Special to the Empire-Tribune

COLLEGE STATION - The Thompson quadruplets have sailed through their freshman year at Texas A&M University with flying colors - mostly maroon - and are now transitioning to savvy sophomores.

The gung-ho 19-year-old Stephenville natives even attended summer classes while back at home to help ensure they will be able to buy their Aggie senior rings and graduate together - and have time for internships before leaving Texas A&M.

Daniel, Patrick and Reagan Thompson are studying agricultural economics, while sister Kayla is majoring in kinesiology because she wants to be a physical therapist.

Kayla says the foursome’s freshman experience was what they expected “and more.” This has been such a cool experience, we want to stay together the whole way,” she says.

Having their siblings at the same school has meant additional friends for each of them.

“The campus is so big, but everywhere you go you see someone you know,” says Kayla. “And we get to meet three times the people because we all make friends along the way. It’s like having a built-in support system - an Aggie network times four.”

This year the brothers will share a dorm suite with a cousin, J.C. Reagan, while Kayla will live at the Pi Beta Phi sorority house.

“A lot of people don’t know anybody when they come to college, so it was a blessing having them here [last year],” Daniel says, referring to his siblings. “We didn’t just hang out with each other every day, but we did stay in touch all the time.”

They arranged to get tickets together for sporting events and plan to attend Friday’s “First Yell” with their parents. Their parents, Erath County Judge Tab Thompson and his wife Debbie Thompson, attended Texas A&M.

Some challenges the siblings encountered during their first year include navigating the huge campus and discovering the amount of studying required.

“There is no shame in going to tutoring sessions,” says Daniel Thompson, who earned a perfect 4.0 grade-point average his first semester. No one else in the family matched that, but all were “invited back” for their sophomore years.

In high school, all four excelled in academics and student government and played competitive soccer. Reagan and Patrick also played varsity football. At Texas A&M, the brothers played some intramural sports together last year and all four attended at least one event of every spectator sport on campus. This year, Reagan is considering running for yell leader.

Over the summer months, the four juggled college courses at close-to-home institutions with some time off for a bit of recreation.

When it was time for them to return to College Station, their parents felt saddened at the prospect of their nest emptying again. Their mother, however, has a knack, they say, of juggling their schedules so she can time phone calls to them.

“It was supposed to have gotten easier to say goodbye this time, but it was just as hard,” she says. “I’m proud of them, but I really do miss them.”