My First Semester As An English Aggie
Tiarra Drisker ‘25 shares her experience as an Aggie in the College of Liberal Arts.
By Tiarra Drisker ‘25
When I first stepped foot onto Rudder Plaza, I felt what every Aggie feels at least once: a sense of pride. I had only gotten a brief glimpse of the Texas A&M University campus before finalizing my decision to attend, but now the entire campus feels like home.
As I walked to class on my first day, I was amazed by the statues and large buildings. Not to mention, there were so many people everywhere. The first week was a lot of trial and error. I would get lost on the way to classes or forget assignments, but I met a lot of the friends that I still have now in that first week.
My classes were primarily in the College of Liberal Arts since I was an English major. All of my professors were absolutely amazing and extremely knowledgeable in their fields of study. Sara DiCaglio, for example, was my English 303 professor and she opened my eyes to what being an English major entailed. We read books such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Beloved. In her class, we explored every facet of various types of literature in a way I had not in high school. Also, our discussions were much more in depth than any high school class discussions. We discussed topics such as society’s view of female anatomy, mental illness, and racial discrimination in a way that allowed people of all backgrounds to express their opinions.
I also enjoyed my intro to film, state and local government, and multicultural education classes. I initially enrolled in the multicultural education class because it fulfilled a core credit requirement, but that class taught me so much about my identity and the identities of people around me. Taught by Shaunta Singer, the class had tough discussions about disparities in education and also in society in general. We did projects in which we had to explore other cultures by immersing ourselves. We also had to teach our fellow classmates about a certain topic using different methods to accommodate for the different types of learners. Though I do not plan on being a teacher in the future, I learned many things about the hardships of being a teacher in the modern world through my multicultural education class.
The fall semester taught me a lot about myself. I had to get out of my comfort zone to meet new people and gain fun new experiences. For example, I went to my first Aggie football game with my roommate. For context, I had never been to a football game in high school unless it was required that I go for band. The atmosphere of an Aggie game is completely different from anything I’ve ever experienced. The yell leaders were hyping up the crowd, running around, and doing push ups. The students around me kept yelling “first down” and waiving their 12th Man towels with a passion I had never seen before.
I didn’t really know what was happening within the actual football game because I was caught up in the spirit of the Aggies around me. I hooped and hollered every time the people around me did. I went along with the yells even though sometimes I had no idea what the proper words were. I remember walking back home from the game and feeling an overwhelming sense of pride for my school. I’ve been to three more Aggie football games since then and I am ecstatic to attend more in fall 2022.
After attending my first football game, I decided it might be a good idea to learn the correct words to the yells. There’s no better place to practice belting out your Aggie pride than Midnight Yell, a campus wide pep-rally style event where the student body gathers the night before Game Day at midnight to practice yells like “BTHO” and “A-G-G-I-E-S.”
My first Midnight Yell was amazing. My roommate and I approached the entrance of Kyle Field. We were just having a normal conversation when all of a sudden, Aggies began sprinting up the stairs of Kyle Field. My roommate grabbed me and we sprinted too. We finally found seats in the third deck and I gazed upon the beautiful Kyle Field as I desperately gasped for air.
As the clock counted down to midnight, the senior yell leaders had the junior yell leaders pace the field and do pushups at the center of the stadium. Then the seniors proceeded to tackle them as an informal way to kick off the football weekend fun. Next we practiced yells with thousands of our closest Aggie friends. Some of the festivities were accompanied by firing a cannon. The cannon scared me the first time it fired, but I became accustomed to its loud boom.
Then all of a sudden, the stadium lights went out and you could see people holding up the flashlights on their phones. I looked at my roommate quizzically and she whispered, “It’s mugdown. You hold up a light if you’re single so another single person can find you and kiss you.” I looked around to see if anyone was kissing, but I didn’t see anyone “mugging down.”
The lights popped back on and the band began to play The Aggie War Hymn. The person next to me grabbed my shoulder and crossed their foot in front of mine. I was very confused at first, but then we began to sing, ”Saw varsity’s horns off!” I left my first Midnight Yell with the same passion I had felt when leaving an Aggie football game. The spirit of the 12th Man is indescribable.
Texas A&M seemed daunting at first. It’s a huge campus with 70,000+ students and various traditions. I was nervous that I would not fit in with everyone else or that the university would be too big for me to handle. After meeting other students, meeting my amazing professors, and learning the traditions, Texas A&M felt like home. I now greet everyone with a “Howdy” unintentionally and look at Longhorn merch with disgust. I’ve met lifelong friends and learned so many new things already. I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time at Texas A&M will be like!