By Carson D. ’25, DVM Student
When you work as hard as a veterinary student does, you deserve to have a hobby or interest that gives you some time away from your studies. For me, that’s college football!
Ever since I was an undergrad, I’ve made it a point to go to as many football games as I can. This is now my third year in veterinary school and my third season of cheering on the Aggies at Kyle Field, and I want to share everything I’ve learned about how to survive game day as a veterinary student.
Tip No. 1: Pull Tickets Early
“Ticket pull,” or the process through which Texas A&M students get their tickets to the game, seems daunting and confusing at first, but it’s really not that bad. Ticket pull takes place Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the week leading up to a home game.
Students line up at the ticket windows facing Joe Routt Blvd, sometimes camping out days in advance to ensure they get the best seats. I don’t necessarily recommend doing that, given that veterinary students have busy schedules, but I do recommend pulling as early as you can!
As veterinary students, we are allowed to start pulling tickets at 8 a.m. on Monday. You can send one person to pull the tickets for your whole group as long as that person has their student ID and everybody’s sports passes.
If you have more than 10 people in your group, you have to line up in the “group pull” ticket window. More detailed information can be found at the 12th Man Foundation.
Tip No. 2: Plan Ahead
We have a lot on our plates as veterinary students, so it’s important to plan your weekend work and study schedules around the game if you plan to go. Budget time before Saturday to make sure you get everything done prior to the game or leave an easily manageable amount to finish up after the game and on Sunday.
Tip No. 3: Stock Up
There are several things you can bring into the game that might come in handy.
Most importantly, especially for day games, is a sealed water bottle. One sealed water bottle of any size is allowed per person. Water is very important because the temperature in the stands can get upwards of 5 degrees hotter than what the weather station reports because of the body heat generated by the 102k Aggie faithful, and the sun and humidity can easily tack on 10 degrees to the heat index. It’s important to stay hydrated in that heat!
Sunscreen is also a great item to bring if the game starts during the day. And if there’s even a chance of rain, make sure you pack a foldable poncho — Tracy sells branded ponchos in the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (VMBS) Marketplace (the school’s gift shop).
To help carry all of this, you’re allowed to bring a clear bag of up to 12” x 6” x 12” or a non-clear small bag no larger than the size of your hand into the stadium.
You should also make sure to wear comfortable shoes — Aggie students pride themselves on never sitting down during the game.
Tip No. 4: Get A 12th Man Towel
12th Man towels have been a staple of the largest student section in the nation since 1985, and for good reason. Not only are they great for cheering on the Aggies and intimidating opposing teams, but they’re also multipurpose!
On a hot day, they can shield your neck from the sun or wipe away sweat from your brow. If it’s raining, they can be used to dry your seat. They can even be used as a koozie!
12th man towels can be bought from pretty much any Aggie spirit store around town. I’ve bought several from the campus bookstore in the Memorial Student Center (MSC) on my way into games after forgetting mine at home. They can sometimes be purchased inside the stadium from merchandise kiosks.
Tip No. 5: Park In Lot 36
Because it’s the biggest veterinary student parking lot and just steps away from the Small Animal Teaching Hospital, chances are you already know where Lot 36 is and how to get there. To get in on game day, bring a printout or screenshot of your valid student parking permit barcode (found after logging into your account at transport.tamu.edu) and you can park for free.
There’s plenty of green space for tailgating (if you get there early enough to claim it), and you can take the free Agronomy game day bus from the Lot 36 bus stop straight to the MSC, a block away from Kyle Field. If you choose not to take the bus, it’s about a 10–15-minute walk to the stadium.
About two hours before kickoff, you can even watch the Parsons Mounted Cavalry march down Agronomy Road! I recommend taking the bus to the MSC at least an hour before kickoff to allow time for enjoying the pre-game pageantry that takes place in Aggie Park and outside the stadium.
Tip No. 6: Line Up Early
Finally, I recommend lining up at your assigned stadium entrance (shown on your ticket) around 30 minutes before kickoff. The crowds can be daunting, and sometimes the entrance lines can get pretty backed up, especially early in the season.
Plan to be in your seat about 15 minutes before kickoff so you can catch the flyover and stadium entrance, which has been revamped this season! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Miss Rev, the Queen of Aggieland, as she leads her team out onto the field!
With all these tips, you should have no problem having a fun and smooth game day experience cheering the Aggies to victory.