A few weekends ago, our campus was visited by enthusiastic students from across the country in search of experiencing life at Rice. These prospective students were part of Rice’s fly-in program Vision, which draws a diverse range of people from this year’s pool of applicants. As I saw the excited, nervous, and awed faces of these prospies, I was forced to reminisce on my own experience at Vision last year.
I still cannot believe that it has been an entire year since I was in the same position as those high school students. My first year at Rice is passing by at a thousand miles per second, and soon I will be forced to leave my beloved residential college for the summer. Thinking back on my own experience at Vision, I came to the realization that it provided me with an incomplete perspective of student life at Rice. In all honesty, I disliked my first visit to Rice because it portrayed an academically-competitive, boring and challenging environment. I left with a bad impression , erroneously believing that this college was full of “awkward nerds”. Had it not been for the wonderful advice that I received from enrolled Rice students, I would have never committed to this school.
If you find yourself feeling out of place at Rice during your first visit, don’t fear. There is no way to capture a realistic image of student life at Rice in just a few days. You need to live through the sense of excitement during Matriculation, the bonding times during Orientation Week, and the college-pride of being in your residential college to truly experience a snippet of what being a Rice Owl is really like. From taking a selfie with President Leebron to attending the numerous cultural shows held by student organizations, life at Rice is unexpected, thrilling and worthy. There will be Friday nights when you will be stuck studying at the library or Sunday mornings where you will be overwhelmed by all the work that you procrastinated over the weekend, but that’s just part of the sacrifices that a college education requires. College life is difficult and challenging and never ending at times, but there’s a big Rice family waiting to help you out.