The days leading up to the start of my freshman year were nerve wracking. I was terrified of moving away from home. After years of living on the same street, in the same house, with the same group of friends, I never thought I would be able to make connections with the people around me. Now my phone is littered with group photos from my first semester here and not only do I have friends, I have a family here.
It all started with my roommate and my floor. A family was already built for me where I lived on Brown 2nd – we even had a floorsgiving together! I could not be more grateful for those that live around me.
And don’t even get me started about my roommate that has successfully gotten me into tea, educated me about Mean Girls, and is my biggest fan (and I’m hers).
Then there was the MOB. The Rice Marching Owl Band (aka MOB) is the resident marching band on campus. What makes us so unique is that we never march and our instruments range from typical percussion and brass to strings and even an accordion! After doing band for years in school, the MOB filled the gap I felt after not doing music all summer. We travelled to Louisiana together, spent late nights in Rice Village playing for people, and cheer on every team at Rice.
I also had my RESPies and my O-Week group. RESP was a summer program at Rice I participated in that gives assistance in STEM to incoming freshmen that come from diverse backgrounds. My O-week group were the freshmen and upperclassmen I was paired with throughout O-week to be my transition family. Having friends across campus made everything feel so connected and I didn’t feel trapped to my dorm. I could explore. It was exciting to visit other colleges and experience their culture through my friends.
From the friends I make in study groups to the ones I dress up with, I never imagined that my camera would be taking so many group photos. I hold each one dear as every person that I have met at Rice has welcomed me into their heart.
Rice has given me the home I never realized I could have. It has been there on my hardest days and my best days. It has given me laughter and love. It is the best family I could ever ask for, so much so that by now I call Rice my ‘home’.