About Aarohi

Hi! My name is Aarohi and I am a rising junior from Wiess College. I'm majoring in Bioengineering with minors in Global Health Technology and Mathematics. I am interested in medical device engineering in a low resource setting. I'm excited to be a part of the intern cohort going to Tanzania this summer! During my time in Tanzania, I will be working on projects with students from the Dar-es-Salaam Institute of Technology, getting feedback on existing Rice 360 technologies, and doing needs finding research. I look forward to sharing my experiences through this blog. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at amm28@rice.edu!

Being BioE at Rice

Rice has a popular Bioengineering program. Whether you are pre-med, pre-grad or pre-industry, Rice’s top-10 ranked program, its proximity to the Texas Medical Center, and various research opportunities make being a Bioengineer at Rice an incredibly rewarding experience. I came into Rice wanting to be a Bioengineer (or BioE, as they are called), but not really knowing what it entailed. Now, two years later, I have grown to love the major, and am convinced that it is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Freshman bioengineering majors usually do not take any core bioengineering classes but must take the ‘big three’ – General Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus, along with Introduction to Engineering Computing. The first core bioengineering class that BioEs take is BIOE 252, Bioengineering Fundamentals, during sophomore fall. This class consists of a lecture portion and a project-based portion. While the lecture portion teaches you the basic conservation principles that govern engineering, the project-based portion makes this class by far the most interesting class I’ve taken at Rice. Students are assigned a team, and each team is given two open-ended projects to complete over the semester. These projects are mainly student-run, with the professor offering only basic guidance. Not only were these projects fun to work on, they also introduced me to engineering design, helped me polish my teamwork skills, and taught me how to approach real-life engineering problems.

As bioengineering is one of the most credit-hour-intensive majors at Rice, it is necessary to often check to ensure that you’re on track- most classes require multiple prerequisites. However, Bioengineering at Rice has an excellent advising system, with plenty of resources and helpful major advisors. Some students opt to do a minor along with their Bioengineering major. With a strong support system, it is easy to plan your time at Rice such that you get the most out of the opportunities.

Lastly, the heavy workload of being a Bioengineering major can at times be stressful and quite overwhelming. It is at times like these that the BioE community is helpful. As all the BioEs in your year take the same classes at the same time, there are always peers happy to with difficult assignments, to inspire and motivate you, and who understand your struggles. From my two years being a Rice Bioengineering Student, I am grateful for the interesting and challenging classes I have had a chance to take, but I am more grateful for the friendships I have made with my BioE peers!

Unconventional Dining

Although Rice has great dining options, sometimes the food can get monotonous. It’s at times like these that my friends and I use the extremely helpful Rice Village Shuttle and explore the variety of dining options at Rice Village. Here are some of my top picks, restaurants that I frequent on Friday nights after a hard week of school.

Local Foods: As a vegetarian, I am always on the look-out for filling, delicious vegetarian food. Local Foods, located at a 20-minute walk from Rice and easily accessible through the Rice Village Shuttle, never fails to disappoint. Their sandwiches and salads are bursting with flavor, and their desserts are pretty good too! I would recommend the Garden Sammie- a sandwich stuffed with curried cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, and hummus- it’s one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten!

Thai Village: Sometimes I have a very specific craving for Thai food, and Thai Village always comes to the rescue. Located in Rice Village, they also deliver food, and their speedy delivery of Drunken Noodles has powered many of my weekend study sessions! I would recommend Thai Village for their variety of options, reasonable prices, and excellent Drunken Noodles, fried rice and Pad Thai!

Hopdoddy: This burger joint is not the best choice for vegetarians, but they have a great veggie burger. I would recommend Hopdoddy for their sinfully delicious milkshakes, well-seasoned fries, and lively atmosphere. It’s a great spot to celebrate with your friends, or take your date to for Screw-Yer-Roommate!

And for all the times you’re really lazy and don’t feel like going off campus, The Hoot comes to the rescue! The Hoot is an on-campus, student-run late night food business, and they sell a variety of food options, ranging from Banh Mi to Pizza to Chick-fil-A sandwiches. The Hoot always comes in handy when hunger pangs hit you late at night on a weekday, and I have made many happy memories sharing a cheese pizza from The Hoot at midnight!

Shepherd School Concerts

I always loved classical music, but I never knew much about it. Growing up in India, classical music concerts were sparse, far away, or too expensive. I had only listened to Mozart and Beethoven on YouTube, and I was always enraptured by the lilting melodies and the intricate compositions. It was my dream to witness a live symphony perform.

When I began to research Rice University, I learned about the Shepherd School of Music. I heard that the concerts at the Shepherd School were free for Rice students and that it had a great reputation for good music. But I always thought that it would be too far away or too posh to be accessible to college students.

When I actually arrived at Rice, I was pleasantly surprised! Not only was the Shepherd School Concert Hall a short ten-minute walk from my residential college (Wiess College), it had concerts almost every weekend, and a large percentage of the student body attended these concerts. I began to attend concerts immediately!

I have had the wonderful opportunity to listen to Chamber Music, Symphonies, and World-Renowned Soloists. One of the most memorable concerts I watched was put on by the Campanile Orchestra, a symphony orchestra made up of non-Music majors from Rice and members of the Rice community. I watched my friend play the Clarinet in the orchestra, and was happy to support her and listen to amazing music!

To me, the Shepherd School Concerts serve as quality entertainment and a great stress-buster.  Not only do they feed my love for Classical music and help me learn more about new composers and compositions, they are a chance to dress up for a couple of hours, sit in the comfy seats of the concert hall and relax to the sound of great music!

My Favorite Nooks at Rice University

My first few months at Rice have probably been the most exhilarating months of my life. I have learned innumerable things, met interesting new people, and had a myriad of new experiences. But at the same time, these months have also been the most turbulent. I’ve struggled with homesickness and a good share of difficult exams, and sometimes I feel like my life is spiraling out of control. Although I know that this is natural of any big transition, I find that sometimes I need a place to be alone with my thoughts and destress at a vibrant and lively place like Rice. So here are my three favorite spots to work, think, and destress!

  • Every Friday I have a one hour break between my Chemistry and my Math classes. I fight the temptation to go to my room and take a nap and instead head to my favorite spot on campus. It’s a bench outside Fondren Library, overlooking the academic quad. This spot is not exactly secluded and quiet, but I don’t mind the bustling activity of the steady stream of people walking past Fondren and around the academic quad. I get to enjoy the warm morning sun and the (mostly) lovely Houston weather. The hour that I spend here is probably the most relaxing and productive time I get all week, and I like to spend it reading a book or reviewing some math homework.
  • I love libraries, and Fondren Library is no exception. I spend most of my time studying on the first floor, the sixth floor, or in the basement. However, when I need some inspiration for a paper, want to watch a few episodes of a show that I have been binging, or just spend some time thinking by myself, I head to the Quiet Study Space in the Brown Fine Arts Library. Hidden amongst stacks of books about Music, Art, and Architecture, this study space gives me the quiet alone time that I sometimes crave. When I want a break, I just browse the shelves for some interesting books! 
  • Sometimes, when I need to blow off some steam (and I’m too lazy to go to the gym), I go for a late-night stroll around campus under the night sky. I always make sure I stop at James Turrell’s ‘Twilight Epiphany’ Skyspace. This art installation looks beautiful during the light shows at sunrise and sunset, and at night, it is quiet and peaceful. For me, sitting on a bench in Skyspace amidst the cool night breeze serves as an instant de-stressor. It is the best place on campus to just sit, relax, and be alone for a while.