Swan Song Samantha Mahler

Editor-in-chief Samantha Mahler majored in agricultural communications and journalism, but did not write a single article about cows.

In the finale of “The Office,” Andy says, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good ol’ days before you’ve actually left them.” I’ve known my time at Texas A&M would be the good ol’ days all along, but I didn’t know it would end so quickly.

It’s funny. If you were to ask me three years ago what I thought the good ol’ days of Aggieland would be, I probably would have said football games, Ring Day and nights at the Chicken. While I (mostly) remember all of that, I would have never guessed my fondest memories would happen in the basement of the MSC.

When you work as a student journalist, sometimes really cool things happen to you by chance, like helping cover the funeral of former President George H.W. Bush or following along a national news story as it affects your university (thanks but no thanks, Miss Rona). Heck, Parker McCollum even called me for an interview one time.

But at the end of the day, it’s the in between moments that made my time so special.

To me, the good ol’ days are standing around talking and getting behind on print production because you can’t stop talking about Mount Rushmore or hamsters. Brainstorming during a headline party and laughing so hard I cry because I’m so sleep deprived. Leaving the newsroom at 2 a.m. only to spend two more hours at Fuego and fall asleep on megabed.

I’m gonna miss these things more than I know.

The good ol’ days are dwindling faster than I can type this column. I’m running out of time as a current student, and I’m also running low on my word count. Before my time is up, I need to recognize the people who made the good ol’ days what they were.

A huge shoutout to my mother, who supported me when I took a pay cut by quitting my waitressing job to pursue an editor position at The Battalion. I’m sorry I’m continuing to burden you financially by going to grad school, but I hope it’s worth it. And to my huge family, who inspired me to attend A&M and are my biggest fans on Facebook, thanks for believing in me since day one.

Without a doubt, the reason I am so passionate about The Battalion can be summed up into two simple words: the people. The staff has become my mentors, my cheerleaders and my family when I needed them most. Thank you for letting me ramble on about country music and tractors and breakfast tacos from Stripes. I’m leaving Shelby and Cori in charge of teaching y’all what good music is.

None of what our staff does could be possible without our general advisor and advertising manager, Doug Pils. Thank you for being a voice of reason when it felt like everything was crumbling. Remember in January when you told me we were due for a national news story? I forgive you for that.

I’d be remiss to have this platform without thanking people who impacted my college career outside of the newsroom. Aggie Sisters for Christ and Camp Allen were the calm in the middle of the never-ending storm that is college. My friends from back home kept me grounded and were the first people I called when something good happened. To my roommates: don’t forget to call me when Howie and Hannah come over. And to the Femmatas: I can’t sing to save my life, but you took me in as an honorary member anyways, and I love y’all for all that you’ve done for me.

When I think of the good ol’ days, I’ll think of how The Battalion defined not only my college experience, but who I am as a person. So now, as I spend my last few days as a student at Texas A&M holding on for dear life, I’ll join yet another tradition by echoing the parting words of the last four graduating editors:

Thanks and Gig ‘em.

Samantha Mahler is an agricultural communications and journalism senior and editor-in-chief for The Battalion.

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