A&M was always something of a default university for me. Both of my parents attended this university, as well as my oldest brother. Every year, at least once a year, from the time I was very young, we attended an A&M football game. It was always the plan, provided no better plan ever came up. Being the unambitious adolescent I was, no better plan ever came up.
When I started here in 2015, I already had a friend group that came with me from my high school in Katy, which is only about an hour and a half away, and even a girlfriend, who’s now my fiancé, that I’d been seeing for about three months. It is in this context that you can understand that for me, the word that best encapsulates my entrance and experience with A&M is “comfortable.”
At first, certainly, I hated that comfort. I accepted it as a personal failing that I had failed to really explore my opportunities and options when it came to universities, and that just by going along with what was laid in front of me, I had chosen the easy, and thereby inherently inferior, path.
That’s not to say that there has been no stress since I arrived. By the end of my freshman year, I’d changed my major from Computer Science to Political Science, a fairly substantial jump. Since then I’ve worked hard to seek opportunity and keep my grades as high as they have been. Yet the level of comfort provided by A&M has made all of those things so much easier.
Where I initially resented the comfort of A&M as a failure on my part to make my own way and be ambitious, I now recognize it as a strength of the university, and something I have truly come to appreciate. Was there some validity to my earlier thoughts that I should have made a more expansive search when I was looking for a university? Absolutely. I have come to accept that I cannot change that, and had I gone somewhere else, I would have missed out on so much. I can’t change what happened then, but I can appreciate all the great things that have come to me from going here. Like my continued and strengthened friendships with those I came here with from high school, and new friends found at A&M. But most importantly, my engagement to a high school significant other I likely wouldn’t be with if not for my attendance here. As I obtain my ring, I look back on these relationships and experiences with extreme appreciation, knowing that I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
I am well aware that this does not represent everyone’s experience with A&M, but from the people I have talked to, it isn’t an uncommon one. To those who share my experience, I just want to offer the following: you may have wanted to be somewhere else, but now that you’re here, embrace it, and you will find reasons for joy, and gain experiences and relationships you will cherish.
Jake Metzler is a political science senior and news reporter for The Battalion.