The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies hope for a better 2021

Photo by Abbey Santoro

With the spring semester underway, Texas A&M encourages students to utilize outdoor space and practice social distancing while socializing. 

While last semester was an adjustment for all Aggies, this spring seems to be a step toward a return to college student’s typical, campus-centered life.
Many classes will still take place virtually, but increased testing options for students and staff and the release of the COVID-19 vaccine offer hope for a better 2021.
Despite having a successful semester in the fall, nutrition senior Emily Stokes said she had difficulty finding motivation to keep up with school as well as the change in her social life.
“It was harder for me to stay motivated when I didn’t have the same accountability being in a classroom and having people around me,” Stokes said. “It was kind of weird [because] that was the first semester of school I’ve done entirely online.”
Despite these challenges, Stokes said she is looking forward to her final stint at Texas A&M and plans to approach this spring positively.
“My goal is to soak in every bit of college that I can get because it’s my last semester,” Stokes said. “I know it’s going to be a little tricky because it’s not going to be the regular semesters that I’ve been used to. I’m just trying to enjoy everything and get out with a degree.”
Though Stokes will be graduating in May, she said she hopes future semesters will be closer to the true college experience, especially for her younger peers.
“I’m really hoping this is the last semester we have to deal with COVID[-19],” Stokes said. “It really stinks that the freshmen haven’t gotten the whole college experience yet, and I really wish that they could have that.”
On the other hand, food science technology junior Caleb Glenney, a member of the Corps of Cadets, had a very positive experience in fall 2020.
“Last semester was a great one, my first as a junior. As far as Corps stuff goes, it’s an exciting transition,” Glenney said. “It’s cool because in the Corps, we have underclassmen that we get to be a mentor for, to teach them how to be good in the Corps but also in life.”
Glenney said he found this past fall to be an opportunity to connect with others, but he also had to make adjustments to his routine.
“I’m sure this was a challenge for everyone, all the COVID-19 stuff, but especially in the Corps,” Glenney said. “We’re used to the same routine, and the interactions were impacted a lot this year. It was something we were able to work through, but it was a big challenge at first.”
Using the momentum from a productive fall semester, Glenney said he hopes to achieve even more this spring, both in and out of the Corps.
“One of my big goals this semester is to have the opportunity to take each freshmen out to lunch and sit down to have a conversation with them,” Glenney said. “Getting to know them more personally … so they can have an upperclassmen that’s a friend to them.”
Political science senior Robert O’Brien said he is hoping this semester will bring back a sense of normalcy.
“I think it’ll go fine and probably be just really boringly mundane, but I think everyone wants to go back to boring and mundane,” O’Brien said. “I don’t think it’s going to make up for an entire year; however, I think returning to campus is a way to get some closure.”
Stokes said social interactions and creating bonds with others is essential for getting through college hardships.
“Your first day of class, if you’re in-person and it’s possible, try to make friends anywhere you can,” Stokes said. “You will have stressful periods, but it’s a thousand times more bearable when you’ve got people right next to you suffering through the same thing.”
Glenney said that his time at A&M has pushed him to grow in many fronts of his life and become better at seizing opportunities.
“What people sometimes don’t see is that college is a really cool opportunity to grow as a person,” Glenney said. “For people who don’t want to come to college or think it might be better to stay at home, I would encourage them to step out and take the opportunity because I think you’ll learn a lot and grow a lot in a way that you never thought you could.”

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