When I received an invitation to travel to Texas A & M University to speak to faculty and students, I knew that I wanted to share this experience with my favorite blonde cowgirl. While the thought of my girls leaving home for college lodges my heart in the back of my throat, I want them to be aware of the world outside of our farm. My favorite farmer and I also want them to be thinking of their life journey after high school so that their formative years hold a sense of long term purpose.
Part of my job as a “mom” is exposing my daughters to environments where they will have the ability to remain true to themselves and thrive. My gut told me that Megan should experience Aggieland. The tradition, the dedication to core values, and the engaged Animal Science department fit both her compassionate personality as well as her love of animals.
As our two days in College Station passed by, I could see my blonde cowgirl gain confidence and bloom under the compassion and positive energy that permeates the campus. She was very nervous going into the trip. However, as each person that we met treated her as someone with something valuable to share — her smile got bigger and her eyes filled with excited wonder toward the “Aggie family”.
As a mom, it was a beautiful transformation to watch. Megan loves “home” and the “farm”, and is hesitant to travel outside of that life. It was truly a gift for her to be surrounded by positive mentors of various ages that simply were interested in sharing with her.
From the moment that Emily (a senior Ruminant Nutrition major and President of the Saddle and Sirloin Club) picked us up at the airport, we felt welcome and were surrounded by people who took the time to care. I could not have asked for a better experience for her first “college visit”, and am indebted to all of those loyal Aggies with whom we interacted.
A couple of days after we got home, I asked my blonde cowgirl what her favorite memories were. The people, as well as the research center and “hands on” learning, hit the top of her list. Mine was the spirit of giving that I witnessed on the campus. My journey in the cattle industry as taken me all across the country and, until this trip, I do not think that I have ever seen a place where What can I do to help you? consistently superseded What can you do for me?
The inherent Aggie desire to serve others left a warmth in my heart and a ray of hope for the future.
As Megan’s mom, I was inspired by the universal compassion found both with students and faculty. At our house, we call Megan our “sunshine”. Her kind personality and empathetic nature make her a blessing to all those she meets. I saw an environment at A & M where I could not help but think that my blonde cowgirl would thrive.
She has several more years before she makes a college choice, but I think that it’s safe to say that we both “drank the Aggie kool aid” in College Station, Texas :)