I never cared for the Aggie Ring.
I can hear your gasps now. How dare I? This sacred ring we throw so much money at only to be slipped onto our fingers. I understand the concept of the Aggie Network, but I was already paying so much for my tuition and my living situation — what did it matter?
Growing up in Houston, I knew that I didn’t want to be an Aggie — at least not at first. I’ve always seen A&M feuding with that other school and the Aggies always seemed like the crazy ones I needed to avoid.
With tradition after tradition, it’s no wonder everyone jokes about A&M being a cult.
But here I am — a crazy one myself. As it turned out, I fell in love.
Maroon has even become my go-to color, as I’m sure most Aggies have wardrobes rivaling my own.
But the Aggie Ring was something I never felt as much excitement for.
I didn’t understand the hype. Honestly, I still don’t. Unless perhaps you’re a legacy or you always knew you were going to A&M, but I fit neither of those categories. I simply grew to love our Aggie Spirit, and I think that’s what ultimately confirmed my decision.
I am getting my Aggie ring.
I remember every Aggie close to me kept asking, “Are you excited?” up until I was sitting there signing the papers to order my ring. I wish I felt as strongly as they did, but at the same time I wanted it to mean something unique to me.
During my time at A&M, I’ve seen the good and the bad. I learned that Aggieland was definitely not a perfect adventure by any means. College is stressful and I have always been the person who, no matter how smart I may be, has worked hard to achieve their goals.
But, as I oftentimes have to remind myself, college is more than stress. It’s full of moments that I’ll admit I’ve taken for granted.
And so, with this ring, I not only celebrate my accomplishment of 90+ hours, but I also celebrate my time at college and at A&M.
Like dorm life or when I bought boots just so I could two-step.
I even got confirmed in my Catholic faith in College Station. I joined a sorority. I had great roommates.
I studied abroad in Spain and felt right at home with a surprisingly large number of fellow Aggies.
I’ve made new friends and I’ve sadly lost some old ones.
I’ve had hard times in classes. I’ve been so stressed I didn’t want to do anything anymore.
But I’ve also had times when I was so happy that I still smile wide just thinking about them.
My Aggie ring is a reminder that my time was well spent.
I’m not ready to leave A&M next Spring, but I will welcome whatever happens next. After all, I’m one step closer to accomplishing my dreams.
I will look at that ring and know that it was all worth it. And that alone is priceless.
Claudia Soto is an communication senior and Life & Arts reporter for The Battalion.