There have been times in my life when I suddenly become aware I am living in a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.
Watching my parents drive away as they dropped me off freshman year, looking around the student section as we interlock arms in unison singing the War Hymn or desperately gasping for air after laughing too hard with my friends.
Friday, a new memory will be added to this collection. It’s hard to believe soon I will have my very own piece of Aggie gold. Now, 90 hours later, I laugh at how foolish I was to think that all I needed to get my ring was 90 community service hours (first gen probs).
However, there was a time when I didn’t know whether or not I would reach Aggie Ring Day. About a month into college, my family and I faced financial hardship.
My first semester was brutal. Never did I imagine I would visit a food pantry or I would worry if I had enough gas money to make it to class. Soon, the only thing on my parents’ minds was making sure I made it back home to El Paso for winter break. As I loaded my car, unsure of whether or not I would return to Aggieland, I couldn’t help but feel thankful.
I’m thankful for the opportunity my parents gave me to follow my dreams, thankful for the sacrifices they make to give me the world, thankful to know what it means to be an Aggie and thankful to experience what Aggieland had to offer.
By the grace of God, our luck turned for the better and I was able remain enrolled at Texas A&M.
For those who know me, y’all know how close I am to my parents and how many times I call them a day and for those of you who don’t know me, it’s not weird. I’m just an only child.
I can’t thank my parents enough for the phone calls full of advice when I was having a meltdown or the three-way conversations which turn into a ‘Let’s roast our daughter’ session, despite us being in three different places.
So, when Friday comes around and my parents finish flipping a coin to see who puts the ring on my finger, I will try my best to soak in all the emotions I will remember for the rest of my life.
I’ll probably cry because we’ve gone through so much to get to this point and the journey was hard, but it was worth it. I’ll think about the stories Dad tells us about his run-ins with Aggies and how proud he is to be an Aggie dad. I’ll think about how strongly Mom stands in the doorway as I leave for school with tears streaming down my face, knowing she is hurt to see me leave but proud to see me chase my dreams.
Although I’ll wear the ring, it is not just mine, it is ours. Every time I look down at our ring, I’ll think back to the conversations where we calculated the hours, discussed the details and dreamt about what this day would be like.
It’s true when they say, teamwork makes the dream work because this has been a team effort. And boy am I get lucky to have my very own dream team.
I love you Mom and Dad.
Angel Franco is a telecommunication media studies junior and sports editor for The Battalion.