It’s official. I love Texas A&M. I mean, I know I’ve been gushing about this silly school for months, but after Thursday night, I’m hooked. (But not in a t.u. “hook ‘em” way… Sssssssss.)
Thursday was our first full day of freshman student conferences. It was a long day (I worked from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.), but I got a good feel for most of the activities freshmen go through during their orientation here. One of the last events students go to is a session called “Being an Aggie & Yell Practice.” During this session, representatives from across campus (the student body president, the director of the Aggie Orientation Leaders Program, members of the Corps of Cadets, etc.) talk about different opportunities at Texas A&M and what makes it a unique and special school. After those speeches, the iconic Yell Leaders come on stage and tell the stories behind all of Texas A&M’s traditions before leading the new freshmen in their first Yell Practice.
The traditions of A&M, Yell Leaders and Yell Practice are somewhat difficult to explain if you don’t go to A&M. If you click that link above, that will at least give you some context for Yell Leaders and Yell Practice. Just know that all of these things contribute to more school spirit than I have ever seen and a loyalty to Texas A&M that is passed down through generations.
Such as in my family, where my cousin Peter Mack is a direct 5th-generation Aggie. I’m technically a 4th-generation Ag, but my parents didn’t go here, so my line’s a little indirect. But think about it: my great-grandfather went to the same school I go to now. Holy cow.
As the Yell Leaders led us in the “Aggie War Hymn” and the alma mater, “The Spirit of Aggieland,” I have to admit I got a little emotional. Here I was singing “We are the Aggies, the Aggies are we,” thinking about my grandfather. I never got to meet Granddaddy Bruce, as my older cousins call him. I mean, technically I did meet him, but he died shortly after I was born, so I obviously have no recollection of it. But as I sang this song for the first time, I felt this weird connection with him, knowing he had probably sung this song many times many years ago.
I really want to talk to my grandma about my grandpa’s time at A&M. I’d love to see pictures and hear some stories from back in Old Army. It all really goes back to what my grandma told me before I left to move down here: “I hope you love Aggieland. There’s just a spirit there.”
Yes, there is.