One of the biggest transitions I encountered upon coming to Rice was the social environment. I came from a school that was academically highly competitive and this competition seemed to seep into all the interactions and relationships I had. Don’t get me wrong, I had close friends, but the general social environment I was used to was mostly unhealthy.
When I came to Rice however, I found a family in the truest sense of the word, and it started from the minute I set foot on campus for O-Week. I had envisioned a difficult transition to college and that I would have a hard time meeting new people, especially because I’m not an outgoing person. However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. O-Week really is a one of kind experience that indescribably helped me formed strong relationships with really great people. It creates such a strong community of new students and advisors, and ever since, I’ve never felt out of place at Rice.
Rice really is a social culture unlike any other. Beyond just O-Week, the residential college system allows you to form unique relationships with people you would never usually interact with. At any time, you can walk down into the commons at Lovett and find people working or talking at a table and sit with them. There is never a feeling of exclusive social groups or distinction between grades or majors. Everyone interacts with one another and is open to engaging and having genuine social interactions with you.
Further than even a place where you feel comfortable, the social environment at Rice really is a culture of care. This culture extends beyond just your physical well-being, it’s a culture that values you as yourself, as a person and does it’s best to be there for you in all aspects of your life whether it be emotionally, physically, mentally, or socially. In all interactions, this sentiment is evident.
Although I still miss my friends and family back home, Rice has given me a new family and more importantly a new perspective on social relationships. I can’t convey enough how much I value the community it has provided for me and the relationships I’ve formed from being here. I encourage all of you to think about what you really want out of your college experience beyond just an academic education. Beyond the academic rigor and standings of the school, the way in which the people here interact with each other puts Rice above other institutions.