Hollis Mills

Life & Arts editor Hollis Mills receives his Aggie Ring Friday at 5:30 p.m.

How can I convince you I earned this? How can I let you know this ring means more to me than 90 hours of completed coursework?

How can I let you know that I have been thinking about this moment since I first stepped foot on campus? No, not the moment my hand will grow heavy with a few extra ounces. I’m talking about the moment I can finally share with my family. A mom and dad, a nana, four siblings and a niece and nephew with me to share a moment for which I have been waiting for my entire life.

How can I let you know that I won’t know how to behave once I slip Aggie gold onto my finger? You’ll never see me without it in tow. Nevermind photoshoots and buying bottled drinks for the sole purpose of twisting one open with my ring. I’ll run, bike, swim and cook with a ring on my finger. I don’t even do those things now, but doing them with a slice of gold on my finger? Well, it has a nice ring to it.

How can I let you know that I’m nervous about the day I receive it? Can I trust myself not to ruin the occasion? With my luck, I’ll drop it down the nearest sink I can find. The seagull I threw a hotdog bun at last summer hasn’t forgotten, and it’ll ha-ha-ha all the way back to Port Isabel with my ring in its beak. I’ll become boastful, feel unstoppable, get in deep with the bookies and lose it in a game of craps. I don’t play craps, but I’ll learn once I get my ring.

How can I let you know that I won’t hesitate to call myself an Aggie anymore? I don’t mean to imply that I have felt a sense of shame while attending Texas A&M, only that I didn’t think I had been worthy of the title. The day I receive it, I’ll tell everyone. I’ll tell them I am an Aggie. I’ll tell them I spent sleepless nights in warm study lounges, took my exams and walked back to the newsroom to write up an overdue feature. I’ll tell them I am an Aggie and I am proud of it. Maybe these are the words of an over-inflated ego that comes with sipping on maroon kool-aid, but you can’t get mad at me. I’m getting my Aggie Ring on Friday; I deserve to act like a loon.

How can I let you know that I won’t take this moment for granted? I want you to know that I have waited as long as I needed to appreciate this ring. I want you to know this accomplishment is not reflective of my work alone. It embodies the trials of a mom and dad who taught me how to strive in this world, a nana who taught me how to love unconditionally, a brother who let me know my dreams were too big to fail, and three sisters who showed me when to smile, even on the toughest of days. This moment is for my family.

So, what more can I say to convince you that I earned this moment?

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