College Station, Texas - The beginning of summer marks many things, but one particular event happens in College Station that brings great change every year. I am referring to the New Student Conference at Texas A&M University. Every summer, week after week, an influx of recently graduated high school seniors from all over the country attends this conference marking their induction into the culture that is Aggieland.
This is an exciting time for these students because it is their first look into college as they get a glimpse into how they will be spending the next four or more years of their life. The time spent at this conference, depending on how much you wish to partake in, can span a total of three days. Texas A&M wastes no time teaching their new students every inch of Aggie tradition but in order to learn all there is to know, you must spend a few boring hours sitting in on informational sessions. In order to narrow down the highlights of the new student conference, let’s look at some of the things I remember from my first trip to Texas A&M.
1. The Tour: This portion of your trip to A&M is perhaps the most exciting of all. The university is massive and has a lot to offer when it comes to sightseeing. Students will be immersed into the great history of A&M on this walk. The statue of Lawrence Sullivan Ross will be a key stop and comes in handy down the road when you are looking for some good luck on a test. All you need is a penny. Next you will see things like Military Walk as you learn about the rich military background A&M has to offer. For those planning on joining the corp of cadets, it will be important to listen when it comes to all the military tradition at A&M. The tour usually leads to the academic building soon after where perhaps the oldest piece of history on campus is held. Inside is a replica of the Liberty Bell, given to the university soon after World War II. There is quite a bit more history to see on campus but I don’t want to spoil all of it.
2. Student ID: Getting your student ID may not seem like a big deal but it is actually the first real piece of A&M that a student receives. Any new student will soon find out that your ID is your life at Texas A&M because you use it for just about anything. From buying food to getting into football games, your student ID should be treated like gold. Also make sure you take a good picture because you and everyone else will be looking at that for your entire college career.
3. Learning the yells: If you didn’t know before you got to campus, A&M does not have cheerleaders. Instead we have yell leaders at every football game. This is just one of many unique A&M traditions that set us apart from any other school. At some point during new student conference, you will be taught the freshman yell. Learning your first yell at A&M can be compared to a baby learning their first word. Make sure you practice the yell several times because you will be required to participate in the insanity that is A&M football. Oh and one more thing, never whoop, because you will most likely get yelled at by upper classroom. Whooping comes with age at A&M so be patient, you will get there.
4. Howdy: No I am not talking about the greeting. Howdy is the name of the student database at Texas A&M. Howdy will become your life line as a student has everything from email to classwork through Howdy’s server. At new student conference, fellow Aggies will make sure every new student learns the ins and outs of Howdy and will have students register for their first classes. This will seem like a stressful time trying to register but hopefully you will get used to it. Much more will be revealed to students so just hang in there.
I wish all you incoming freshman the best and hopefully the new student conference will be as fun for you as it was for me. If you’re lucky you might have a Reveille sighting!