We are starting a new segment called Spotlight Sundays! Each Sunday until T-Camp 2017 we will post a former camper’s story about how Aggie Transition Camps helped to successfully transition them into the Aggie family!
Sunday July 23, 2017: Ryan Mullen
Class of 2015
I grew up knowing I was going to be an Aggie thanks to my uncle, Gerry Mullen '91. After he passed away, my desire to be an Aggie and get my Aggie Ring only enhanced. I spent 2 years at a community college before getting my acceptance into Texas A&M.
Coming in to A&M, I knew a lot about the University already. T-Camp reinforced the Aggie Spirit and Aggie Family and showed how the Core Values are actually a real thing. T-Camp gave me a pathway to meet and gain some of the best friends, a good portion of whom are in my wedding. It gave me the ability to feel like I belonged, and it made me love Aggieland and Texas A&M more than I ever thought I could.
Sunday July 16, 2017: Danielle Vaden Anderson
Danielle Vaden Anderson
Class of 2017
First Generation College Student
I have always wanted to be an Aggie since I was 7. I wanted to become a veterinarian. When the time came around to apply for colleges, I had an offer for soccer somewhere else and decided, why not pursue my favorite sport. Turned out, I couldn't afford it, so I took the semester off and reapplied for A&M. When I got the acceptance letter, I was absolutely elated to know I was following my lifelong dream. I've been here for 4 years and I couldn't imagine going to a different university.
I come from a town that has one stoplight and a single grocery store. Coming to A&M was a culture shock and I knew absolutely nobody. When I got the email, and the call, and the flyer to attend Howdy Camp, I couldn't pass it up. I wanted to be as involved in the university as I could. I was on crutches when I attended Howdy Camp and the staff and counselors all took me in under their wings. ATC was my first impression of how incredible the Aggie family was. I met people that were in my wedding, my lifelong best friends, and my Aggie family. Without ATC, I don't think I would've had near the experience here at A&M than I have.
Sunday July 9, 2017: Jensen Klodnicki
Class of 2019
First Generation Aggie
I had recently taken two years off of school to re-enter the academic field at 21 years old as a true freshman. It was daunting. I chose TAMU for the sole purpose of being close to family. No one in my family had gone here before me and I did not live my whole life expecting to become an Aggie. I had no idea what to expect or if I would even get along with the culture here. Once I was accepted to Texas A&M I was nervous about how I would get along with my peers knowing they would be so much younger than me.
Attending Howdy Camp gave me the proper foothold to become comfortable and successful at Texas A&M. Howdy Camp gave me such a great friend base before I even walked in the doors on the first day of school. Social success can be just as critical as academic success. It relieved a lot of stress to know that I would not be alone as I started my college career.
Sunday July 2, 2017: Kaitlyn Hiney
Class of 2015
I grew up in Bryan, TX and both of my parents were TAMU graduates. I was born into an Aggie family and there was never any other choice but A&M. When I was in high school I knew that my grades and test scores would not be enough to get me into A&M so I decided that I would go to Blinn College for a year or two and then transfer; my father had transferred into the University his sophomore year so I knew that I could do it too. This decision was the best decision I have ever made because not only did it save my parents money, but also I was able to adapt to college life better. After two years at Blinn I decided to transfer to Texas A&M for the Fall 2013 semester. I was accepted into the College of Liberal Arts in March of 2013 and to this day it is still one of the best days of my life. I attended T-Camp that summer as a camper.
I initially did not want to go to T-Camp because growing up in Aggieland I had already been taught the War Hymn, Spirit, Yells and Traditions. I fought with my parents for weeks about it until they finally wore me down by saying "you are going to meet new people and make friends. And gain a support system that will help you while you are at TAMU". I was skeptical but I went anyway and guess what my parents were right. I met so many people and made friends I am still in contact with some of them even though I graduated from A&M. ATC gave me people to contact if I needed help with anything and it gave me a sense of security knowing that if I needed anything I had people who would be there for me. You can know everything about the University but you need to have a support system.
You will gain so much from T-Camp. Not only will you gain knowledge about the incredible University you have been accepted into but you will gain a support system and that will help you succeed at Texas A&M. Once you are apart of ATC as a camper you are part of a family. I have met my best friends through ATC and I could not even imagine what my life would be like without them. I love this organization and everything it does to help incoming transfer students. ATC works hard to make sure that everyone who comes TAMU is supported and successful. This is why I have and will continue to recommend ATC to anyone I know who is transferring into the University.
Sunday June 25, 2017: Savannah Killion
Class of 2018
When I was 2 years old I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian and everyone told me Texas A&M was the best place to go for that so ever since then I had been pretty much gigged (I'd say hooked but, you know, that college in Austin says that). It didn't take long into my high school career for that pretty much life long dream of mine to be severed. My first semester of my freshmen year of high school I failed 3 of my 4 classes (I only passed athletics). After that I was put on a "pathway to success" program, which basically put all of the other kids failing or struggling with classes together where we learned simplified versions of what the rest of the school was learning. I graduated (barely) with a 2.9 GPA, ranked in the bottom quarter of my graduating class of over 1,000 students, and hadn't learned one bit of math or science. Surprisingly I was not totally rejected from A&M. I was offered the PSA Program to attend another 4-year university for a year then if I met a certain GPA requirement I could automatically transfer in. After waiting my whole life to be an Aggie I couldn't bear the thought of putting off moving to College Station so I denied the offer and decided to attend Blinn. Blinn was not nearly as easy as everyone told me it would be. I studied very hard but struggled, with perseverance and a whole lot of effort I somehow pulled off a 3.67 GPA and in June of 2015 I received my acceptance letter to not only my dream school, but also the best university on the planet!
I had been in College Station for a whole year, attended football games, studied in Evans library and lived in an off-campus dorm but I was still astounded by the difference it made in my confidence and overall morale once I became an official member of the Aggie family. Of course, I cannot help but attribute this sense of belonging and family to ATC. It was those few days at T-Camp that I did my first wildcat, experienced a deeper understanding of the traditions, and made amazing friendships. I felt so welcomed to be on campus, around town and simply part of the Aggie family. This community at Texas A&M inspired me and encouraged me to pursue my passions. My first semester at Texas A&M as a bioenvironmental sciences major I earned a 4.0 GPA. I'm still very proud of this and would consider this my greatest accomplishment only second to my acceptance into Texas A&M University. I am still very confident in the fact that none of my accomplishments would have been possible without the support of my Aggie family or being successfully transitioned into it.
A couple of days at T-Camp gives you hundreds of friends, info about your major, knowledge of the traditions, fun memories, dance skills and a groovy set of DG leaders & group members to take on Aggieland with. You got nothing to lose! (Besides your voice!)