Howdy and Namaste!
IGSA's Editorial team is back with Tales at TAMU, and this time we have Rohit Kongari ('18) sharing his fond memories of Aggieland with us.
When I came to A&M in 2010, things were very different - people booked tickets mostly through travel agents, roommate searches happened on Orkut, we had to buy India calling-cards because Whatsapp calling wasn’t around, and if people missed their Groundshuttle, they’d prefer staying overnight at the airport. Even the campus looked very different - Zachary was just a big rectangular block where Indian engg students would hang out all the time, the A&M vs UT game was still an iconic Thanksgiving tradition, and the current renovated MSC wasn’t ready then.
IGSA itself was formed in the year I joined, with the intention of getting Indian grad students to meet new people and network in a fun setting. During my IGSA presidentship in 2013-14, we ran the organization with a “kar toh sakte hain” mindset when approaching new ideas. Since then, we collaborated with several orgs like Corps of Cadet, HSBV, HSA, ISA, ISMA, organized events like Ganesh Pooja, Diwali, Melting Pot and Republic Day, and started getting involved on Game Day as concession stand vendors. We also advocated for safety of Indian students on College Main road, conducted career events for Indian students, and changed the whole new student mentoring scenario, thanks to Facebook.
Apart from IGSA, I was very active with Biochemistry Grad Association, ISMA and GPSC too during my time here. Aggieland is an experience - a lot of my friends have graduated from other unis, but no one goes as crazy as we do with A&M. There are so many opportunities to explore here, with 1000+ student orgs! Did you know you can even take archery and golf classes through the Kinesology dept. I do miss the Texan hospitality a lot up north - everyone greeting you on the streets with a “Howdy!”, random strangers giving rides and helping out and a lot more. Also nowhere else, can you find as good Mexican food, as amazing BBQ, and as beautiful sunsets you do in Texas. As someone who got his PhD in Biochemistry from A&M, I always say this: “if you come to A&M and get out with just a degree, then it’s a failure. Make use of your time as an Aggie and have fun in Aggieland, because you’ll miss this place at the end of your journey."