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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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‘It’s been a long time coming’

Life+%26amp%3B+Arts+editor+Anna+Deardorff+received+her+Aggie+Ring+at+the+Clayton+W.+Williams%2C+Jr.+Alumni+Center+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+29+at+9%3A30+a.m.
Photo courtesy of Anna Deardorff

Life & Arts editor Anna Deardorff received her Aggie Ring at the Clayton W. Williams, Jr. Alumni Center on Friday, Sept. 29 at 9:30 a.m.

I grew up in a house divided. My mom was born and bred in Austin, so becoming a Longhorn was inevitable for her. My dad is from Kansas but graduated with his master’s in architecture from Texas A&M in 1980.

While you might assume my childhood was filled with violent horns down gestures or arguments over whose football team was better, it was quite the opposite. My parents somehow put their differences aside for the greater good: raising a family.

The maroon blood in my dad’s veins gave up hope of continuing the Aggie tradition with my older brothers. They’re Colorado boys through and through, so A&M was not on their radar. Fortunately for my dad, Steve, his two younger daughters would be much easier to sway.

My older sister Lily, Class of 2022, would be the first in the family to continue my dad’s legacy. It was a joyous day in the Deardorff family when she moved into her campus dorm. Even my Longhorn mother had a smile on her face — I could sense her allegiance changing.

I didn’t realize how badly I wanted to be an Aggie until the moment Lily was. As the youngest in my family, I live off copying my older sister like she lives off stealing the clothes in my closet. I decided I would do whatever it takes to have an A&M degree in my hands by 2024, and I will, God willing (thanks Blinn).

A perk of being the baby in the family means I often get a sneak peek of certain life events like Aggie Ring Day. Despite my dad’s love for the school, he never got around to ordering his own Aggie Ring. So in April of 2021, Lily was the first in the family to get her gold bling. We had all heard the phrase ‘Aggie network’ before, but would soon see firsthand experience of it.

As avid roadtrippers, my family noticed the second we stepped foot out of College Station, it was like Lily had a spotlight on her with a shirt that read, ‘I’m an Aggie.’ People literally stopped her in her tracks (we hike a lot) after catching a glimpse of her ring to ask her about A&M.

My dad is an introvert in all conversations except those involving his beloved university. He lit up with pride the second a stranger approached us, and he couldn’t wait to tell them I was an Aggie, too. Being the detectives we are, my family noticed this change in him, so Lily and I asked, “Hey Dad, why didn’t you ever get an Aggie Ring?”

As any good father would, he grumbled about it being expensive and not a big deal when he was at A&M. We gave him a pass, but struck a deal: The day I order my Aggie Ring, so will he.

After many phone calls discussing what time slot we should pick and double-checking that he actually ordered it, our time has come. I’m looking forward to sharing this special moment with him and seeing my mother in one of her ‘Aggie Mom’ shirts. Her closet hasn’t seen burnt orange for years, so I consider her fully converted.

Lily, thank you for picking a good school for me to follow you to and for showing me the ropes along the way.

Jack, my fiancé, thank you for giving me my first ring. Let me know when you’re free for a stroll under The Century Tree.

Mom, thank you for signing up for Life & Arts newsletters and getting mad when I don’t send you my latest articles. I’ll do better.

Dad, thank you for saying yes to this expensive piece of jewelry and sharing this memory with me forever. I’m not sure if we’ve ever twinned before, but I can’t wait to tomorrow.
Anna Deardorff is a communication senior and life & arts editor for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Anna Deardorff
Anna Deardorff, Special Sections Editor
Anna is a communication senior from Frisco, minoring in journalism. Anna is the Special Sections Editor of Maroon Life Magazine for spring of 2024.
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