When move-in day arrived, I was both excited and incredibly nervous. All kinds of questions raced through my head: Would I make new friends? Would my roommate and I get along? Would I be able to call Rice home? I wasn’t sure what to expect. Little did I know that by the end of O-Week, I could answer all of the above questions with a whole-hearted, scream-at-the-top-of-my-lungs YES!
During O-Week, students are split into small groups, called O-Week groups, consisting both of other freshmen and upperclassmen advisors from their residential college. These people are some of the first friends I made at Rice, and we made all kinds of crazy memories together. Over the course of the week, my O-Week group:
- Played Paint Twister (which was WAY more messy and tiring than I was expecting)
- Stayed up late baking cookies (the cookie dough turned into a giant cookie blob that we collectively devoured in all of 2 minutes)
- Competed in a scavenger hunt (which we ultimately won. GROUP 5 FTW!!!!)
New students are introduced to all aspects of student life at Rice during their first week on campus. Academic planning sessions are intertwined with group bonding activities and trips on the Metro to explore the Houston area (FYI: Rice students get free entry to all Houston museums… EXCEPT for the Children’s Museum. My O-Week group, in a futile attempt to relive our childhoods, sadly found this out the hard way). Though O-Week is jam-packed and at times exhausting, it really helped me immerse myself in the Rice environment. I didn’t have time to think about missing home because I was having such a great time with all of my new friends.
Of all the crazy things we did during O-Week, the Matriculation ceremony was definitely my favorite. On the first night, my class assembled together for the first time. As a group, we walked through the Sallyport with our upperclassmen advisors cheering us on from afar. Fireworks lit up the sky and made me so #HYPE for the next four years.
A “rite of passage” for all Owls, O-Week gave me the warmest welcome possible to campus. My advisors went out of their way to make sure my experience was an incredible and unforgettable one. As much as I would love to tell you all of O-Week’s secrets and traditions, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. I love Rice, and if you end up coming here next fall, I know you’re gonna Lovett too.