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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

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So long, seniors

L%26A+Grad
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L&A Grad

As students wrap up their final presentations, projects and exams before the holidays, December graduates are getting ready to walk the stage.
December commencement will take place on Friday, Dec. 17 and Saturday, Dec. 18 in Reed Arena for bachelor’s recipients. This will be the first graduation since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic without virtual ceremonies. English senior Stephanie Meckel said, as a member of the Class of 2023 who is graduating early, she feels she missed out on a lot in college since a majority of her classes as an undergraduate were spent online due to COVID-19.
“I ended up doing dual enrollment [in high school], so I’m graduating a lot earlier than the rest of my class,” Meckel said. “But the time I did get to spend here, I had a lot of fun. Now, it’s time for my next step.”
Meckel said what she is going to miss is living in the environment of a college town.
“It’s so different from post-grad[uate] because it’s so easy to meet people here,” Meckel said. “I think that’s just what I’m gonna miss the most. It is so easy to meet people my age.”
When reflecting on her favorite moments in college, Meckel said her Aggie Ring Day was very special because it represented all her hard work as an undergraduate.
“My favorite college memory is a basic one, but it is probably getting my ring,” Meckel said. “It was a super exciting moment for me and my parents.”
Post-graduate plans for Meckel include attending law school next fall. In the meantime, she is going to be staying in College Station and interviewing for jobs.
“My biggest accomplishment at A&M is that I was able to start a student organization … Aggie Minority Women in Law, and I’m super proud of it,” Meckel said. “I feel like I’m leaving something behind. My time here was short, but I still left something that I know is gonna live on longer than the time I was here.”
Psychology senior Giselle Deleon said being active on campus since her freshman year helped her acclimate to A&M and find her community.
“I’m a [first-generation student], so getting to come to a top-tier research institution far from home was definitely a little bit challenging at first,” Deleon said. “But I found my way. I got really involved my freshman year. I’ve been in research, I’ve worked with the Office of Admissions and I’ve gotten to study abroad, so my time here has been great.”
Deleon said after she graduates, she will miss the sense of community and family at A&M.
“The opportunities that I’ve gotten here and the people I’ve met here, it’s been surreal,” Deleon said. “I think that I’m just going to miss how homey I feel here and how Aggies help Aggies.”
Deleon said her favorite memory in college was the opportunity to study abroad and visit five different countries in five weeks.
“I love to talk about [study abroad], especially since I work with Admissions,” Deleon said. “Every time we have prospective students come out, I talk to them about all the opportunities A&M has for them and how we’re the No. 1-leading university for study abroad.”
Deleon said after graduation, she is planning to obtain a Ph.D. in clinical psychology to do research in academia and eventually open her own private practice down the road. Although her time at A&M is coming to a close, Deleon said she reflects fondly on her experiences.
“You get what you put in, and my time at A&M has been great because of the time that I’ve took to join [organizations] and meet people. I’ve loved my time here,” Deleon said.
University studies architecture senior Haleigh Copeland said her time at A&M has been fulfilling and has given her more than she could have asked for.
“I came from Colorado, so I didn’t know what to expect because I was going to go through such a big change,” Copeland said. “I’m a fourth-generation Aggie. My dad, my grandfather and my great-grandfather all went to A&M, and I have a bunch of other family that have gone here. I had never been away from my family, but I always knew I wanted to come here.”
Game days at Kyle Field were her favorite part of her experience in Aggieland, Copeland said.
“Since I’m Class of 2022, I was able to go to both LSU in 2018 and the ‘Bama game my senior year — the two big upsets,” Copeland said. “It was a good way to start and end my time at A&M.”
In the spring, Copeland said she is planning to continue working the two jobs she currently has and is shooting for an internship in the construction industry by the summer. Her advice for prospective and current students, Copeland said, is to never take anything at A&M for granted.
“It’s just different at A&M,” Copeland said. “I’ve always had people tell me, like my friends from high school that go to other schools, ‘Wow, I wish we have these kind of traditions. That’s so cool; our school doesn’t do that,’ and I’ve always been like, ‘Yeah, you know what, you’re right. This is really cool.’ A&M is something special that I wish everyone could experience.”

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