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From Longhorn Country to Aggieland

In two short weeks, I will have completed half of my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine curriculum and will be able to call myself a "3VM," or a third year veterinary student.  It is hard to believe all that has occurred in the last two years. We began by learning the very basics of veterinary medicine and have continued to advance our knowledge and skills as we begin to feel more competent to actually handle live animals, as opposed to the stuffed dogs we practice with in anesthesia lab.  We recently reached another milestone during a special ceremony when the Class of 2015 received our white coats, symbolizing the transition from the classroom to the clinics, where we will begin spending time during our third year. Family and friends gathered to celebrate our class and our achievements thus far, while looking forward to what is to come.

While this transition into the clinics is certainly monumental, I have enjoyed reflecting back on the transition I have made since beginning my journey at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine.  Having graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and being a diehard Longhorn, I was unsure of how it would feel to be in a sea of maroon in Aggieland.  Although I still refuse to sing the Texas A&M fight song that is almost entirely about how much they dislike my alma mater, I have been pleasantly surprised by the camaraderie and kindness demonstrated on this campus.  However, looking back, it should not come as much of a shock.  As an undergraduate student at UT (not T.U.), I made the trip to College Station for a sporting event and found it necessary for my friends and me to hold the "Hook 'em Horns" gesture out of the window while we passed Northgate.  Rather than getting yelled at and inciting a reaction, which quite frankly we had hoped to do, we simply got laughs and friendly waves.  During my first year in veterinary school, I insisted upon carrying a backpack with a burnt orange longhorn on it, and other than a confused look by an undergraduate student in the Medical Sciences Library from time to time, no one ever said anything about my bold gesture.  Through all of my attempts to challenge the Aggies and display my pride as a Longhorn, I have received nothing but kindness and the occasional "You know, you're an Aggie now, too" comment. As my second year in Aggieland comes to a close, I must admit that I have begun to bleed a mix of burnt orange and maroon.  Being surrounded by students and professors who are not only proud of their university but also welcoming to "outsiders" who find themselves here, it is quite easy to feel like a member of the Aggie family and to begin to understand the bond that is shared among them.  While I may never say "Howdy" and the burnt orange section of my closet is not going anywhere, I am more proud than ever to be a member of the Aggie Class of 2015.