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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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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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New experiences, new horizons

Computer+science+senior+and+first+generation+college+student+Matthew+Reeves+is+set+to+graduate+this+May.
Photo by Provided

Computer science senior and first generation college student Matthew Reeves is set to graduate this May.

In May of 2016 1,470 first generation college students graduated from Texas A&M. 1,649 graduated in May of 2017 and a greater number are expected to graduate this May, according to the Office of the Registrar.
With an increasing number of students attending college for the first time, The Battalion sat down with computer science senior Matthew Reeves to discuss his experience as a first generation college student.
After graduation, Reeves is moving to Phoenix where he has accepted a position as a software engineer for American Express.
Reeves said he is the first person in his family to graduate from college in almost 20 years, as the last person to graduate in his family was his mother’s cousin.
“It’s a mixture of emotions,” Reeves said. “To be a degreed individual — it’s a big thing for my family, so they’re really excited for me.”
According to Reeves, attending school for the first time came with its own challenges second generation students might not encounter, but those challenges made the experience worthwhile.
“Everything was new for me, every single experience I had when I came to college was new, and it was great and I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world,” Reeves said. “It’s great, but it’s also a challenge.”
Reeves said the two most influential people throughout his collegiate career were his mentor Arthur George and his mother.
“Seeing my mom help me get out of high school, go to college — at the same time taking care of a newborn baby,” Reeves said. “My sister was one or two when I went away to go to school, so it was really inspiring, seeing her work so hard made me want to work hard.”
George, who Reeves met his freshman year, was a senior VP at Texas Instruments at the time.
“He was able to give a little more light, especially in the technical aspect of my degree,” Reeves said. “I could always ask him for help on things like how you balance your school life with extracurriculars.”
According to Reeves, his experience at Texas A&M has been amazing, even though the culture was completely different from his home in Dallas.
“[It was] a humongous culture shock, especially racially,” Reeves said. “I’m from south Dallas which is primarily minority area, like predominantly black or Hispanic. Coming to A&M, which is predominately white, was a 180 for me. Later on, the A&M culture shock on top of that, [was] like the ‘Howdys,’ the Silver Taps, the Muster, the yells and the football games and everything like that.”
Overall, Reeves said he enjoyed his time at A&M and his involvement on campus and in leadership positions played a role in his love for his time at the university.
“If anybody reads this that is a first generation college student, don’t be discouraged if you aren’t as ‘good’ as some of your other counterparts that may or may not also be first generation college students,” Reeves said. “I think college is about perseverance and that’s one thing that I found out from my mom and watching her all this time, and being myself in college and watching my friends in college. Honestly, be proud. I’m proud that I’m a first generation college student.”

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