Texas A&M University is best known for its rich history and lasting traditions. Not a lot has changed since the beginning, but I was curious to find out what has.
Both of my parents graduated from A&M back in the eighties; needless to say the brainwashing began the moment I was born. Silver Taps, Muster, Bonfire, Howdy, the 12th Man, and the Aggie Spirit in general, are deeply rooted in every Aggie. I wanted to go beyond the traditions, so I asked my parents all about what the town, campus, and student life was like back then.
1. The Food
2016: Cane's, Layne's, Panda, Fuego, Chipotle, Gumby's, Torchy's; I could go on for a while. You name it, C-Stat has it. You can even request it on Favor and get it delivered to you.
1981: They had a Taco Bell. Like one. Apparently, it was the busiest in the country at the time. They also had Pepe's, Church's, Chicken Oil, Grapevine, and a barbecue place where Napa Flats is now.
2. The Memorial Student Center
2016: The heart of campus, where you can grab food, watch TV, sleep or even visit an art gallery. It also is and always has been dedicated to any Aggies who have died serving their country past, present and future.
1981: The MSC was referred to as "the c" or the living room of campus. Much like today, it was the go-to place to hang out, study or sleep. The entire building used to look like the flag room does now, and throughout all the renovations, it's the only room that has remained the same. Oh, they also had a bowling alley downstairs so that's cool.
3. The Battalion
2016: Our student-run school newspaper that can be picked up at many different places around campus. Aka the Batt.
1981: They brought the paper to basketball games, and pretended to read while the opposing team was announced. When it was time for the Aggies, they threw them in the air and celebrated. How great is that? Can we bring that back?
4. Applying for Class
2016: We all know the struggles of Howdy, which works most of the time. Except when we actually need it to. Oh, and getting assigned to the 5:15 a.m. registration times is always fun.
1981: They had to go to Rudder Tower, in person, and stand in line to sign up for classes on paper. I would take Howdy crashing over having to do that any day.
5. Women on Campus
2016: Texas A&M now has a ratio very close to 50 percent male and female students. We have plenty of opportunities and resources available on campus.
1981: There used to be only one girl to about four guys. Women were allowed to be in the corps of cadets, but not the FTA Band.
6. Ring Day
2016: Ring Day is a celebration, and one of the happiest days for those getting their Aggie ring. Everyone gets dressed up, gathers their family and friends, and heads to the Association of Former Students for a ceremony and tons of pictures. Ring Dunks follow soon after, where we toss it in a pitcher of beer and chug.
1981: While it was still a huge deal to get your Aggie ring, my parents said they just picked it up from the library, and it wasn't an event like it is now. But, they definitely still dunked it in beer.
7. Greek Life
2016: Around 12 percent of students go Greek, and we have 13 national sororities and 19 fraternities. Everyone is extremely involved on campus and does a lot to help the community. I am a member of a sorority, so I'm biased when I say they're pretty cool.
1981: Greek life was not recognized by the university nor allowed to meet anywhere on campus. There were only eight sororities and the pledge class sizes were a third of the size they are now.
2016: We have six on campus garages and countless lots. As many as 50,000 people trying to get to class makes traffic a nightmare. Between uber, carpool, and pledge rides, we never have to worry about being able to find a ride.
1981: Obviously, fewer people had cars. There were no parking garages on campus and hardly any lots.
2016: Ohhhh NG. Our local bar district. If you've ever been, this is self-explanatory.
1981: Dixie Chicken, Dudley's Draw, the Texas Aggie bookstore and Farmer's Market restaurant were the places to be. It used to be so crowded at the Chicken that you couldn't even drive down University. Also, the drinking age was 18, so take from that what you will.
10. Living Situation
2016: I personally lived at the Callaway House, which my mom liked to call and "all-inclusive resort". We have such a wide variety of places to live, from on-campus to off.
1981: A&M didn't have any co-ed dorms. There was, however, "married student housing" and only students that were legally married were allowed to live there. The town wasn't nearly as built up.
11. Srat and Frat Row
2016: Twelve of our 13 sororities and one frat have houses on sorority row. A few frats have houses near campus, but many are randomly spread around the area and in the surrounding woods.
1981: Chi O, Kappa, Zeta, Theta, Adpi and Alpha Phi were the only sororities with houses. And the Delta Zeta house (mine and my mom's sorority) was being built and finished in '82. Fraternity houses were not allowed within College Station because of a city ordinance. They were either in Bryan or outside of the city limits.
2016: Our tuition per semester varies, but is around $3,000 to $4,000. The addition prices we have to pay for textbooks just makes me want to cry.
1981: Tuition was $4 per credit hour, and $40 per hour for out of state students. I'm fine, not jealous or anything.
I may or may not have made this list 12 things in honor of the 12th Man. Gig Em.