The homework is completed, the papers have been written and the exams have been turned in. All that waits now is the rest of my life, out in the real world – just that.
Attending Texas A&M is about more than classes, grades and assignments, though. It is hard to believe that I graduate in a few short days, but I am ready. I’m excited. There is no other school at which I would have wanted to spend the most formative years of my life.
I am a first-generation Aggie. In fact, I am the first in my family to attend college in the United States, as my family moved to Houston from England when I was just five years old. When I arrived on campus in August of 2016, I had no idea what to expect, and I felt so small. How was I going to find my place at a school so vast?
I quickly realized that A&M has a knack for building people up and weaving them into the maroon and white tapestry that is Aggieland. A student does not simply attend this university – they become a part of it. That is what makes such a big school feel so small.
As the saying goes, “From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”
I first became involved in FLEX, one of the many freshman leadership organizations on campus. Joining that organization was the single best decision I made. I found my people there, and more importantly, I found a family. That is what I am most thankful for.
The relationships I formed in that organization are ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life. There are too many people to name that have impacted my life in a positive way. I met some of my best friends in FLEX – people who I know will be at my wedding one day. They know who they are.
FLEX was the springboard into the rest of my college career. It gave me the confidence to apply to be a sportswriter at The Battalion in the spring of my freshman year. As a journalism major, writing for The Batt was the most formative experience for my skills. It opened doors for me, like landing an internship at NBC Sports Washington.
The school newspaper supplemented what I was learning in the classroom. It allowed me to put what I was being taught into practice. I have found that you learn the most about journalism by actually doing it. Although the lessons can sometimes be harsh, they are the ones that stick with you.
On the sports desk, I started as the golf beat writer. As I graduate, I have covered almost every sport there is at A&M. I would like to thank everyone at The Batt for helping me grow as a writer.
Graduating a semester early was not in the plan initially, but it is how things shook out over the last few years. Since receiving my Aggie Ring in September, my final semester in Aggieland has come to a close in the blink of an eye.
There are too many memories to write about here and too many people to thank. Whoever I have come into contact with over the last seven semesters, no matter for how long or how long ago, just know that I am thankful to have met you.
I would like to thank my parents, Jane and Jono, and my siblings, Mollie and Alfie, for their unwavering support throughout my time at A&M. There were several challenges thrown our way, but we all stuck together, and they were always there if I ever needed anything.
Both of my siblings are now freshmen at A&M, which is still crazy for me to think about. They are finding their own place on the tapestry, and they are becoming a part of this amazing university in their own unique ways. I know their futures are extremely bright.
As for me, the future is still unclear. But I am confident that whichever path I choose to walk, I am more prepared than I ever could have imagined as a freshman heading to Fish Camp.
A&M has taught me countless lessons and helped me grow into a man Aggies can be proud of. I am ready to face the real world, whatever that may be, and follow one of the endless paths that this school has opened for me.
Always wearing my Aggie Ring. Always proud to be an Aggie.
Jack Holmes is a journalism senior and sportswriter for The Battalion.