Growing up, I knew I wanted to be an Aggie. I was wearing my dad’s old A&M shirts when I was so young they were dragging on the ground. I would watch almost every Thanksgiving as my older cousins would pack up early and head out to stand at the game against the Longhorns. I remember sending in my application and where I was when I found out I was accepted.

Friday, I get to finally put on my finger that piece of Aggie gold I have been working toward my entire college career. When I moved into my dorm freshman year, I got a poster that showed the Aggie Ring over the years and what the symbols mean. I had it hanging up to remind me of my goal and provide motivation when I really just wanted to binge-watch TV shows.

I found my home at A&M with The Battalion. After my first few paychecks, I decided to save up each one I got from that point on until I had enough to purchase my ring. I can still remember when I put that last check in and told my mom, “I did it. My Aggie Ring is paid for.”

So for me, wearing this ring will not only symbolize the 90 hours of classes from my first English course to Rhetoric of Social Movements during my semester abroad in Italy. This ring will be everything I did for The Battalion, and everything I’m still doing now in my last year here.

I’ll see my family, who has supported me in everything I do. My dad lost his original ring, so the first true memory I have concerning the Aggie Ring is my freshman year of high school when he ordered the ring he currently wears. My mom, sister and I picked it up at the Association of Former Students, the first time I ever stepped in the building, and brought it home to present it to him. And then made him dunk it. Friday is my dad’s turn to present my ring to me.

I’ll also see the memories I’ve made along the way. Pond hopping during Gig ‘Em Week my freshman year, meeting my best friend and having chick flick night every Friday, trying my first Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit and jamming out to Taylor Swift; staying up for the marathon that was Game 3 of the Super Regionals vs. TCU in 2015; the excitement of finally sitting first deck at Kyle Field; exploring Italy, and Europe, with two strangers who are now some of my closest friends.

My Aggie ring will be more than just 90 hours of class work, it will be a representation of my time here – all the friends I’ve made, all the memories, all my family who has been there to support me. I can’t wait to put that ring on my finger and show to the world that I’m a Fightin’ Texas Aggie.

Gracie Mock is a communication senior and managing editor for The Battalion.

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