September 2023

5 reasons to go to an A&M football game as a grad student teaser image

5 reasons to go to an A&M football game as a grad student

By Serina DeSalvio

Even if you’re not a football fan, even if you’re not a “sportsperson”, if you just started your graduate school experience in Aggieland, this blog post is for you!

1. You can learn a lot about Aggieland

Going to the football games is an excellent way to figure out what all these crazy traditions are about! You get to hear the songs and chants, which are just fun, loud stories about how the Aggies became who they are. You get to participate, even if you don’t know all the words. And above all else- you get to feel the spirit that the Aggies have (but more on that later).

Coming into graduate school here, it was hard to watch a group of people so connected by the identity “Aggie” without really feeling like I understood what that was- much less how to be one. Without a grad-school equivalent for “fish camp”, it can be hard to juggle not only the academic imposter syndrome of grad school, but also the social imposter syndrome of being an Aggie!

Going to the football games during my first year gave me a place to start with what being an Aggie meant, where the traditions came from, and which ones I could participate in as a graduate student.

2. It's really good people-watching

This is especially true for non-Texans. If nothing else, it’ll give you some great stories to tell your friends and family back home about the way that Texans love their football- going to Kyle Field will give you the FULL experience! You’ll see boots, belts, jeans, glitter, towels, signs, and a whole lot of hootin’ and hollerin’. Even if you’re not a football person, you can’t tell me that doesn’t sound like a good time- even just once!

3. We win and it feels good

I’m an alum of a terrible university for sports (we are great at lots of other things- football was not one of them during my undergraduate career!), so while I supported my teams by going to the games, I never had high expectations that we would win.

Now that you know the context- I had no idea how much more fun it is to go to a game, cheer your heart out for a team for a few hours, and then ACTUALLY see them win at the end! The energy in a stadium when your team has just won and you’re surrounded by fellow fans is hard to describe or replicate, so I would definitely recommend going and feeling it for yourself!

4. You will feel more at home here

In a similar light to my first point- going to a game is like a right-of-passage as an Aggie, even the undergrads who aren’t particularly sporty go to games as an act of being part of the community. Going to the football games can be hot, and long, and crowded- but the feeling of belonging and being a part of something bigger than yourself outweighs so many of those little inconveniences, in my opinion.

5. You need to get out, start prioritizing fun with your work now!

Maybe by now I haven’t convinced you to spend your Saturday at a football game- and that’s fine, but if that’s the case what I want you to take away from this quick read instead is this: prioritize fun while you are in graduate school. It’s easier said than done- grad school is hard, and sometimes long, but it doesn’t have to be exclusively suffering. The more you can prioritize fun the way you prioritize your studies, the more likely you are to enjoy your work and make it through your program.

So get out there, have some fun, and Gig ‘Em!!

About the Author

image of author Serina DeSalvio

Serina DeSalvio

Originally from Dallas, TX, Serina is a doctorate candidate at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in the Interdisciplinary Genetics and Genomics Graduate Program. Her current research specializes in genetics, cytogenetics, botany, chromosome structure and dynamics, science communication, plant breeding, and biology. She enjoys painting, playing guitar, playing sand volleyball, ice skating, and taking care of her houseplants.

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