As a first year graduate student at Texas A&M University, starting school has reminded me of my freshman year. Four years ago, I started my journey at Mississippi State University in fabulous Starkvegas. I had such a wonderful time and made friends that I will always treasure. So, while I was excited to start graduate school I was also sad to be leaving a place and people I had become so attached to. I will admit that I was reluctant to give up the familiarity I was used to. Change is hard, right?
Classmates from the Agricultural & Biological Engineering Department at MSU
When I told people, I would be attending Texas A&M, many fellow Mississippi State alumni would tell me, “Texas A&M is a lot like Mississippi State, but bigger!” I can confirm they were right. There are similarities between the two and the A&M’s campus is quite large, but there are differences too. At Mississippi State I was able to walk everywhere, and never considered using a bike to get to my classes. Now, at Texas A&M I rely primarily on the transit system to navigate the campus. I have gotten on the wrong bus and sometimes I still get lost driving through town, but I am learning one step and misstep at a time.
As well, I am understanding the traditions of Texas A&M. Saying “Howdy” has not become as instinctual as saying hello, but I am working on it. I attended my first Midnight Yell and football game. Did I know any of the cheers? Nope! I was clueless as to what was happening. Yet, I was able to watch the student section take pride in the team and experience the fighting Texas aggie spirit I have heard so much about.
In this new season of my life, I am realizing that there is always a learning curve. It takes time to adapt to change. However, I am enjoying all these moments, because one day they will just be memories.
MBIOT Graduate Program
To my alma mater, Mississippi State University, thank you. Thank you for teaching me and inspiring me. Thank you for friends that became family (shout out to the ABE Department). I will cherish my time there. To Texas A&M University, thank you for this opportunity of scientific discovery and continued education. Here’s to a new chapter in the book that is my life.
Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name?” But I say, “What’s in a color?” Yes, Texas A&M and Mississippi State are two different universities; however, maroon and white connects me to them both. So, whether I am saying “Hail State!” or “Howdy” the school colors remain the same and are something I am proud to wear. I have traded my cowbell for a 12th man towel, but I still get to wrap it all in maroon and white.
Go State and Gig’em Aggies!
Kalifa is a masters student in the Biotechnology program in the College of Engineering