“It takes a village to get you here. And it takes a village to get you along your journey here.”
Reflecting on her undergraduate years now as a medical student, a Rice Alumni said those words during a discussion about her journey as a pre-med student at Rice. From the beginning of O-Week, Rice students hear a lot about the culture of care at Rice and how everyone is here if you need support and it’s incredible how evident that statement is in every part of life.
Last Sunday night around 11:30pm, I was finishing up some last minute work when there was an outbreak of noise outside my door. Unbothered by it, I continued working when there was pounding on my door. Opening my door, I saw my friend, who was holding his laptop and had a disappointed look on his face. Hearing that he spilled half of his water bottle on his laptop, I took his laptop and attempted to wipe it off while also using a blow dryer to attempt to get some of the water off. I also called a friend who was at Fondren Library as she had uncooked rice in her room from when this exact incident happened to her last fall. She ran all the way from Fondren to McMurtry College to grab the rice and bring it to my room. Just as we were going to place the computer in rice and hope for the best after blow drying it, the laptop started making noise and turned back on, right to the document that my friend had been working on (but forgot to save). We all started cheering and he took his laptop to finish his assignment. While a simple example of what Rice students are capable of, this culture only increases as the time to choose Orientation Week Advisors arrives.
It may only be February, but believe me, Rice is already getting ready for the next batch of new students and we are very excited. So many current students are so excited to welcome the incoming students, and show this through hosting prospective students (or prospies, as we fondly refer to them as) at various admissions events, or even by applying to be O-Week Advisors.
Rice has a great culture between upperclassmen and underclassmen students. Living among all grades fosters a culture that is unrivaled at other universities. You could be living next to a senior as a freshman. While it may be intimidating or scary, this senior could be one of your best resources for advice, whether it be social or academic. What may be feared or stigmatized at other universities is something that greatly contributes to Rice’s Culture of Care.
As someone who will be present during O-Week 2019 as an Advisor, I can’t express how excited I am to meet the next batch of freshman and be the sophomore to those freshmen, that the rising juniors were to me during my freshman year. Don’t be afraid to ask your professors or Resident Associates or Magisters (faculty members who live with you) for help. Turn to your friends or Advisors when you need them. To the incoming Rice students, don’t ever be worried that you’ll be intimidated by upperclassmen because they’re all part of the village that will help you through your time here.