Cori Eckert Ring Day

Head Page Designer Cori Eckert receives her Aggie Ring this Friday Sept. 24 at 9:30am.

I’ve never been concerned about my grades. I’ve always had that “C’s get degrees” mentality.

The only thing that has kept me going has been watching the bar chart on Howdy inch closer to 90 hours with each class I passed. I wasn’t doing it for med school or law school. I wasn’t trying to be on the dean’s list. I didn’t care about a 4.0. It was all for an Aggie Ring.

I’ll start off by saying a huge thank you to my family for supporting me so much more than just financially. Thank you to my mom for answering my “I’m going to drop out” calls, my dad for encouraging me to pursue my passions and my brother for being the designated driver at my ring dunk on Saturday. Your gifts of grace and guidance are worth more than gold.

Thank you to my friends at The Battalion, whose ring columns I am currently getting inspiration from — there’s a reason I’m the design editor and not a writer. Thank you for encouraging me to go to my 8 a.m. after a midnight deadline, and for letting me turn this column in late. Thank you to the A&M Club Swim team for always pushing me to be the best version of myself and to those team study nights that always lead to cheap Italian food.

Saying I’m looking forward to getting my ring this Friday is an understatement. I have had the Aggie Ring ticket tab open on my computer for two weeks, clicking on it every so often to make sure it’s still real. I bought my maroon Ring Day dress at a thrift store months ago. I’ve texted my family multiple times making sure they’ll be here at 9 a.m. sharp to meet me at Kyle Field.

Receiving my Aggie Ring will symbolize much more than 90 hours. It’s knocking on a random dorm room asking a stranger to use their printer. It’s realizing that failing my first college exam did not define me. It’s the triple shot I get at Starbucks before studying for finals. It’s looking back and seeing all the times I wanted to give up so badly, but didn’t.

Being a journalism major, I get a variety of responses when people ask what I’m studying. The blank stares, the laughs, the follow-up question of how I’m going to make a living. I was never going to be a doctor or engineer, and at times I felt below those who were. Journalism was always the path I wanted to take, but it sure was discouraging sometimes.

The Aggie Ring represents that no matter what our diploma says, we are all Aggies.

Cori Eckert is a journalism senior and design editor for The Battalion.

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