Sam Mahler

Managing editor Samantha Mahler recalls the milestones from her Aggie experience.

As with all things in life, the best things don’t come easy. Receiving my Aggie Ring has been a slow process, but the experience has shaped me into who I am.

I’m a transfer student by way of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Blinn College. Though I got to College Station the second semester of my sophomore year, I didn’t begin classes at A&M until the spring of my junior year. I’ve spent the past four semesters making up for lost time.

There have been a few big milestones on my Aggie bucket list: joining a student organization (Thanks, The Battalion!), attending my first football game in the student section, watching my first Century Tree proposal, meeting Miss Rev and attending my first Muster and Silver Taps.

Now there’s only one thing left to check off my list: getting my Aggie Ring.

This last step has been the biggest missing puzzle piece keeping me from feeling that I am truly an Aggie. Maybe this is because I’m Class of 2019 (A Whoop!) and most of my friends graduated four months ago. While I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world, it makes the wait I’ve endured much more worthwhile.

In the past two years since I transferred, I’ve done more than check items off a list.

I found a major that I LOVE and gained a passion for photography while studying abroad in Namibia.

I’ve juggled multiple jobs and student organizations while taking a full load of classes, and learned how much I value a good eight hours of sleep.

I joined a team of dedicated journalists, and by working together weekly in a basement until 2 a.m., I gained a family.

In transferring to A&M, I found a goal that I wanted to accomplish, proving to myself that I am capable of whatever I set my mind to.

When I look at my ring, I’ll think of my accomplishments, but I’ll also think of one person who pushed me to achieve them: my mom.

I will be reminded of the time I burst into tears when I found out I had been accepted into A&M. I then waited to tell my mom the news until I could mail her a box full of A&M mother-themed gifts a week later as a thank you for all she had done.

When she puts my ring on my hand, I’ll know that the late nights and study sessions were all worth it. I know this because she’ll be crying, and I’m already crying just thinking about it.

On Friday, Sept. 27, at 3:30 p.m., I will check off the final item on my Aggie bucket list. Though I’ve always been an Aggie at heart, for the first time in my life it will feel real.

My ring might be the last tradition to check off, but it is a physical representation of the rest of my list. Wherever I go, I’ll carry the culmination of my experience at A&M with me — a story of traditions, perseverance and friendships. And also a whole lot of coffee.

Samantha Mahler is an agricultural communications and journalism senior and managing editor for The Battalion.

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