Kathryn  Whitlock

Kathryn is the first member of her family to attend Texas A&M.

At first glance, the Aggie Ring is a piece of jewelry with minuscule etchings and grooves which rests on a finger. Embodying laughs, tears, late nights and early mornings, my Aggie Ring will surpass any notion of an ornament.

Being a first generation Aggie, knowledge of the Aggie Ring was terse. Not until witnessing a Ring Day of a close friend two years ago did I understand the gravity and honor of the ring. On Friday, I will be the first of, hopefully, many in my family to have an Aggie Ring placed upon my finger.

In August 2015, Neeley Hall became my new address. Waking up on the first day of class in my twin-sized bed within the small modular dorm, life as I knew it changed. My day began with CHEM 101, and ended late with BICH 107, thus creating a seemingly claustral lifestyle. But retrospectively, I was embarking on a journey which overflows in noteworthy life lessons.

Clad in incessant lab reports and calculus homework, I viewed Aggie Ring Day as an event far from being grasped. It was easy to lose sight of the long-term plan and become entangled in the daily monotonous online assignments. However, clarity reveals the unrelenting assignments tuned me for my ring.

As told by my mother, anything worth having requires hard work. So, each lecture, project and review session proved to be the causal events that led me to where I am now — a place of gratitude.

With the event only days away, I find myself basking in peace; knowing I have made it this far pushes me to move on with greater momentum and hope. This ring is a mile-marker.

Reflecting appreciation, the ring will illuminate my multifaceted love of Texas A&M. I love that I can be true to myself, yet still be surrounded by people polar-opposite from me; I love that I can have four exams in one week and still tend daily to little hobbies; I love only having to drive two minutes to get to campus; I love that no matter who you are, where you came from or where you plan to go, A&M will love, accept and guide you to the niche that needs you and you need in return.

From eating waffles for every meal at Sbisa to running around a field and catching insects for entomology, my ring will make me fiercely proud of my memories at A&M.

Ninety hours: two words which hold an infinitude of emotion, work and perseverance. This ring will remind me of those 90 hours and the accompanying memories. Aside from myself, this ring will evoke a love of my community. Without my family, friends and professors, no ring would be placed on my finger this Friday.

Kathryn Whitlock is a biochemistry junior and life and arts reporter for The Battalion.

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