My Ring Day looked different than most. Instead of having an assigned group number and being shuffled through the Association of Former Students among thousands of other Aggies, I received my piece of gold through the mail. The social distancing guidelines enforced during the coronavirus pandemic meant my Aggie ring would be presented to me by a UPS delivery driver.
As a third generation Aggie, I grew up dreaming of attending Texas A&M and earning an Aggie ring of my own. I was brainwashed to bleed maroon and white at an early age and ended up following in the footsteps of my Grandpa, Class of 1967, and Dad, Class of 1991, by becoming a Fightin’ Texas Aggie.
I have a collection of pictures with former A&M athletes and Yell Leaders, as well as a multitude of memories from spending countless weekends of my childhood in College Station.
Some of my most treasured memories include running the bases after Sunday afternoon baseball games at Olsen Field, playing with other kids on Kyle Field following the annual spring football game, watching the Aggie bonfire burn and attending almost every home football game over the years.
I fell in love with A&M as a kid, but I gained an entirely new appreciation and admiration for the university when I became a student myself. I was finally able to fully grasp all that A&M is and how incredibly special the culture and people are.
My Aggie ring is a tangible representation of more than just my academic success and outward declaration of my belonging to A&M. It symbolizes the long hours and late nights spent studying, the student involvement and leadership positions that have molded me into who I am today, and it is reassuring proof that hard work reaps reward.
The three years it took to earn my Aggie ring have been the best and most transformative years of my life. While completing the 90 hours, I have been both challenged and inspired. I have had the opportunity to meet, learn from and serve alongside some of the university’s best leaders and I have grown personally along the way. I am incredibly grateful for all the people I have met, memories I have made and lessons I have learned.
Some of my favorite memories as a student include serving as an ambassador of A&M’s athletic department, covering A&M athletics as a sports journalist for the Battalion, my involvement in Delight Ministries and Kappa Alpha Theta, as well as contributing to the AgriLeader magazine.
Having the opportunity to attend A&M at the same time as three of my cousins and younger sister have also enriched my college experience.
It is experiences such as these and many more that I will look back on in commemoration of my time as a student at A&M. One of my biggest takeaways from my time in Aggieland is that the days are long, but the years are short.
Earning my Aggie ring is my proudest accomplishment thus far and I will forever be in awe of the tradition of the ring, as well as its significance and the power of the Aggie Network.
Although my long awaited and much anticipated ring day was somewhat unconventional without the traditional ceremony, I’ve been reminded that the value and meaning of the ring remain the same.
Emily Wedemeyer is a junior agricultural communications and journalism major and sports writer for The Battalion.