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

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

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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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 Battalion May 4, 2024

College is part of the search to find yourself

Jennifer+Reiley
PROVIDED
Jennifer Reiley

Five days. That’s all I have left of my undergraduate time at Texas A&M. These last three years (yes, three — I’m graduating early, don’t judge) have been life-changing.

Before I started college, I think part of me figured that four, or in my case three, years of my life would amount to less experiential change than the last 18. I was wrong. I don’t think high-school me would have known I would have the opportunity to study abroad, watch the west side of Kyle Field fall down, get thrown into a fountain in February, or really anything I’ve experienced in college.

 College is filled with unexpected events. In my own personal story, I was able to meet Winston Churchill’s granddaughter, gave myself second-degree burns by spilling oatmeal on myself and experienced the glory of a Fuego taco at 3:30 in the morning.

People say college is all about finding yourself. I agree and disagree. I think it’s more about learning to understand yourself. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, but the pieces aren’t put together. Each moment adds to the full image, gives you new insight into how you respond in certain situations, what you want for your future and why. And this puzzle is difficult — 1,000 pieces or more. It will take years, your whole life, to finish it. That’s why you don’t completely find yourself in college. You search your entire life.

If I had to give one piece of advice, I’d encourage students to embrace what life throws at them. Within reason and keeping in mind your own safety, of course. Every moment, memory and feeling is new, and the more experiences you have, the more you learn, about yourself and others. College isn’t all golden, don’t get me wrong. But even the bad times — the crush that ends in heartbreak, the all-nighters that leave you staring at walls wondering why and how you’re still awake, the feeling of being lost — those also teach you something. And every lesson is beautiful in its own way, and sometimes makes for a great story.

But college ends at some point. Like it or not, we are not able to remain students forever. From what I’ve heard, though, adult life is pretty unexpected as well. For me, and likely for others, something typically does not feel real until the pattern changes. Going home for the summer still seems normal to me. I likely won’t fully realize I’m finished with college until August, when I don’t have to buy textbooks again.

I wrote a post my senior year of high school, and with some edits, I think it still fits my mood rather well: “Growing up is strange, but then again so is the start of any great adventure. I’m ready to grow up, to learn even more about myself and the world around me. But college was a blast, and I don’t regret a moment. I’ve had so many wonderful influences pushing me to be successful: my loving family, wonderful friends, wise mentors. Now it’s my turn, and that of every other graduate, to move forward. Life, here we come. Are you ready?”

 

Jennifer Reiley is a communication senior and assistant to the managing editor for The Battalion.

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