As any good college student knows, one of the best things about college is that free food is literally everywhere. It’s the number one lure for getting people to leave their rooms or go to club events, and Rice is obviously no exception. There are literally so many places to get free food on campus. Here are a couple of my favorites:

  1. RPC Night Bites: The RPC is the Rice Program Council, and they plan a whole slew of events throughout the school year to keep you entertained. One of their signature events is Night Bites, which is literally just free food. All you have to do is show that you’ve liked the RPC social media pages, and you’re set! In the past there have been Tiff’s Treats, Taco Bell, and more. A word of advice: there tends to be a crazy long line for these events. Arrive either a few minutes early or 30 minutes afterwards when the line is shorter – don’t worry, they have so much food that they won’t run out.
  2. Club Meetings and Events: Every single club knows that the best way to get people to come their events is to have free food. It’s also a great way to find out about organizations that might interest you! There are also seminars held frequently throughout the school year that will offer dinner as well. However, don’t count on club meeting food to act as a stand in for a meal. They’re usually small snacks, since clubs have budgets and can’t afford to give everyone a full meal.
  3. Center for Career Development: The career center is definitely somewhere that you should be going to often! As well as getting career advice, they also host lots of workshops during lunch hours, such as LinkedIn workshops, resume workshops, and all sorts of other helpful advice. There’s usually free pizza at these workshops, so it’s a great two-in-one: get free food and get career advice!
  4. Boba: Rice students love boba! So much so, we literally have free boba multiple times a week. East-West Tea, a student-run boba shop, offers free boba at each servery once per week. They’re usually really generous too – the cups are filled to the brim with tea. Plus, they usually have a selection between three types of tea and as well as either lychee jelly or boba. It can’t get better than that!
  5. Beer Bike: Free food. EVERYWHERE. It’s basically a giant party! If you stay until the end of the bike races, they will literally start giving out all their leftover food. Last year, I walked away with 3 whole cheese pizzas.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. There’s definitely way more places to get free food than just what I’ve listed. We even have a Facebook group dedicated to telling people where there’s free food. Once you get to Rice, you’ll realize that there’s a lot to offer, especially when it comes to food!

Handling the Houston Humidity

One thing you’ll quickly learn about Houston is that it’s humid. Even on the warmest of summer days, you can step outside and instantly feel all that moisture in that air clinging to your skin. Welcome to Houston!

I’m from Dallas, so I wasn’t used to the hot Houston summers when I first came here a year ago for O-Week. But Dallas is dry, unlike Houston, and the humidity took me by surprise. With all this humidity comes a lot of rain, and when it rains in Houston, it pours. I’m sure those of you reading from Houston are already quite used to this, but for those up north, it might take some getting used to. Instead of snowy winters, we have a rainy spring.

So here are my tips for prepping for the Houston weather:

  1. Bring an umbrella with you, always. Sometimes you’ll go to class, and on your way there, it’s beautifully sunny outside. Then, 50 minutes later when class has ended, you walk outside to find that it’s pouring outside. There’s nothing worse than not having your umbrella with you when you really need it, and believe me, running back to your room in the pouring rain is not fun – I learned this the hard way.
  2. Avoid the grove.  For those of you who don’t know, the grove, technically called the John and Anne Grove, is an walkway located in the South Colleges. It’s unpaved, and we all have a love-hate relationship with it. When it rains, there are huge muddy puddles in the grove, making it annoying to walk across. General life tip: don’t wear open-toed shoes on the grove if you can.
  3. Or, just get some rain boots! Is the grove the fastest path, but it’s too muddy outside to walk on it? Don’t worry, just get some nice rain boots. These are seriously useful, especially if you live in the South Colleges like I do.
  4. Get ready for some foggy glasses. There have been times where I step out of my nice, cold dorm to go somewhere outside, and my glasses instantly fog up. This isn’t really anything but a nuisance at most, but it took me by surprise since I was used to dry Dallas summers.

That being said, I still appreciate the rain. There’s nothing quite like stepping outside onto the Sid balconies while the rain falls down, enjoying a nice breeze outside and the quiet calm.

Also, watching people run to class without an umbrella is always entertaining.

How to Navigate Your Mid-Major Crisis

One of the greatest benefits of being a Rice student is the flexibility in declaring majors. It’s not like other universities, where switching majors is a long, arduous process with lots of paperwork. Here, you just get a single sheet of paper signed, and BAM, you’re done.

For people who are undecided about their major, this is a serious blessing. When I came in as a freshman, I was completely lost. I’ve now decided to double major in Cognitive Science and Statistics, with a minor in Data Science if I can squeeze it in. (The minor’s not official yet, but is set to be released next year!) However, it took me a lot of trial and error to get this point. I considered almost every major under the sun and have had countless crises about what I want to do with my life. As a result, I’ve got a lot of experience when it comes to what I call the “mid-major life crisis” – aka do I really want to major in this? What am I going to do with my life? Will I graduate on time?

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