May 10, 2019 is a date that evokes many emotions: apprehension, gratitude, relief and bliss. After four unforeseen, cathartic years, I will walk across the stage on that date and remember what it means to trust in timing, overcome adversity and succeed with the help, love and guidance of others.
Overall, my time at A&M was nothing out of the ordinary. However, in retrospect, the person I am today is the complete opposite of who I was at the start of college.
For my freshman and sophomore year, I had little to no idea who I was or who I wanted to be. Seventeen hours every semester got the best of me, and seeing purpose and excitement in my studies was scarce; the desire to attain a 4.0 overshadowed everything else. I went through every day ad nauseum, with little motivation to change that. This soon changed.
During my junior year in the fall of 2017, I walked into my philosophy of logic class and sat next to a stranger, current Assistant News Editor Sanna Bhai. Unbeknownst to me, that choice would lead me down a transformative and worthwhile path.
About a month into our class together, we became friends, which eventually had her constantly asking me to become a staff writer at The Battalion for the science and technology desk. As a science major, I had little experience with writing, but I begrudgingly gave in and joined the staff. Because of this, my college experience took a 180 for the better.
I started my journey at The Batt by writing for the SciTech desk for a semester. After every word was typed and each story was published, I could feel my thoughts for my future start to align. My future didn’t have to be dreading biochemistry or wondering if I would ever find happiness in a pharmacy lab. My future was reflected in the love of stories I told.
While working at The Battalion, I have been a SciTech writer, a Life & Arts writer, and for the past year I have been one of the Life & Arts editors. With each transition, I multiplied my deep love for storytelling and met brilliant, hilarious friends who have left a life-long impact (shoutout to hamster fan club). I now understand that I can dive head first into any new opportunity, no matter my prior experience and to just go for it. I now know that I will always get to where I want to be even if its a different way than I originally thought.
What I needed in order to figure out my path was in the basement of the MSC all along. Before, being at A&M was nonsensical and aimless, but I realized that The Battalion was the missing puzzle piece that made everything clear.
Starting in August, I will be attending graduate school at the University of Texas at Dallas to pursue a Master’s in Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, but I am positive that I could not be saying this without my two years at The Battalion. Two years at this newspaper may have gone by in a flash, but they were pivotal. Without A&M, I would not have The Battalion, and without The Battalion, I would not have this diploma.
It is odd to think that this time next week, I will no longer be in Aggieland; it’s odd that I won’t be leaving the newsroom at 2 a.m. anymore; it’s odd that hearing the word “howdy” will become uncommon.
I am continuously grateful for the moments I have spent at this university. These past four years have prepared me for whatever may come, and I will always remember where my life truly started.
Kathryn Whitlock is a entomology senior and Life & Arts editor for The Battalion.