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
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
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...

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

Stubbornly successful

Photo Courtesy of Hannah Shaffer

Life & Arts reporter and photographer Hannah Shaffer is graduating from Texas A&M with a Bachelor’s in German on Friday, May 13 at 4 p.m.

I’d like to say my time at Texas A&M has always been enjoyable. In an ideal world, I would be graduating with a nuclear physics degree and an Air Force contract after spending my four years in the Aggie Band.
In reality, I am a German major, who has a rocky relationship with her recruiter, and I take pictures of the Corps of Cadets rather than being a member of it. How did we get here? Slowly, and not always surely.
I came to A&M not knowing a single thing about the school, the traditions or the Corps. Being a first-generation Aggie, I knew I was in for a big learning curve. I remember when Col. Samuell Hawes asked me if I knew what I was getting myself into as I signed the Corps paperwork two weeks before Freshman Orientation Week started. Confidently, I told him I had no clue, but that only made me more excited to get started.
That lasted all of about 3 ½ weeks. After some fun second-degree burns and a rapidly declining mental health, I decided the Corps was not for me. My freshman year ended with a 1.5 GPA and a letter from the College of Science politely telling me physics was not for me and I needed to switch majors.
After appealing my dismissal due to extenuating circumstances, an assault, a death of a loved one and more mental health issues, I continued to crash and burn as a physics major. I knew it was time to drop the stubborn act and shift my focus to something I knew I could be successful in. I love physics with all my heart, but the reality is, I am really, really bad at math.
Giving up on my dream of physics was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I have always wanted to work in the field of nuclear security after looking up to my father my entire life. Switching to German meant I would have to work a lot harder to make that wish a reality, but like I said, I’m stubborn. I’ll find a way to make it work.
Things started to look up after my switch in majors. I found a close group of friends within the German department who were there for both emotional and academic support. I began to go to football games and Midnight Yells, finding my own Aggie Spirit and falling in love with the school I had cursed years before.
Finding The Battalion made an incredible impact on my last year at A&M. Journalism was something I participated in all throughout high school, and being a part of a newspaper team again made me feel at home. Joining The Battalion as both a photographer and a writer, I was able to rediscover a passion of mine I’d forgotten about.
Freshman me would have laughed at the idea of walking the stage in less than a week. Though I may not be finishing on the same path I fought so hard to maintain, I will still be graduating with a degree from THE Texas A&M University. My relationship with college hasn’t always been the greatest, but with help from a great roommate, supportive friends and a hamster, I’ve learned to love where I’m headed and appreciate how hard I worked to get here.
Hannah Shaffer is a German senior and life & arts writer and photographer for The Battalion.

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