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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

From ‘18 to ‘22: Seniors reflect on time at A&M

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Photo by Photo courtesy of Maryem Shirzadi

Graduating and graduated seniors Mareyem Shirzadi and Hanna Roudbari reflect on their time studying at Texas A&M University. 

As their college days dwindle, graduating seniors reflect on their time at Texas A&M.
A full freshman year, the COVID-19 pandemic hitting sophomore year, an online junior year and back to a normal senior year, the Class of 2022 has had an unconventional college experience, unprecedented compared to what they expected when they entered in 2018.
Psychology senior Maryem Shirzadi said she will always remember her time at A&M as a pivotal experience because she is a different person than when she began.
“I feel as if I have grown a lot th[ese] past four years. I’m definitely not the same person I was when I first came here,” Shirzadi said. “It was the best four years of my life, and it’s an experience I will never forget.”
Finding her core people and spending time with them is what Shirzadi said transformed her college experience and made her time in Aggieland so enjoyable.
“Football games this senior year were some of the best memories,” Shirzadi said. “I was not into football at all and I would honestly hate going to games freshman, sophomore and junior year. But the people we went with this year were really fun, and I actually started to enjoy it and the traditions that we started to do as friends involving football games.”
COVID-19 hitting during the spring of her sophomore year was really difficult, Shirzadi said, because the outbreak began when everything started to fall into place for her.
“Going into junior year with everything being online, it made our relationships with people we already had in our life very strong,” Shirzadi said. “It made a huge impact on how our relationships are right now. I am kind of grateful for it in the sense that it did impact our relationships, but I definitely was upset that we missed out on campus and social life outside of our home. But, we made the best of it.”
Shirzadi said she’s incredibly sad her college days are over, but took many valuable lessons from her time at A&M.
“The biggest lesson I learned was to not be afraid to get out of your comfort zone,” Shirzadi said. “I know freshman year of college, that was something I really struggled with because I wanted to stay with what I knew I was comfortable with. It wasn’t until honestly the beginning of junior year that I felt I put myself out there more and I became the person that I’ve always wanted to be. I think that was from the people that were in my life and I got to have those role models and see them getting out of their comfort zone. It’s something that I’m going to carry on throughout after college.”
Education senior Hanna Roudbari said even though college lasts only four years and went by fast, she has made the best memories of her life and friends she plans on keeping in her life forever.
“My core memories are eating together,” Roudbari said. “There’s something so family oriented about sitting down with no phones having a meal together, whether that be in Sbisa, in the [Memorial Student Center] Panda [Express] at 11 p.m. or going out somewhere like Chuy’s or the Dixie Chicken or just even at home. There were nights we had spaghetti and we would to sit at the table and eat and talk.”
The biggest lesson Roudbari said she learned from college is to always say ‘yes,’ which she said she learned from her sister.
“My sister was always big about memories and always going out, and she told me at the beginning of college she goes, ‘Always say yes,’” Roudbari said. “She said that doesn’t mean if you have a big final tomorrow you say ‘yes’ to go to a party or something, but if your friends are doing something, go do it, because it could be the best time of your life. Or it could be the worst, but if you don’t go you’ll never find out.”
Building confidence in yourself is the most transformative part of college, Roudbari said.
“Do whatever the hell you want to,” Roudbari said. “Other people do not care and if they do, that’s their problem. If you want to go to Chilifest and get in the middle of the dance floor and do some stupid little dance that will become a core memory and it’ll be so much fun, do it. It does not matter what you look like, or who or what anybody says or thinks of you because you’re having fun and your friends are gonna back you up. Just do whatever the heck you want.”

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  • Graduating and graduated seniors Mareyem Shirzadi and Hanna Roudbari reflect on their time studying at Texas A&M University. 

    Photo by Photo courtesy of Hanna Roudbari

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