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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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

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).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Experiencing senior year in the unprecedented

Final+Year
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver
Final Year

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Class of 2021 will be the first class that has completed their entire senior year primarily virtually.
Though their experiences were different from the classes before them, the Class of 2021 has embraced and adapted to the challenges the last four years have proved to be. With the transition to online classes, students like biomedical science senior Natalie Smith learned to adapt in new ways.
“The biggest challenge I faced was the transition to online labs,” Smith said.
Many students like Smith have a curriculum that is lab-focused and thus had to adapt to be online learners.
Wildlife and fisheries sciences senior Ariela Perez said navigating the second half of their college experience with junior and senior classes was difficult when it came to completing the hardest part of their coursework. Perez said although there were challenges with adapting to online learning, Aggies will always prevail.
“COVID[-19] definitely did impact a little bit of everything just because we either had to be online or limited in person,” Perez said. “I feel as long as the Aggie Spirit is alive then [Aggies can] make it work.”
Business management senior Kobe Poole said managing relationships while in college has been more difficult now with the pandemic.
“The in-person networking and communication that you make in your last few years basically go into the work-life post-graduation,” Poole said. “[The biggest challenge is not having] the interaction and the connections with the Aggie Network that will last you a lifetime.”
International studies and economics senior Kalista Jordan-DeBruin said the last year and a half of her college experience was turned completely upside down and greatly affected her time in Aggieland.
“My sense of community at Texas A&M was absolutely compromised,” DeBruin said. “At the same time, there were opportunities I got to take advantage of and people I got to meet that I wouldn’t have otherwise without COVID-19.”
Nursing senior Kara Williams said nursing students did not get to have as many patient interactions as previous classes.
Beginning her post-graduation job at Cooks Children’s Hospital, Williams said she may be a little more nervous than before because of the limited in-person patient interactions, though she knows the A&M program has equipped them to be successful in treating patients.
“We had to come up with how do you learn to become a nurse on the computer which is very challenging,” Williams said. “Everybody is in the same boat, feeling like my first day on the job is going to be very difficult because I don’t have as much experience as I would if there wasn’t COVID[-19].”
Poole said although online school was not ideal for many students, it has taught them how to adapt and transition quickly which is something that will be a helpful skill in the job market.
“Adaptability is a very big thing that I have learned,” Poole said. “Being able to adapt and change to situations is something that I will have to keep doing because change is certain and going to keep happening so being able to change is going to be something that we have to continue to do to be successful.”
The effects of COVID-19 were inevitable, though students like Smith said they still enjoyed the effort A&M spent to ensure the Class of 2021 had an enjoyable senior year.
“At first, I thought that the [COVID-19] impact was very bad and it was very difficult because it happened during the middle of the spring semester,” Smith said. “I think in the end, A&M did a good job with masks to still be able to have a good year and a good [college] experience.”

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