Getting Involved On Campus As An Undergrad

By Will ’26, B.S. in Animal Science

Coming to Texas A&M, I was told the traditions and culture here were unmatched and that the wide variety of organizations, with over a thousand to choose from, provided a home for everyone and anyone.

As a senior in high school, my Aggie dad encouraged me to attend Fish Camp; I was reluctant, but I conceded. As soon as I got to Reed Arena and saw the counselors covered in temporary tattoos, hair dye, and full of energy, I realized I was in the right place.

My Freshman Year

Fish Camp introduced me to life at Texas A&M, the traditions, the culture, and it also provided me with advice on how to succeed in school and how to get involved. To top it all off, my camp also won the Yell-Off.

A few weeks after Fish Camp, I moved into my dorm. I was living in the University Honors Living Learning Community in Lechner Hall. Even the dorms had a large sense of community. I remember having trivia nights, Layne’s vs. Cane’s chicken taste tests, and scavenger hunts around campus. It was incredibly easy to meet new people, and everyone seemed to walk around with open arms.

Then, the Freshman Leadership Organizations (FLOs) began to recruit. I met with staff members of the 20-plus FLOs, went to a couple informational meetings, and then applied for Freshman Leaders Advancing in Service and Honor (FLASH), the FLO I seemed to get along with the most. During my interview for FLASH, I ended up singing “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston to them. A week later, I checked my email, and I was accepted!

Throughout my freshman year, I spent a lot of my free time with my new FLASH friends. FLASH puts on all kinds of events — service, professional, and social — and I competed on over 20 intramural teams. We had retreats, formals, LinkedIn workshops, professional headshots taken, and several volunteer opportunities.

At the same time, I became involved in Pre-Vet Society. Texas A&M offers tons of professional organizations, and being pre-vet, this seemed like the most fitting one! The meetings and seminars every week provided me with volunteer and experience opportunities, as well as input and lectures from veterinarians with different kinds of work, from avian and exotic; one speaker even got to work with the Baylor Bears!

At the beginning of second semester, applications for Fish Camp counselors opened. Though I was reluctant to apply, I did and was accepted! On “Rev Night,” or reveal night, they sit us down next to all of the other counselors in our camp, and our colors, sessions, and namesakes (the individual who is, essentially, sponsoring our camp) are revealed.

Over the next several weeks, I spent time getting to know the other counselors through lunch dates, hangouts, and even study nights! Through the summer, our camp had two road-trips, two work weekends, and then camp! I ended up winning the Yell-Off again! The feeling of winning alongside some of my new best friends was one of the most incredible things I have ever experienced. I’m definitely going to go for round three once applications open this year!

My Sophomore Year

Going into sophomore year, I knew I wanted to stay involved. I applied to be a staff member for FLASH and was chosen to be a mentor for the Community Outreach committee, which handles service opportunities with external organizations.

As a staff member, I now have the opportunity to provide the freshmen with the same experience I was granted. It’s an incredible feeling to know that I’m not only making a difference in the lives of others, but I am also giving back to the community that I get to call home for the next few years.

I’m also a member of the university’s Animal Welfare Judging Team. For this year’s competition, we are flying to Wisconsin to judge farmed bison, non-caged laying hens, and zoo tortoises! The international competition is hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association, and it provides competitors not only a chance to develop their knowledge of welfare and public speaking skills but also to meet professionals in the same industries we are interested in. 

Texas A&M has a place for everyone, regardless of your background. The organizations available provide excellent opportunities for students to meet others and develop in all aspects. It’s incredibly easy to work alongside an organization to fit your schedule, your classes, and your other priorities. No matter what you’re interested in, there is a place for you. My involvements have shaped my experience in college, and it has definitely assured me that I made the right choice in coming to Texas A&M.