Introducing our Brand New Instagram Account! @future_owls

This post is going to be a little bit different from the blogs that we normally post. Rather than talk about my favorite off-campus restaurants, my classes, or my residential college, I wanted to introduce you to SAC’s brand new Instagram account!

SAC, Student Admission Council, is the club on campus that works directly with the admission office in showcasing life at Rice to prospective students. Our job is to share our experiences with students exploring and applying to Rice. We give campus tours to visitors, we host students overnight in our dorm rooms, and we write this blog, among other things.

Starting this week, we are also making use of an Instagram account! We have created this in order to give a visual perspective of life at Rice to prospective students, from the perspective of current students. We hope this will give students a chance to picture themselves eating in a residential college commons, walking to class through the academic quad, or sipping a Nutty Bee from Coffeehouse while they study for that math exam. We hope this will be an especially helpful resource for prospective students who are unable to come visit campus themselves. You know what they say, a picture is worth 1000 words!

Additionally, we will use this account to provide information from the Admission Office regarding application deadlines, as well as information about Admit and Owl Days, which are coming up later this spring. We will theme the content on the account each week, so you’ll have the opportunity to learn about student life, off-campus food options, student events, and more.

Go ahead and follow @future_owls on Instagram! Check out our first few posts here: https://www.instagram.com/future_owls/

Happy Lunar New Year!

My friends and I formed a string quartet in our freshman year after we found that orchestra wasn’t our thing. I grew up playing cello, and luckily, I found some friends through the non-major orchestra who shared the same sentiment that I did. We played Dvorak and Beethoven quartets for our semesterly performances in the Rice Coffeehouse, but this year we were invited to play at the Chinese Student Association’s annual Lunar New Year Show, a cultural show for all Rice students that featured performances from dance groups, Vietnamese Student Association, and Rice Taiwanese Association as well as tons of delicious food.

Performing our pieces on the LNY stage

I’ve never celebrated Chinese New Year (which was yesterday, actually) despite being 100% Chinese, but it felt really good to perform in a show celebrating my heritage, something that I am learning to be proud of. LNY showcased modern and traditional Asian performance ranging from a traditional Vietnamese hat dance to modern hip-hop performances and a fashion show displaying statement pieces that are hot in the world of “crazy rich Asians.” Watching all the performances made me wish that I had put more effort into connecting with my heritage in college earlier on (I highly recommend joining a cultural club in college!), but I was nonetheless thankful for this opportunity to perform as a graduating senior. My quartet played two folk Chinese songs as well as the widely-known and loved pop song “Tong Hua”. Our performance was a success, and I enjoyed adding to the diversity of performances showcased that night.

My quartet! We’ve taken on a variety of names including Southside Quartet, Rice Farmers Quartet, and 7/8 Asian Quartet.

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.

Friendships at Rice

I used to be really good at making new friends, way back when I was six or seven and a carefree elementary school student. It was easy to walk up to someone I didn’t know and just start talking and be best friends five minutes later. Over time, I think I’ve lost my touch at becoming friends with everyone I meet, or just making friends at all. The last time I really had to make new friends was freshman year of high school. After that, I stuck with the people I knew for the next four years.

Getting to college was a jarring experience in many ways, but especially in the friend department. Suddenly I had to start over and do the whole “making friends” process from scratch. I thought it was going to be easy, that I would make my lifelong friends in a couple of weeks. When that didn’t happen, I started to worry. Why didn’t I have the picturesque group of friends that seems to be displayed on college brochures and in teen movies? I’m not going to lie; it was difficult my first semester without a solid group of friends, especially when I could see other people forming them right before my eyes.

But this semester, something clicked. I decided to spend more time with my friend from another residential college and started to get to know the people there. That decision was one of the best I’ve made at Rice, because she is now my closest friend here and I’m getting closer to the other girls at her residential college. With them, I’ve started to feel like I belong somewhere, even if that somewhere isn’t at Wiess (my residential college).

Coming to Rice, I thought that I could only be close friends with the people in my own residential college because that’s what I had seen whenever I visited. However, I’ve since discovered that the residential college system shouldn’t limit who your friends are. There are ten other colleges full of people to get to know, and maybe some of those people will become your lifelong friends. That being said, if you do find your group at your residential college, that’s amazing too. You will find people with whom you feel at home, and whether or not those people are from your own residential college doesn’t matter all that much.

One Semester Later

After spending three and a half amazing weeks back home in New Zealand, I started off my second semester at Rice walking into my dorm room to be warmly greeted by roommate, Oland, and suitemates, Diego and Ranferi.

Just one semester ago, we begun as three complete strangers who had not known of each other’s existences for the past 18 years. Born and raised in different countries and cities, the only thing we really had in common was the pursuit of an academic career at Rice.

But over a semester of getting to know each other’s pasts, presents, and futures, we’re starting off our second semester at Rice as a combined unit instead of four individuals. We do homework, have late night talks, complain about our problems, celebrate our successes, host prospective students, play sports, coordinate napping times, and so much more, all together.

In all honesty, I have no idea how Rice got it so right. With just a few filled out forms that gave an extremely vague and general gist of our interests and personalities, they managed to pick four students to room together who would slowly become one unit.

I’m so blessed to have met the people of Lovett 505 and 506 and cannot thank Rice enough for helping me do so.

 

Diversity Facilitators at Rice

This past O-Week, I served as a Diversity Facilitator for the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Diversity and inclusion have long served as two core aspects of my life. During high school, I was involved in a variety of activities related to social justice activism and inclusion. When I came to Rice, I knew that I wanted to translate my passion for advocating for a more diverse and inclusive environment into extracurricular opportunities that were not available to me before I came to Rice. When the opportunity to apply to become a Diversity Facilitator came around, I knew that it would be a wonderful way to learn more about issues related to diversity and inclusion, as well as to grow as a communicator and leader.

During O-Week, the other Diversity Facilitators and I served a resource that the New Students could utilize to learn more about or discuss issues related to diversity and inclusion. Moreover, we led workshops for the 950+ New Students about the importance of diversity and inclusion in our education.

While we serve as a resource specifically for New Students and Advisors during O-Week, we also serve as a resource for all undergraduate students throughout the school year. Rice’s Diversity Facilitators lead Dialogues on Diversity every Friday at lunchtime. During this time, Diversity Facilitators will pair up to lead a discussion about current events and issues, media, and policy pertaining to diversity and inclusion. Last semester, my fellow Diversity Facilitator Diana and I led a discussion about what voter suppression is and how voter suppression impacts the ways in which constituents vote. 

For this upcoming O-Week, I will serve as one of two Diversity Coordinators. As a Diversity Coordinator, I will oversee the Diversity Facilitator program, the selection and training of Diversity Facilitators, and the planning and execution of our O-Week events and weekly discussion lunches. We are beyond excited to be playing a role in the planning of O-Week, and are beyond grateful to serve as a resource for you throughout your four years here at Rice.