Dylan’s Step by Step Guide to February and the Long Wait

February. That one slightly shorter month where the weather is determined by one random groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil. Don’t be fooled, however, twenty-eight days will have never felt longer just ask the people still waiting for Season 8 of Game of Thrones. By now it has been about a month since you sent in your applications for regular decision. This post is for all those anxious and scared, bored and lazy who can’t wait for March. Here are my steps for making the most of your February!

Step 1: Enjoy the Commercials

Super Bowl Sunday is this weekend and whether you are supporting the right team or the Patriots, everyone can agree that this is the one time of the year where commercials should not actually be skipped. The commercials are a nice break from the action and stress that a championship game can cause. Those waiting for decisions to come out should consider the time between now and March as one nice smooth commercial break. During this time, you should spend time focusing on school and enjoying your high school friends. No one ever realizes that after high school it is WAY harder to keep friendships alive across large distances. Cherish your time now before AP exams and the stress of preparing for college. Speaking of which…

Step 2: Don’t Sleep on your Courses

This one comes from experience. I completely slacked in my final semester and ended up paying for it when I didn’t pass my AP exams for economics which would have helped in the long run once I got to Rice and decided to take Econ 101 (one of my favorite classes so far just saying). Slacking won’t help at all and in some serious cases, if you do really bad, schools will send you letters of warning or sometimes an outright retraction of their admission offer. Sign up for AP exams get that credit to save a little money in the future. You are already in the classes anyways why not make the best of it?

Step 3: Prepare Yourself for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is either going to be great or horrible same as any college application. Some people will have heard back from state schools and other schools with priority acceptance notifications. Others will have heard nothing back and will watch with a tinge of sadness as those who have accepted a school’s offer begin to flex their love of their new school at almost crazy new levels. Good things come to those who wait, however, my friend! You have worked so hard for the past 12 years, of course, you will reap the benefits in the future. Get through this holiday and you are basically halfway through the month with Spring Break in your sights!

Step 4: “Enjoy Right Now, Today” -Tyler The Creator

February will come and go as with any month. While you wait to hear about your application, it is my hope that you, the student, will remember that you are still in the hot seat until you take your final test in high school. I hope that you remember to spend quality time with your high school friends and family before you head off to college. But most of all I hope you enjoy right now. I hope you enjoy Today.

The Familiarity of Family

When I came to Rice one of my major fears was being homesick. Although my family was only as far away as Dallas, I was worried that I would lose the support system and familiarity that I had by living with them. I believed that although Rice had a “culture of care” it could never have the true familiarity of family and friends that I had developed in my hometown in the 18 years I had been alive. I can now say after being at Rice for over eight weeks and coming off of Family Weekend that I have been proven wrong.

Rice has made me feel welcome ever since the first day I stepped on campus and provided me with a strong support system in the form of the variety of groups of friends I have found and Advisors that are always available to answer your questions. I have found my family in places such as my suite at Sid Richardson to my workplace at East West Tea. Rice honestly makes it harder to remain isolated as they do everything in their ability to find at least an Advisor to be a direct line of support. All new students at Rice go through an intense awesome experience known as O-Week which is a week of events and discussions with Advisors that leads to new friends and a game plan for the year to come. My O-Week experience started with the introduction to my O week group and five Advisors. I have remained close with all of them ever since and I still go to these Advisors when I look into my classes for the future and overall help becoming a college student and understanding how to manage my time. Besides O-Week groups, each Residential college has its own culture that can make it become one big family as well.

I belong to Sid Richardson College: statistically the tallest residential college and the smallest freshman population on campus. The freshmen are split among seven floors with each floor having its own culture and each having a residential health Advisor who is always available for any sort of complication be it mental or physical. My floor for example, has a family vibe due to the fact that we have a large dining room table and living room lobby space. Every night many of the freshmen on the floor gather to work together at the table sharing in one another’s company and stress over the work to be done. Even though we use the lobby as a place to study, knowing there are other people in a similar situation to me and are able to relate to what I am going through acts as a familiarity for me allowing me to talk to others about it. Continue reading