When you live in Texas, two things matter: football and food. Coupled with that, only two college campuses are on the cusp of every Texan's tongue: Texas A&M and the University of Texas.
There are others, however: SMU, Baylor, Texas State, University of Houston, Texas Tech... the list goes on.
Seriously, though, who doesn't love an Aggie? Here are 10 things that a Texas A&M Aggie will forever cherish:
1. Your classmates will never lie, cheat or steal.
An Aggie's morality code is very stringent and ethical. This proverb is instilled into each entering freshman to ensure Aggies can holistically trust one another.
I'll admit that as the child of two Aggie alums, I rebelled when choosing my school. Both of my parents were very influential at Texas A&M, which left extremely big shoes to fill. That and other reasons led me to choose a different educational route and I ended up going to a private school on the east coast.
Though I was determined to leave Texas and find my own way, my parents convinced me to transfer after two years and I have to admit, it was a great decision. I am thankful for my experiences at both universities, but I'd be more apt to leave my laptop unattended at A&M.
2. "Sawing varsity's horns off."
The University of Texas used to be A&M's primary rival to the extent that the Aggies adopted an ode to UT with the phrase "sawing varsity's horns off."
Another derogatory term Aggies use in reference to the Longhorns is to call the school “TU,” rather than “UT.” Ha, so disrespectful. But, since A&M moved to the Southeastern Conference, Aggies no longer have such contempt for the Longhorns, who remain in the Big 12.
3. Getting Your Aggie Ring
Nothing motivates an Aggie more than the honor of receiving a class ring. The strong sense of tradition that Texas A&M instills in its students provides the foundation for strong Aggie loyalty.
The Aggie network is a strong presence, not only in Texas, but also throughout the world. To yield influence, sometimes all it takes is to identify the ring on another's hand. In fact, there is a ceremony called “ring dunk” that includes putting one's ring in a pitcher of beer and chugging it.
4. The Memorial Student Center
The Memorial Student Center, or the MSC, is one of the longest-standing traditions at Texas A&M. Initially constructed in 1951, the MSC serves as a memorial to all fallen Aggie war veterans.
It's not just any memorial; it's a sacred tradition that Aggies hold very dear to their hearts. In addition to serving as a memorial, the MSC is the local hangout on campus.
5. Partying At Northgate
I grew up hearing about the shenanigans of Northgate, but hearing the stories is nothing like experiencing them. Filled with town's best clubs and bars, Northgate is the coolest place to hang out if you’re looking to drink and party.
6. The 12th Man
As another Texas Aggie tradition, the 12th man means a lot on campus. It originates from a brave gesture of a former Aggie football player and encompasses the spirit of readiness to serve, desire to support and overall enthusiasm.
It lingers throughout the stadium, amongst the crowd and radiates its influence throughout the entire College Station football game experience. There are even school scholarships in its name.
7. The Core
The Core is a military-based organization that Aggies hold very dear. Another integral part of Aggie tradition, Core members exemplify honor, integrity, service and discipline.
Members will parade around in their uniforms to class, practice and many other occasions. They command a high level of respect also serve as the campus band that performs at every halftime show for every football game and select basketball games.
8. The Tap
Few partying patrons stray away from Northgate, but if there's a party at The Tap, it will absolutely be packed. The cheap drinks, laid-back atmosphere and spacious dance floor make the recipe for the absolute perfect drunken night.
9. Midnight Yell
What Aggie doesn't love a good midnight yell? Texas A&M doesn't believe in cheerleaders — at least not in a traditional sense. Instead, Aggies have an all-male team of “yell leaders.”
Basically, students get together the night before a football game at midnight and have a pep rally as another way to showcase the A&M unity and pride.
10. Reveille, the dog
Reveille is the school's official mascot and looks like Lassie. The purebred Rough Collie selected to be Reveille actually serves as mascot for the full term of her life (all to-date have been female), and if she so happens to walk into your class, class ends immediately and all students are dismissed. Score.
With so many traditions at Texas A&M, it's hard to narrow the list down to 10 so feel free to add your own to the list. However, one thing is for sure: Once an Aggie, always an Aggie.
Photo credit: Getty