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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: ‘Sit down, be humble’


Students and counselors at Fish Camp. Months of preparation takes place before freshmen Aggies encounter their first A&M tradition.

As upperclassmen, the bane of our existence is having “that freshman” sit next to you. We all know that freshman. The “technically I’m a junior by hours” freshman. The “I can say Whoop” freshman. The pick-me freshman that can’t own their proper ranking.

If this is you, let me tell you a little secret. Nothing makes upperclassmen want to humble you more than hearing you talk about your dual-credit hours. News flash: If this is your first year in college, baby, you’re a freshman. Now, I know you were just the top dogs in high school and it’s hard for you to accept this, but you have to own that you’re bottom of the pile in college.

Now, not all upperclassmen are kind enough to tell you this beforehand, so listen close and you can avoid being their next meal.

The quickest way to recruit upperclassmen allies is to own that you are a freshman. You want us on your team, rooting for your success and looking out for you when you fail. College is difficult and it doesn’t hurt to have people looking out for you who know what it’s like.

So my question is: Why are you so keen to deny your ranking? Sure, the third deck sucks at football games and finding the bars that will let you in with a vertical ID is a hassle, but we’ve all been there. You should be proud to be a freshman. You made it into a very difficult and prestigious university. You should be screaming “AAAAAA” at the top of your lungs with pride.

All my freshmen friends know that I am their designated older sister. Many upperclassmen do the best they can to ensure their freshmen feel the same. But we can’t help you if you don’t own it.

Not only will we refuse to help you, but we won’t respect you. All Aggie traditions, such as getting that Aggie bling and saying “Whoop” are something you earn. And I’m sorry, but you can’t earn those things in one year. Your ring and “Whoop” is something that comes with time, dedication and life experience. Is your ring going to mean as much if you have only experienced two semesters at A&M? Is finally saying “Whoop” going to be as memorable if you don’t work and, more importantly, wait for it?

My pull-out was one of the most memorable moments in my A&M career because I worked hard for it. I waited patiently for it. The tremendous pride I felt for myself was something that can’t be put into words, and I feel bad for any Ags who don’t get that kind of joy when they hit those milestones.

One misconception about college is that once your four years are up, your degree is the only thing you walk away with. Wrong. The second most important currency of college is your life experience. You go to college to learn how to survive your chosen profession, yes, but also how to work with others, how to stretch your social and emotional bandwidth and how to accept the social hierarchy. You can always strive to rise in those ranks, but it takes time, dedication and hard work.

Dual credit in high school may count towards your degree, but it really isn’t anything like a college course. You weren’t living by yourself while completing it. You weren’t trying to balance your messy breakup, horrific chemistry class and nightmarish roommates while completing it. You weren’t living off of ramen and $5 while completing it. Your parents were housing you, feeding you and comforting you. So, you don’t really earn the same life experiences.

Some upperclassmen can forget what being a freshman is like and are too harsh on the freshman who don’t know their place, but if you can own it, you will have so many older siblings ready to go to bat for you. Imagine that intensity directed towards your cause and not against it.

So, listen to your older sister and Kendrick Lamar: sit down, be humble.

Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism junior and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Maddie McMurrough, Opinion Writer
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maddie has been writing for the Battalion since March 2023.
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