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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

One last time

Sam+King+has+worked+at+The+Battalion+since+she+was+a+freshman+and+served+as+the+2016-2017+editor-in-chief.
Photo by Photo by Alexis Will

Sam King has worked at The Battalion since she was a freshman and served as the 2016-2017 editor-in-chief.

Throughout my time at The Battalion, I’ve written more than 150 stories and worked on almost 300 papers as an editor, including 114 as editor-in-chief.
I’ve spent all six of my semesters as a student working for The Battalion.
My first story ran in the second paper of my freshman semester.
I’ve written thousands of words, interviewed dozens of people, worked countless hours and skipped a few classes (sorry, mom).
But my time is up. These are the last 900 or so words I’ll write for The Battalion. This is my last paper.
Writing this column feels like a trap, every word bringing me closer to the end of my time as a student. With each letter I type, each word I write, I can feel my heart rate rising, my stomach sinking. I’m checking my word count periodically, and as the number grows, so does my disappointment. Because this isn’t just another story — it’s my last one.
It’s the last time I’ll stare at a blank Google Doc, the prospect of telling the stories of the student body and school I love so much making me smile.
It’s the last time my editorial staff will read my byline, or struggle to come up with a headline for my story.
It’s the last time I’ll write from the hard-earned authority of editor-in-chief of the revered tradition and respected publication that is The Battalion.
But I’ve already wasted 220 or so words dwelling on the finality of this column, and space is precious, so let’s move on.
As a student operating on a three-year graduation plan, I always knew my time here was limited, shorter than most of my peers. And at first, I was grateful for that. As someone who had no idea what Texas A&M was outside of the stereotypes I’d heard in Dallas, I was not excited for the prospect of spending three years at a farming school. Frankly, it was about two and a half years too many as far as I was concerned.
But with graduation now just days away and those hours passing faster than any of my core classes ever did, I find myself desperate for more time. More time spent chatting with Aggies who were passionate about making a difference. More time spent interviewing students with interesting stories. More time spent in the almost-basement of the MSC working with the most talented and caring people I’ve ever met.
I owe a lot to The Battalion: My best friends, my practical skills, the leadership abilities I’ve gained. But if there’s one thing I could do without, it’s the dread that lies in the pit of my stomach, whispering maliciously, “You’ll never find something this good again.”
Because how can I? It doesn’t seem feasible to me that I’ll ever have as supportive of a network, or as much fun or enjoyment in a job again. There can’t possibly be another place as amazing as Aggieland and the people who live here.
Logically I know that thousands have already gone on to have wonderful lives after leaving Aggieland, and I’m sure I will too — Texas A&M and The Battalion have set me on a good path for that. But nonetheless, the fear of the unknown, the lack of a guarantee is breaking my heart.
I only have a few hundred words left — my fingers have gone cold, my eyes are misty. Just enough space to foolishly attempt to adequately thank a few people who have made a particular impact on my time at A&M.
Mom and Dad, thank you for supporting me in everything I’ve undertaken; for not laughing outright when I set my sights on journalism as the industry crashes around me. Mom, thanks for the daily phone calls that were sometimes my only tie to reality. Dad, thanks for the after-dinner conversations about leadership. You two have been my biggest cheerleaders and I feel invincible to have you on my side.
Katy, you’re so much more than my managing editor, you’re my partner and best friend. Every decision I’ve — we’ve — made this year has felt like the right one because of your sound judgment and support. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again for posterity’s sake: I literally could not and would not have done this without you.
To my staff, I cannot express the pride I feel when I look back at the papers we’ve published this year, the stories we’ve told, the memories we’ve made. You taught me what it means to be a good leader and how to trust in the abilities of others.
To my adviser, Doug Pils, thank you for always being there for me. I can’t imagine The Battalion without your guidance, the red marks all over the paper the next day or the constant reminder to be “training your replacement.” Take pride in the fact that you’ve impacted a generation of students who will remain grateful that you pushed them toward excellence.
To my fellow Aggies, thank you for taking a bitter two percenter and turning her into a red ass Ag who whoops as loud as the rest of them and will wear her Aggie Ring with pride.
I could write pages and pages, fill papers with all the people who deserve my thanks. But my word count is approaching and with it my time to move on, too. So it’s with a heavy but enormously grateful heart that I’ll write my last words as a student and Battalion staff member: Thanks and gig ‘em.
 
 Sam King is a communication senior and editor-in-chief at The Battalion.

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