11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I grew up a Longhorn, going to at least a couple Texas football games every single year. I grew up in the Mack Brown era of Texas football dominance. Some of my happiest childhood memories came from Vince Young holding up the National Championship trophy, Colt McCoy passing countless touchdowns to Jordan Shipley, and, more than anything just spending Saturdays with my dad, watching Texas football.
Fast forward to my senior year of high school, I was dead set on going to TCU. I didn’t think Texas was a good culture fit for me and I was excited to be a Horned Frog. I applied early decision to TCU, which meant if I got in, I had to go there. Early decision acceptance letters for TCU come out in early December, but one morning in early November, for the first time all Fall, I checked my A&M application status and it said I was in to Mays Business School. Within the day, I changed my mind entirely. I hadn’t even seriously considered A&M but there was something about the people, the town, the SEC, and the traditions that separated the school from the rest.
My senior year I spent focusing on one thing, learning what it means to be an Aggie. I would honestly just spends nights in my room singing the War Hymn and Spirit of Aggieland until I knew every song and every yell perfectly. Embarrassing, I know. Nonetheless, I felt like I was an Aggie. I felt like I was apart of something way bigger than myself for the first time in a long time.
After my New Student Conference, I got to Fish Camp, session D Camp Miculka green, and had the time of my life. From learning our camp’s yell, to meeting new friends, to dancing at mixers, there are few things I wouldn’t do to relive my freshman year Fish Camp experience.
Once school began, I attended my first class which was a huge change for me. Not in difficulty, but in atmosphere. Going to an all-boys private school my entire life, I had a class ranging between 10-20 guys. At A&M, it was more like 100-200.
My first semester academically went well with only what turned out to be a minor hiccup: missing my final exam in political science (it’s ok the professor ended up letting me take it and I got an A). But what I realized that deep down I already had known in my heart is that there is truly no place like home and home for me was College Station, Texas. I missed my family, yes, but I never wanted to leave A&M. The pure mass amounts of kindness, grace, friendliness, and acceptance of everyone I met was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. I found a friend group that I consistently hung out with but it felt like walking around campus everyone was apart of the friend group. I found that no matter where you are on Texas A&M’s campus, there is always going to be someone who knows somebody else who knows you. It’s a huge campus, but I think there is something to be said about how friendly Aggies are. They make it not so huge. They make you feel welcomed. They make you feel like a member of the 12th Man, because you are. Aggies love Aggies. At the end of the day, I truly believe there is nothing as special as the way an Aggie treats a fellow Aggie.
It’s amazing to me how more than 60,000 college aged kids chose to go to the same school. So many different people with different reason for attending TAMU, different backgrounds, different stories, and different interests. But there is a spirit can ne’er be told in Aggieland. There is always someone who will listen. Someone who will take the time out of their day to hear your story, learn about your life. And to this day, that’s still so cool to me.
Being an Aggie isn’t always easy. From the school itself being difficult to the constant roller coaster ride that is Aggie sports to the struggles that a typical college kid endures. It’s tough. But it’s worth it.
There are plenty of aforementioned things that go into being an Aggie. The traditions, atmosphere, the town itself, I love it all. I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. But the one thing that makes A&M so special is the people. It’s the mentality of helping fellow Ags by doing whatever it takes.
Think of Fish Camp. More than 2,500 students apply for an organization where they get to be a small part of a bigger story. These people fill out an application, do an interview, and work hard for more than five months just for the opportunity to get to spend four incredible days in Palestine, Texas welcoming 1/49 of the incoming freshman class who decided to register for Fish Camp. And they do it all over again often two or three times throughout their time at A&M. That’s amazing.
And the craziest part is that Fish Camp is just one facet of the many student organizations and people groups that make up Texas A&M.
I want to thank every single Aggie for making my Texas A&M experience what it has been. You all, whether you realize it or not and whether I know you personally or not, have shaped who I am today and given me an abundance of reasons as to why I love this school, because when it comes down to it, it’s more than a school. It’s a family.
Thank you God for making me a Texas Aggie.