One thing I have learned over time is when you put in enough effort, life tends to make things work out in the end.
When I visited the Texas A&M campus in February of 2015, I knew I wanted to end my college career as an Aggie. I wanted to lose my voice at football games, get an Aggie Ring and walk across the stage with an A&M diploma in hand. Although the journey has been anything but smooth, the destination remains the same as I finish this long and winding road as a graduate of the Texas A&M Class of 2020.
Looking back on everything I have been able to accomplish at A&M, especially when it comes to working at The Battalion, I’m humbled.
I never expected to be walking off this campus as a journalism major five years ago. Back then, I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. Over time, I began to fall in love with journalism, viewing it as the passion I knew I wanted to pursue for a living. When I returned to A&M, I knew where I wanted to eventually be: covering sports for The Battalion.
In my short time here at The Battalion, I have been able to do more than I could have ever thought possible. I covered Aggie teams in the NCAA Tournament, reported on A&M football and the wider SEC on a weekly basis, got to cover a Kentucky basketball game (which was a dream come true having grown up in the heart of Big Blue Nation) and worked opening day at Olsen Field. In the short amount of time I had here, I had a lifetime’s worth of remarkable experiences.
As I reach the end of what has been a five year journey of self realization and bliss, I want to give my gratitudes to those that have been there on the way.
First and foremost, I want to thank my family for always being supportive of me, even when you weren’t sure what you were supporting. Mom and Dad, I appreciate you being there for me every step of the way and pushing me to always do better. I can’t wait to show you what I’m doing next. To my brother, I want to thank you for always being there for me, even when it isn’t convenient. You’ve made the time here in Aggieland fun and enjoyable.
To my professors here at A&M, particularly Angelique Gammon and Dale Rice, thank you for being great mentors and teaching me along the way. Angelique, you are someone I have constantly looked to for advice, and I am so glad you always have the knowledge I need. Dale, I have loved learning from you over the years, as you have always been supportive and collaborative.
To Douglas Pils, thank you for being a great resource and helping make The Battalion a great place to work and a supportive place for journalists of all kinds and backgrounds. I have loved picking your brain for knowledge, which is great because you have so much.
To Angel Franco and Abigail Ochoa, I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done to help build my journalism ambitions. From taking me into The Battalion heads on, to helping develop my journalistic skills while on the sports desk, you two have always been supportive of my work, and I really appreciate it.
To Hannah Underwood and all of the other people I have worked with on the sports desk, I have loved the opportunity to work with everyone over there. At the sports desk, we have the best job in the world, covering our school’s sports and athletes for a publication, and I have loved the opportunity to work with everyone. Hannah, this last semester has been anything but ideal, but I will always appreciate working with you and learning how to be a better journalist by emulating you. I can’t wait to see what great articles you produce in the future.
To the rest of The Battalion editors, I have loved working with you this semester in creating a newspaper. When I applied to be an editor, I never expected to have this much fun working with everyone like I did. Brady, you are one of the nicest and kindest people I have ever met, and you are going to be great as the new editor-in-chief.
To any of the great journalists I have met over the years, from Charean Williams and John McClain, to John Clay and Brent Zwenerman, to Olin Buchanan and Travis Brown, thank you for being great role models and letting me embody how you work on a daily basis. I have loved the opportunity of working alongside you.
As I end my career at A&M, I tend to think back to that famous quote from the poem “The Road Not Taken”: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
I never understood what made the road less traveled so blissful until I took it myself, that while the road may seem less desirable while upon it, in reflection, the unexpected journey is one that is quite remarkable.
Thanks and Gig ‘Em!
Jackson King is a journalism senior and assistant sports editor for The Battalion.