When reflecting back on my past as a College Station native, I wonder what my childhood self would feel about who I’ve become and the fact that I am finally getting my Aggie Ring from that big university across the street.

I know she probably would be shocked by the fact that there’s a pandemic and that I won’t be experiencing the “normal” Ring Day I was expecting, but I still know she would be so extremely proud of me.

Growing up I never expected to be able to go to college, and those around me didn’t either. I remember my sophomore year of high school, my counselor told me my chances of getting into a four-year university were slim.

After hearing this, I was determined to make something more of my life and work my hardest to get into college. Before I knew it, my senior year finally arrived, and I fell in love with Texas A&M and all its traditions. I knew that I wanted to be a part of the Aggie family.

Flash forward to now and I have been able to experience the best three years of my life as an Aggie and the people I have found here, I will hold close to my heart forever. My Aggie Ring will reflect all of these experiences, making this Ring Day so meaningful to me.

As a first-generation college student and Aggie, getting my ring is something that I have long awaited since I began school here. The symbolism of the Aggie Ring will be with me for the rest of my life. Every time I look at my ring I’ll remember my very unique college experience, which includes Hurricane Harvey, snow on campus, fun nights out at the ‘gate and all of the Zoom meetings.

Instead of receiving my ring among friends and family in Aggieland like generations of Aggies before me, I will be going to the alumni center to pick it up by myself.

I know it sounds a little depressing having to go by yourself for a special moment like this, but Ring Day is so much more than getting dressed up and taking pictures with your friends and family at the alumni center.

I plan to take my Aggie Ring to my parents’ home and have them present the ring to me. We’ll make all of my mom’s delicious home-cooked meals while watching old home videos and FaceTiming with my sisters who live far away.

As for my friends, we will probably Photoshop a hilarious picture with one another and have a socially distanced brunch date to celebrate all of the blood, sweat and tears we faced together when studying at Evans until 2 a.m. and congratulate each other on getting our rings.

Though it’s bittersweet that I won’t have the experience of sharing this moment with all of the people that I love, but I am still going to make the best of the situation I have been presented. I am aware that there are many others who are seriously being affected by the coronavirus, and in all I am just thankful to have my friends and family safe.

Amina Butt is a telecommunication and media studies senior and Life & Arts writer for The Battalion.

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