physical fitness and include like an hour a day to physical fitness, while keeping up with classes and also making some time for yourself — I say that is one of the biggest challenges.”

However, despite the time constraints, Burman and Prindle said one of their favorite parts of their West Point journey so far has been the friends they have made.

Prindle said, “This past year was a lot of fun. I drew some of the greatest relationships I've ever had. A lot of the friends I've made are lifelong friends, but I've had a lot of great experiences. I've learned a lot. I've learned how important discipline is, respect and always being on time.”

He added his experience has also taught him how to build relationships and work well with others.

“I do not regret choosing West Point,” Prindle said. “It is the greatest decision I've made.”