Campus News

Straight From Campus: Freshman Flashbacks

We asked students, “What’s a memorable moment from your freshman year?”

    Illustration by Joel Kimmel
  • May. 14, 2024
    4 min read

Fightin’ Aggie Snowball Fight
Kaitlyn Laird ’24, Business Honors and Finance

I was so nervous and uncertain about what college would be like, but Texas A&M exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations. It was fun living on campus, and I still remember walking back to Hullabaloo Hall after football games and realizing I was in college and how lucky I was to be an Aggie. Then that February, we had a rare snowstorm, and classes were canceled for a few days. Everyone met at Simpson Drill Field, and we had the most amazing snowball fight. I’m pretty sure there were close to 2,000 people there!

Worldwide Traditions
Noah Vandenhouten ’24, Global Arts, Planning, Design and Construction

As a freshman, I went on a deployment overseas with the U.S. Army. I learned about Aggie Muster through our division commander, Maj. Gen. Patrick Hamilton ’85, and he encouraged all Aggies to attend. The Muster was hosted at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait where I spent the rest of my deployment. That Muster showed me how much the university cared about its students and veterans and made me realize that Texas A&M was where I was meant to be.

Meeting My Future Sisters
Alysa Leff ’23, University Studies

I was not the typical incoming Aggie. I was born into a Longhorn household and transferred into the Aggie family during the pandemic, which required me to take classes remotely from Austin. The first semester was hard, but everything changed when I joined my sorority, Alpha Epsilon Phi.

I still remember the first time I met all my future sisters over Zoom. Despite being so physically far from Aggieland, they welcomed me into the community with open arms and made an overwhelming effort to give me an amazing experience until I could join them in person. They taught me about Aggie traditions, met with me for Zoom hangouts and study sessions, and instilled the Aggie Spirit in me.

Even though we were at least 100 miles apart, we grew really close as sisters. Through their kindness and understanding, I found my home away from home.

Milkshakes With a View
Dominique Rodriguez ’24, Women’s and Gender Studies

My friends and I had nothing to do on Halloween night, but since we were hungry and the MSC was just a short walk from our dorm, our little group of freshmen scuttled over in our pajamas. After grabbing food at Rev’s Grill, we ate outside.

Little did we know, we had a good view of the projector that showed the football game that night, and being right next to Kyle Field, we could hear everything. The projector had a slight delay, so there were moments when we’d hear extreme screams from Kyle Field and would glue our eyes to the screen so we could see our touchdown. We had the unique experience of watching the game on TV while still feeling the insane amount of energy radiating out of the stadium.

That night, we laughed and screamed so hard we almost choked on our milkshakes. We didn’t know that such a seemingly small moment would become a memory we would never forget.

Ringing in a New Family
Kaitlin Wilson ’24, Management

My brother was a junior during my freshman year, and in November 2020, he got his Aggie Ring. Both my parents are Aggies, so I’ve seen Aggie Rings my whole life, but I hadn’t dreamed about getting one until I was at my brother’s ring ceremony. My dad’s eyes were filled with pride, and he had a huge smile on his face when he gave my brother his ring. When my parents and brother took pictures with their rings, I realized they symbolized how my family was tied together through the lessons we’ve learned at Texas A&M. That day lit a fire in me to want to be part of that experience and showed me I made the right choice in becoming an Aggie.

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