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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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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A message to folks like me

Science+and+technology+editor+Joshua+Hopkins+%28center%29+acted+as+the+head+moderator+for+Aggieland+Urban+Gaming+Society+during+their+semesterly+Human+Versus+Zombies+games.
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Science and technology editor Joshua Hopkins (center) acted as the head moderator for Aggieland Urban Gaming Society during their semesterly Human Versus Zombies games.

I’ve always considered myself a two percenter, but now with graduation looming I recently discovered I have a whole lot more Aggie in me than I originally intended.
When I first decided on A&M as my college of choice back in 2013, it was despite the strong football culture. It was a decision based around the fact that the other two institutions I applied for weren’t going to give me money and I thought the history classrooms and courses looked cool.
My status as a two percenter stemmed not from any dislike of Aggieland, but rather an apathy for participating in some of the traditions I now realize today are incredibly unique and special. I skipped Fish Camp entirely, opting instead just to ask lots of questions during Gig ‘Em Week.
Still, I wasn’t a total barbarian. The entirety of my college career I have respected — and desperately attempted to warn violators — of the importance of the seal and the Century Tree. Sully has helped me get A’s on many a test I probably shouldn’t have.
Yet, my first (and only) attendance at a Yell Practice took a group of friends weeks of convincing and cajoling to persuade me to attend. Even then, I was dragged nearly kicking and screaming out of my dorm, and exhausted from their efforts none of them paid heed to ensure I wore the proper Maroon color. Thus, inevitably, by coincidence, I had the great fortune to wear a red shirt to the Yell Practice for the Alabama game. Whoops.
I only discovered the existence of Muster and Silver Taps when I started working at The Battalion in the Fall of 2014. Despite all that, when I managed to cut myself on my Aggie Ring the other day I found I surprisingly bleed Maroon.
When it happened I couldn’t tell you, but somehow the people I’ve met, and the things I’ve done at A&M have all helped turn me into an Aggie. During the course of the past semester, I’ve realized I’ve attended every Silver Taps and attended Muster for the first time.
Through my senior year, I’ve put almost 20 pennies on Sully, continued my good record of never walking on the seal, acquired my Aggie Ring and become president for two different student organizations.
Heretically, I’ve still only attended two Aggie football games and even fewer basketball and baseball games — I’ve always enjoyed the A&M Quidditch team more. Still, in the words of one of my best friends, “You’re at least a three percenter now.”
The point I’d like to make above anything else is that being an Aggie is more and means more than following traditions and liking football. More than anything else, it is my love for Aggieland making me more than a two percenter.
Being an Aggie means different things to different people, and you don’t need to worry about becoming an Aggie overnight. Whether you attend Fish Camp, every football game and run for SGA your first semester or have about the interaction with contemporary traditions that I have had, you are still a part of the Aggie family.
Part of what makes A&M special is the connection Aggies have to other Aggies, the Aggie network, our rings and traditions like Muster and Silver Taps. So in the end, don’t worry about trying to become an Aggie. By attending school, meeting people and enjoying your college career it will just happen.
I am proud to be an Aggie. I’m going to miss Aggieland and the spirit that is imbued in every cobblestone, but I’m excited to carry that spirit forward into the real world. In the end, I somehow am bleeding Maroon — please take me to the hospital. 
Joshua Hopkins is a history and political science senior and the science and technology editor at The Battalion.

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