Mornings with Magnet Students: Olivia Niesse and Collin Brientenall

Learn about the morning routines of two carpool riders at Magnet


Olivia and Collin drive three other students to school in a carpool

“I wish my morning was cooler,” says 10th grader Olivia Niesse, although she and her fellow carpool driver Collin Brientenall’s routines offer a different take on a regular student’s morning. Two different morning routines collide as sophomores Olivia and Collin meet up with each other at the Bi-Lo in Mt. Pleasant to carpool with their friends Caleb Munley, Oliver Root, and Nico Apostolou. These two leaders of their carpool group describe their personal routines as they get ready and drive to school.

With the aid of several presses of a snooze button, Collin wakes up at 6:00 while Olivia finds herself in a similar situation, but she only needs one press of the snooze to get her up at 6:45. After the alarms sound, these two part ways in terms of routines as Collin spends 20 minutes responding to Snapchats and texts when he rolls out of bed and Olivia heads to the bathroom to freshen up.

When asked if they were morning people, Collin firmly replied that he stays in a bad mood in the morning while Olivia manages to maintain a good spirit despite the drudge of the morning. Playing chill music as she puts on makeup in front of her mirror helps to keep the weight of the morning off her shoulders. After they both freshen up, choosing an outfit for the day is the next step in their routine. Collin describes his usual outfit to be a sweatshirt, shorts, and Vans. “I go with the vibe of the day,” he says when talking about choosing an outfit, giving an example of wearing sweatpants if he wakes up feeling especially tired. On the other hand, Olivia has a diverse outfit range and can’t pinpoint a typical outfit she wears to school. Most of the time she simply chooses what to wear from a big pile of clothes in her room.

Once they’re dressed, both head downstairs to eat breakfast and finish their morning activities. They tend to eat on the go, but both eat a quick pre-breakfast which consists of a caffeinated drink for Olivia and a bag of Cheez-Its for Collin. These two are also in charge of feeding and walking their dogs, Algeta and Lucille, before school. When asked if they packed a lunch in the morning, Collin replied that he doesn’t make one but Olivia said that, “My dad does. Bless his heart.”

We jam out to throwback songs.

— Collin Brientenall

After packing up, both leave to meet at their carpool spot. Before they meet up, Collin grabs a biscuit from Bojangles or Chick-fil-a while Olivia eats dry Lucky Charms on their way to Bi-Lo. Olivia is in charge of picking up Caleb while their other carpool friends are dropped off at the stop. She and Collin take turns driving the group, but Olivia is considered the most reliable when it comes to arriving to the stop on time according to both she and Collin. The latter driver says that traffic on Highway 41 often keeps him from being an early-arriver to the stop. As for actually getting to school, they say that 8:00 am is the ideal time for getting there, but Collin says, “I feel like we never get there at 8. We’ve been really pushing it.”

The drive to school usually takes about 25 minutes, but since these two take 526 from Mt. Pleasant, the drive time is often unpredictable. During their carpool, the 5 friends talk “lots of gossip”, according to Collin, and listen to throwbacks such as Far East Movement’s beloved ‘Like a G6’. If the group arrives to Magnet before the first bell rings, they sit in the car and continue their conversation before getting out and starting their day as sophomores at Magnet. Although Olivia and Collin complete different routines at home, their ride together as carpool friends brings them together in the morning.