Everyone out there right now is probably overloaded on some level: finals are fast approaching (or, as at Rice, already in full swing), the Early Decision notifications shall be available very soon, and, on top of that, it’s the holidays. But, my winter break is essentially here already! I don’t mean to gloat for all of y’all that still have your nose to the grindstone, so just think of it like this… I’m not exactly vegging out with a bag of Cheetos just yet; rather, I have compiled a list of the top ten things that make attending Rice University worthwhile (via a picture montage, of course).
Disclaimer: Not everything on this list may appear entirely relevant. Just trust me. It is.
10. Early Decision
I applied to Rice University under the Early Decision option back in 2009 (wow, it does not feel like two years have passed…). Some of my friends didn’t understand how I could commit to a post-secondary institution so surely. But, for me, there just was never a question as to where I wanted to earn my Bachelor’s degree. Rice excels in every way that a school possibly can—academically it’s obvious, but Rice has also been ranked #1 for Best Quality of Life and #10 for Happiest Students, as well as #10 for Great Financial Aid. Not entirely believing the stats? Just come visit the campus and feel free to ask any student walking around! I remember how scary and intimidating the college application process was; but, check out “little” me on December 15, 2009… I was beyond relieved to receive the packet in the mail from my first choice university!
A photo of me on what was then the most important day of my life: receiving Rice's offer of admission!
9. College Parties
Many of y’all have heard about Rice’s residential college system; those of you whom I have met on school visits often ask me if such a housing practice stratifies the student body. My answer: nope! This photo was taken at Lovett’s fall public party, Getcheroxoff, my freshmen year. College parties are “public” in that students from any college can attend; it is a great way for the colleges to intermix, especially for new students who are just forming their social ties. Now, for any of the parents out there who are reading this and thinking “WHAT??? SHE IS BLOGGING ABOUT PARTYING??,” let me assure you that Rice takes its reformed alcohol policy very seriously and that underage students are NEVER served alcohol (everyone attending a public party is required to wear a wrist band which not only proves that they are a Rice student, but also signals their age).
My suitemates and I before attending Getcheroxoff. The theme was "Candy Shop," so we are dressed as "candy," "black licorice," "lemon candy," and "bubblegum," respectively.
8. The Food
High Schoolers often complain that their cafeteria food is inedible, disgusting, and not worth the money. Fear not! If you attend Rice, I promise that you’ll find the food excellent. My personal favorite is the hamburger station (okay, maybe not the healthiest… but I throw a salad in every once in a while too!). Not buying it? Schedule a tour of the Rice campus and stay for lunch with one of our amazing lunch hosts!
The newly constructed East Servery; I am so grateful that it's attached to Lovett!
7. The Football Games
In particular, Rice’s pretty cool habit of providing brilliantly subsidized tickets… especially the Rice v. UT game that I attended my freshmen year! Talk about awesome. A free football game? Against one of our biggest rival schools in Texas? With basically every other Rice student? Best Saturday ever.
At the Reliant Center for the Rice/UT game!
6. The Colleges (aka the dormitories)
For a long time in high school, I dreaded moving out of my parent’s super comfortable house. Dorms are supposed to be cramped, old, dingy, dark, and overall gross, right? Wrong. I’m a member of Lovett Residential College and even though it is one of the oldest colleges on campus, it still beats out lots of my friend’s rooming situations at other universities. Again, if you doubt my sincerity, check out a campus tour! Your tour guide will be sure to show y’all their own dorm room that you can judge for yourself.
My half of the dorm room my first year at Rice (I am an off campus student now).
My desk area last year.
5. Study Abroad Options
One of the best things about Rice is its flexibility in study abroad options. Lots of others schools may simply write off pre-med and engineering students, but Rice does an excellent job assisting any student wishing to study overseas. I am actually intending to study in Florence, Italy for a month this upcoming summer, so stay posted with my updates! The photo below is actually from when I visited Florence the summer prior to matriculation at Rice; I am just really super excited about going back and wanted to share it with everyone!
A view from the Duomo Cathedral overlooking Florence, Italy.
4. The People
This may appear to be horribly self-referential and irrelevant, but everyone I know at Rice has formed the closest friendships of their lives here. So, it isn’t completely a random reason! These three fellow students are my rocks, my driving forces, my best friends. Without them, Rice wouldn’t be the same. I know it may be difficult for you to envision establishing new friendships in a place that is completely foreign to you; I promise it will happen! Everyone here is welcoming and ready to encourage you. Just be open to the experience and I guarantee that you will find your niche in college.
Me with my best friends in the Lovett Upper Commons.
3. A Beautiful Campus
Rice has a prime location in the city of Houston and is situated perfectly next to the Medical Center (shout out to all of you pre-meds out there!). But, despite what your preconceptions of what life in the city may be, I am here to show you that Rice has a GORGEOUS campus! Just look below to see for yourself.
2. My Parents
Okay, this may not be specific to Rice, but it is a really good thing for all of you college bound students to remember. College is a luxury; thank your parents/guardians/motivators/cheering squad for supporting you as you follow your dreams and select the university that best fits you and your career ambitions. Don’t take that for granted because pretty soon, you will be away at college and miss them. It will happen; be prepared and appreciate their encouragement today.
Thanks mom & dad!!
Of course, I am not ready to leave Rice just yet! But what really gets me excited about attending Rice University is the AMAZING career potential Rice equips me with. Every time I spend an entire night huddled over my textbooks in the library or experience carpal tunnel from typing essay after essay, I just remember what all of it means… it’s an investment in my future and that is something that I believe very strongly is the direct result of attending such a noteworthy academic institution.
Rice's Commencement Ceremony... it is a bittersweet moment!
Lots of love, best of luck on gaining Rice admission, and happy holidays,