Flashbacks to high school

Happy spring break everyone! I know that a lot of y’all are probably still in school today, but it is spring break here at Rice (yes, crazy early). I will fill you guys in on what I did over the week in my next post instead of right now because I received quite a few emails in the last few days regarding Rice admission requirements and my own high school experience.

First off, all of you future Rice admission applicants need to please please breathe. The admission council at the university looks for a diverse student body, with an emphasis on the holistic student. So, it should be warned that simply modeling your years in high school after mine will not only be very boring, but also pointless. With that in mind, here are some of the things that I was involved in during those wonderful years spent in the public education system.

  • I took Pre-AP and Advanced Placement courses all four years. However, it should be noted that I only took the AP level in classes I actually liked; you seriously could not pay me to sit in Calculus BC back then. Some of you asked about my grades, and to that I will very neatly say that I did well, but then again, if you are at Rice it is obvious that you worked hard in academics during high school and always put forth your best effort.
  • I was in the following clubs/organizations: Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), National Honor Society (NHS), National Art Honor Society, Spartans Out Serving (SOS), D.A.R.E. Role Model, Best Buddies (in which I served as the Chapter President my sophomore year and Vice President my junior), Spanish Club.
  • I was selected to represent my high school at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership seminar the summer after my sophomore year and was recognized as one of the top six upcoming female leaders in my state’s area.
  • I regularly attended academic competitions as well as art competitions in which I presented my work and/or research.
  • I volunteered at my local library each summer (there were volunteer activities during the school year as well, but those required significantly less commitment).
  • My school holds an end of the year ceremony each year in which I received recognition for my academic achievement.

Now, that seems kind of sporadic, right? Well, a pretty good mental image of me back when I was in high school would include a girl holding a paintbrush and palette, three very random textbooks, and a list of Spanish vocabulary; in other words, someone a bit nerdy.

Some of your emails asked general questions regarding Rice admissions, to which I would suggest that you peruse the Rice University website. It’s a VERY useful place and I also found it a lot of fun to check out the different department websites when I was an applicant. SAT scores are of course important in the application process at any university; however, Rice looks at you as not only a student, but also a person. They want to know that you didn’t just sit in the library, but you also found something you were passionate about during high school and gave back to your community in some way. As for the actual application itself, yes, essays will be expected. Don’t look at it like a challenge or something super boring though; this is one of your best chances to express your individuality and unique perspective on life!

–AM

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