For the past year and a half, I have been hard-pressed to find something to look forward to at Texas A&M. I learned to navigate the infamous Zoom University alongside my professors — though not many of them truly figured it out — only to enter my in-person senior year with few expectations for what is supposed to be the best year of my college experience, after the isolation and exhaustion of living during a pandemic. However, one particular event has been on my mind for weeks.
This Ring Day has finally given me something to look forward to at A&M after over half of my time here has been interrupted by COVID-19. This ring means many things to me: a reminder of both my wonderful and less-than-ideal moments at A&M, a sign of my accomplishment here and even a reason to start wearing jewelry. This is a huge part of the Aggie experience, and I could not be more thrilled about achieving one of the goals we all share. This ring is one of the brighter moments in a particularly dark time in the world, and in everyone’s lives.
I’m sure many members of the Aggie family have their own reasons to be excited about this semester. Classes are in person, their friends are on campus and life has become that much closer to normal. While I have to admit I loved the last few weeks, as I have spent time with so many friends I had scarcely seen since the start of the pandemic, I can’t help but think it seems wrong for me to be celebrating at such a time.
Tens of thousands of people have died from COVID-19 in Texas alone, while vaccines and masks are readily available to any person who desires them. Countless students have contracted COVID-19 or been negatively impacted by this pandemic in some way or another, yet I only see a humble few who wear masks and remain 6 feet apart from their peers on campus.
I want this pandemic to end as much as anyone. But the sad truth is that it is far from over, and it hurts to know the health of so many I love is still at risk.
So, when I receive my Aggie Ring on Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m., I will be thinking of the Aggie family I hold so dear, and I will continue to do my part to help this pandemic come to an end so that it may not hurt us any more.
Thanks and Gig ‘Em.
Julia Potts is a political science senior and managing editor for The Battalion.