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

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

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
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Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • May 23, 2024

A warm, summer evening bestowed Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday night when the No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies faced the No. 15 Mississippi State Bulldogs...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

‘This ring is for you’

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Allison Bradshaw

A poster with personal notes and photos served as a surprise high school graduation gift. 

Today I graduate. Not with a diploma, but with a Texas A&M Class of 2016 Ring. Three semesters remain, but the only verification anyone asks for when they hear you are an Aggie will finally rest on my finger at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

More important than the ring, however, will be the people who present it to me. My mom and dad, sisters and brother have all taken the day off from work. They will drive with my aunt from San Antonio Friday morning, and they’ll finally get to see how I spend the better half of the year. Maybe they’ll even pick up TheBattalion.

I grew up in a family perfect because of its drawbacks. Day trips to the beach or to the river saw all six of us crammed into a single car; Sundays were spent sweating through church before large family lunches at my grandma’s house. My parent’s generation worked hard for what they had, and my generation was pulled struggling into this work ethic. Weeknights were spent in front of textbooks, on a sports field or at a piano bench. Weekends were filled with home repair jobs or beneath the hood of a car.

This adolescence of activity was dictated by a constant mantra: “You will go to college, you will get an advanced degree and you will do what is necessary to make it all happen.” Never mind the uncertain finances and the possibility of debt. It was an unquestionable mandate. Academics and discipline were instilled in me from a young age, but it wasn’t until college that I realized why.

I am the completion of my family’s American Dream. My great-grandparents fled north to escape the Mexican Civil War, and created a new home in South Texas. My grandma tells me stories of how she took care of her siblings and helped her parents keep the family afloat in their new country; she dropped out of grade school and never learned how to read. She had six children who scattered across San Antonio to become teachers, join the military and start families on their own.

One of her sons joined the Marine Corps straight out of high school. He traveled the world and wooed a San Antonio girl with letters and weekend visits. They married and worked full time, sometimes at multiple jobs, to provide their four children with every opportunity possible.

One of those children looked up at the night sky one evening, and wondered what could possibly be there. His parents didn’t have the answer, but they told him if he worked hard, one day he might go there and find out.

A decade or so later, I am on my way. It amazes me to think that my grandmother never had the chance to read, yet I now study engineering at one of the best universities in the world. The ring I will wear is not just mine. I am only the current chapter in my family’s American story, and I am incredibly blessed that so many people worked hard before me to make it possible. No success is possible without sacrifice, and no sacrifice is worth it without family.
Thank you Mom, Dad, Rebecca, Sarah and Michael. I love you. This ring is for you.

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