Swan Song: The beauty of the unexpected

Ana Sofia Sloane graduates from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s in political science on Saturday, May 11, 2024
Associate Opinion Editor Ana Sofia Sloane poses for a photo on Military Walk with her article Its Cool to Try on Monday, April 29, 2024.
Associate Opinion Editor Ana Sofia Sloane poses for a photo on Military Walk with her article “It’s Cool to Try” on Monday, April 29, 2024.
Photo by Kyle Heise

It was never my plan to become an Aggie. 

Almost exactly three years ago today, a series of unforeseen events led to me staring at my laptop screen with unease, the pale glow of my cursor illuminating the acceptance button to a university my Austinite self knew little about besides its cultish reputation and t.u. rivalry. 

Was this the right fit for me? Could I bear more time in the sluggish Texas heat I yearned to escape from? Would I be happy?


Fast forward to the version of me typing away at this ode to my college career, I can’t help but wish I could go back in time and tell that hesitant, dispirited 18-year-old girl that everything was falling into place just as it was meant to be. 

There’s no way she could’ve known that during her time at Texas A&M, she’d re-discover her love for learning while flipping through books in the silent, dusty corners of Evans Library. That a pesky 8 a.m. class and random dorm assignment would lead to beautiful friendships. That nervously auditioning for a choir over Zoom would give way to performances in ancient cathedrals across the world. 

… And definitely not that she’d buy a pair of cowboy boots and find herself stomping at football games in the summer sun or tromping around in beer mud at a festival severely lacking in chili. 

But this is the beauty of the unexpected. 

Among countless other lessons, the land of Maroon and White has shown me the value of redirection, demonstrating time and time again that purpose comes not from control but from learning and embracing the changes, blind corners and mistakes that we all inevitably cross in our paths forward. 

Over the course of six semesters, I’ve laughed so hard my entire body ached, loved with all my might, shed quite a few tears, learned my capabilities and created irreplaceable memories that will stay with me long after I submit my last assignment on Canvas and turn in the keys to my messy college apartment. 

All because of one fateful click. 

Now, I know you may think it odd or even a bit offensive that I started this swan song by stating my initial indifference towards the university I just spent the last few hundred words praising, but to me, it speaks to the transformative spirit of Texas A&M, the one that can truly ne’er be told and successfully turned this writer into a proud Aggie. 

So, thank you. To The Bush School of Government & Public Service, for instilling a sense of service within me alongside a newfound appreciation for bagel sandwiches. To the Century Singers, for the friends, music and experiences to which words cannot quite do justice. To The Battalion, for helping me discover my voice and the criminality of the Oxford comma. To the endlessly talented, pot-stirring opinion desk, for your smiling faces at every meeting and wild takes — it’s been an honor serving as your associate opinion editor alongside Ryan.

As my song comes to an end, all I can say is I am grateful to have attended a university that makes saying goodbye so hard. It may have never been my plan to become an Aggie, but boy am I glad I chose to be one. 

Thanks and Gig ‘em. 

Ana Sofia Sloane was a political science senior and opinion editor for The Battalion.


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  • D

    Diana CardosoMay 4, 2024 at 8:57 am

    Me encantó, Ana Sofi. Aprender a abrazar los cambios, los errores y los rincones ciegos. En definitiva, aprender a abrazarse y a amarse a sí misma. Amo tu sensibilidad. Felicidades al culminar esta etapa de tu vida, llena de aprendizaje. Te quiero mucho. Tía Suca.

  • X

    XimenaMay 4, 2024 at 7:03 am

    Qué hermoso! Tienes tanto talento, mi corazón. Que nunca dejes de crear cosas bellas, hija, y que tus alas te lleven siempre a lugares altos, donde encuentres y te acompañen seres bellos, como tú!

  • A

    Ana MonteroMay 3, 2024 at 9:38 pm

    Que orgullo siento ver destacarse a mi amada nieta Ana Sofía Sloane .
    Le auguro un futuro brillante, te amo Ana Sofía ♥️

  • J

    Justin SloaneMay 3, 2024 at 5:55 pm

    Wonderful 🙂

  • A

    Anna KimMay 2, 2024 at 6:25 pm

    Loved every word written! Proud of you and excited to see where you go further with those wings :]

  • H

    Hannah MathewMay 2, 2024 at 11:40 am

    so beautifully written & so proud of you anasofia <3