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HISTORIC FIRSTS: Sophomore Students Reflect Upon Inaugural Year For College of Arts & Sciences

Honoring the College of Arts and Sciences’ first year, Arts and Sciences Marketing and Communications kicks off our “Be Here” campaign by featuring a handful of Arts and Sciences sophomore students and their answers to a few questions about their freshman experience as the first class of the new college.

Fall 2023 is upon us, marking one year since students could begin declaring their majors in the new College of Arts and Sciences, established Sept. 1, 2022. This benchmark in the college’s life has inspired much change, feedback and contemplations as to what the future holds.

Arts and Sciences Marketing and Communications recently asked incoming sophomore students, whose start of their Texas A&M University journey coincided with the college’s first year, to share their hopes, experiences and advice they have for this year’s freshmen.

Why did you want to be in the College of Arts and Sciences?

Janak Abraham ’26 (JA), biomedical sciences major from Houston, Texas
There are two main reasons I wanted to be here at Texas A&M and more specifically the College of Arts and Sciences. For one, Texas A&M provides a multitude of opportunities for me to pursue. These opportunities, coming in various forms such as involvement in research, allow me to reach new heights academically and achieve that goal of becoming a physician. The second reason is that Texas A&M, namely the newly established College of Arts and Sciences, promotes a learning environment — one in which my peers and I can be ourselves and learn from one another in a cooperative manner. We’re all one team; I think that’s what makes this college and institution special.

Texas A&M student Janak Abraham

Janak Abraham ’26 | Image: Courtesy photo

Nicole Baker ’26 (NB), biology major from Flower Mound, Texas

I wanted to be a part of the College of Arts and Sciences because I have a strong desire to pursue a career that allows me to use my love for science and critical thinking skills to make a positive impact on society. I am confident that the College of Arts and Sciences will provide me with the knowledge and skills I need to achieve my goals and fulfill my potential. My plan for after graduation is to apply and hopefully attend medical school to study anesthesiology.

Neil Gupta ’26 (NG), biology major from Frisco, Texas
I wanted to attend Texas A&M University’s College of Arts and Sciences because we are a Tier 1 research institution and getting involved in research is something I am very passionate about. I ultimately would like to attend medical school.

Jaymeson Hacker ’26 (JH), political science & communications double major from San Antonio, Texas
Coming to Texas A&M for me was a no brainer. I am a third-generation Aggie, so choosing this university was as easy as one, two, three.

Miles Munoz ’26 (MM), economics major from San Antonio, Texas
Choosing to attend Texas A&M was an easy decision for me, even as a first-generation student. The community that Texas A&M fosters made me feel at home as soon as I stepped foot on campus. The academic opportunities provided, specifically in the College of Arts and Sciences, have helped me in ways I could never have imagined.

What was it like to be a student during the college’s first year?

Texas A&M student Nicole Baker

Nicole Baker ’26 | Image: Courtesy photo

JA: Although the college was new on paper, the merger was seamless. I really was able to adapt to the changes that had taken place surprisingly well. While there was some time taken to get used to it, I settled down and really found my groove toward the mid-end of the first semester. With the merger I had more classes located closer to me, relieving stress immensely, and I was able to join organizations that I really found interest in, such as the Student Council of Arts and Sciences (SCAS).

NB: My freshman year was one of the best experiences of my life. Although it took a while to adjust my methods of studying from high school to be effective in college, the entire struggle was made 10 times better because I was able to get help from my older peers who had been through the same situation in prior years. I met so many goal-oriented, driven people during my freshman year who encourage me to be better as both an individual and a student.

NG: I would say the change from the College of Science to the College of Arts and Sciences felt very smooth. If anything, it felt like it opened more opportunities for me to be involved in diverse extracurricular activities, such as SCAS.

JH: When I first realized that I was going to be a part of a brand new college in its first year, I was intimidated and worried about how it was going to establish itself. However, I was happily surprised to see that there was already a student council being created, and all of the professors in their respective departments were unwavering in their dedication to the well-being and academic success of the students. It was so comforting to see that no matter how big the change may be, we are all an Aggie family, and a merger wasn’t going to affect us. If I had not known prior to coming to Texas A&M about the new college, I certainly would have assumed it had been around for a while because of how well administration and upperclassmen adjusted.

Texas A&M student Neil Gupta

Neil Gupta ’26 | Image: Courtesy photo

MM: Being part of the College of Arts and Sciences in its first year of creation was an experience like no other due to my incredible professors in this college, such as Dr. Bari Brookins, as well as my education abroad provided by the College.


Why do you still want to be here?

JA: I want to still be here because I found a family and home within the community that the merger fostered. I am surrounded by like-minded individuals who have the same motivation and drive to make a change in the world. Their passion and accomplishments only push me to do more. I don’t think I would have been able to find that at any other institution. The Aggie Network is strong and very much alive.

NB: I am proud to be a member of the College of Arts and Sciences because I think that it gives me a wider variety of opportunities and allows me to connect with a more diverse group of students. I think the merge increases students’ freedom in managing their degree plan and studies.

NG: I still want to be here because the opportunities, culture, peers and mentors that I am surrounded by have done a great job in shaping me into a better person than I was before I started college. I wish to keep learning and growing here in ArtSci at Texas A&M.

Texas A&M student Jaymeson Hacker

Jaymeson Hacker ’26 | Image: Courtesy photo

JH: The welcoming environment and community of the Student Council of Arts and Sciences provided me with a special place to call home for the next few years within the college and only improved my thoughts about Arts and Sciences! I am so excited to continue building relationships with the professors and students in this college, and I cannot wait for another year in the Student Council of Arts and Sciences.

MM: As I’m going into my second year here at Texas A&M, I’m still enjoying my time greatly. I look forward to getting to know more of my peers in this college as well as gaining experience in the vast research opportunities provided to me.

Do you have any advice for incoming freshmen?

JA: I have some usual tips, such as walking your classes before the semester starts, planning out your schedule so you have time to relax and sitting in the first few rows of classes. I think the biggest advice I can give to incoming freshmen is, don’t be hesitant to branch out and find that organization or club that really interests you. This might involve you going to multiple interest meetings and doing a little bit of research on each one, but trust me, it is worth it. Finding that org which speaks to you and your interests is a very important thing in my eyes because it allows you to create that community early on.

Texas A&M student Miles Munoz

Miles Munoz ’26 | Image: Courtesy photo

NB: One piece of advice I would leave for the incoming freshmen would be to make sure to utilize your professors’ supplemental instruction (SI) sessions if they offer them. While they might seem like an inconvenience or unnecessary, they do help more than you’d think, and sometimes, they help you realize what you do or do not know very well in the units. Freshman year can feel chaotic at times, but it goes by in a blink of an eye. Don’t let one grade dictate the rest of your year. Y’all got this and are going to be amazing!

NG: To freshmen, I would say never stay in your comfort zone, take initiative and always stay authentic no matter what.

JH: Join organizations on campus, buy in to the traditions and get to know your peers and professors. Your experience is only what you make of it, so please do the most to receive the most.

MM: For incoming freshmen, my word of advice would be to just put yourself out there and take advantage of everything this amazing school provides you. The College of Arts and Sciences is a community we are incredibly lucky to be a part of, and the network and connections that can be made here go way beyond academics.


Be Here is a comprehensive campaign throughout the 2023-24 academic year highlighting the students, faculty, staff, former students and donors in the College of Arts and Sciences at Texas A&M University and their significant contributions to their college, campus and community as well as our state, nation and world. To learn more, visit