My heart stung as I relived the intimidation and confusion of starting college. “I’m a student here—I can help you register,” I offered. Instantly, her demeanor softened, and she opened her laptop with relief. We searched for classes, rearranged her schedule, and laughed together as we talked about her apprehensions and goals for college.
Thirty minutes later, Kelbi walked away registered for her first semester at Texas A&M University, and I walked away with one of the most treasured pieces of my Aggie story. Though I was the one who helped Kelbi, our brief interaction gave me more than I could ever give her.
I started college at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as my abnormal freshman year ended, I still struggled to find my place in Aggieland. My small moment with Kelbi changed that. For nearly a year, I had desperately hoped that, just like in the movies, a football game or a student organization would help me feel like I belonged. But our chance encounter taught me that I didn’t need any of these experiences to feel at home at Texas A&M.
That day, I discovered the truth about what makes Aggieland feel like home: It’s the shared connection that happens when an Aggie supports another Aggie. After all, being a Texas A&M student is not just about calling Aggieland home; it’s about making it a home for others.