Texas A&M University: Then & Now
Start writing a post
Student Life

Texas A&M University: Then & Now

Perspective on what Aggieland was like in 1981 vs. 2016.

Texas A&M University: Then & Now

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.

8. Driving

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.

9. Northgate

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.

12. Tuition

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.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments