Rice University Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?


Choose schools with great consideration. Be honest about who you are and what you want out of your university experience. Make friends wisely. Relax; odds are, you'll turn out just fine.


Put as much time and effort into the application process as possible, because your competition will always be working as hard or harder than you. Once admitted, select the college that "just feels right" over the more prestigious school if you want to have a happy four years there. Make friends, get involved IN THINGS THAT INTEREST YOU, but don't lose track of your schoolwork--it is the primary reason you're here, and everything else should take backseat. Have fun, stay sane, but always remember that the best times of your life are still ahead.


Grades are not the most important things in college, even if you are a pre-medical student. The most important thing is to find yourself and discover what you love and want to do. Studying is important, but do not neglect your social life and meeting new friends in the attempt to get into the best med school or grad school. Getting into the best medical school, but not having the network to back you up is miserable, remember to find the right balance for yourself.


A potential college student should choose a school that they best feel comfortable at and not a school that necesarily gives them the most money or has the highest academic ranking. Also, don't go to a school just because your friends from high school go there or nearby because chances are you won't even talk to them much after the first year and you'll meet bettter, life-long friends during freshmen orinetation or shortly afterwards.


Applying to college should be one of the most exciting experiences in a young persons life, not a period of unending stress. Finding the right college can be very difficult, but remember that there is a university out there that will fit all of your needs. In addition to universities own websites, there are hundreds of websites and other resources that you can use to get a feel for campuses across the country. Do not skimp on research! Pick a range of schools that you find attractive and spend more time getting to know those school. Ideally visit each school so your can get a chance to interact with students. Spend plenty of time working or your applications and make sure that your essays express genuine sentiments. Once you get to college the most important thing you can do is approach everything with an open mind. In order to get the most out of college spend your first semester exploring everything your university has to offer, from clubs to classes. Try new things and do not commit to a specific major just yet. Being undecided might be one of the best choices you ever make.


Always be open-minded when considering a college. Never be afraid to ask questions of current students and faculty. Their willingness to respond will say a lot about a university. Always try to visit a campus if its possible; visits give you an outlook you can't get from reading pamphlets. Don't get too caught up with statistics. They really don't mean all that much. But most importantly, try to visualize yourself as a student at each college you're considering. If you're having a hard time doing it or can't do it at all, chances are that college isn't a good fit for you. Remember that you're merely choosing where and how to spend the next four years of your life, not the entire thing. Good luck!


I would highly suggest choosing a college based on realistic expectations (must meet SAT and GPA ranges, etc). If anything, the singlemost factor that swayed me towards one college over another was the campus visit. I cannot emphasize the college campus visit enough. I picked Rice because I visited during Owl Days and had a blast! I met so many cool people there and overall had an incredible vibe at the college after being introduced to the college life there, including academic offerings, research opportunities, and clubs and activities. Also, the second I stepped onto Rice's campus, I knew it was the college for me. As cliche as it sounds, I had an epiphany and knew right away that Rice was perfect for me. In regard to making the most of the college experience, I think you need to get out of your comfort zone and get out there and make friends. Everyone's new, everyone's nervous, and everyone's in the same boat as you--so don't be afraid of putting yourself out there! Join clubs and activities and expand your social circles. And go to class too! Have a good balance between academics and fun.


For finding the right school: Focus on your dreams. What is it that you, the student, are really passionate about? Focus on that, and find some place where the challenges will make you stronger, and you can learn to the best of your ability, not just about the subjects in your course of study, but how also to become the best person you can be. For making the most of the experience: Stand upon your own two feet, revel in the quest for knowledge, and do not be discouraged when you don't always come out on top. Find friends who are just as avid as yourself and who represent the full spectrum of interests, majors, and joys in life. Don't be afraid of a little adversity, don't be afraid to work, as this builds character, and that is what the real world is looking for. Obey your principles and leave no regrets. HAVE FUN! Make sure you can look back on these short years fondly. Remember that the light at the end of the tunnel leads to more, bigger, better tunnels, and that good luck is preparation meeting opportunity.


Know why you're going to college: to prepare you for a career, to prepare you for grad school, to prepare you for professional school, for the "experience"......that at least narrows down the options.


These four years are the most important years of your life. They will define your career, your relationships, your future, and most of all, you. You must find the best college that will tailor to specifically you. Your school must provide for your needs: your chosen major, your favorite activities, your beliefs and mantras, your personality, and your freedom. The number one school may not be the best school for you. The most famous school may not be the best for you. The fastest, farthest, or most metropolitan college may not be the best for you. Only you know the best college for you. You must choose the college for you by outlining what you want for your future life. Next, you must research colleges that fit into the categories that you outlined ? do not focus on names and numbers, just focus on you. Narrow down your list to the schools that fill most of your needs and visit them if you can. The visit might change your mind about the school you placed on the back burner. When you do find the school that is for you, take it. You will not regret it if it is your choice.


I know a lot of students freak out about colleges a lot in high school, but I was not one of them. I applied where my counselor/parents/friends suggested, pretty much only based on what the weather would be like (I'm from Southern California. Warm climes were a must!) and got in everywhere I applied. Which then led to the problem of picking a place because I honestly didn't really care. I'm not saying that this is for everyone, but I do believe that for a lot of people, the stress is unnecessary. As long as you make the effort, you will meet incredible people, have once-in-a-lifetime experiences (seriously. Some things you'll always look back at and think "only in college..."), and you can be HAPPY no matter where you go. So chill out! Relax and enjoy high school while you can.


Choosing the best college and receiving the greatest benefit from a college education depends on the person. Any college that allows you to pursue your interests can be a good fit as long as you are ready to put into it what you expect to get out of it. Consider colleges not only by their academic record, but also by how close they are to your interests and how much the students enjoy them. While it is important to do well, college should be about learning rather than succeeding. The ideal college is one that piques your interest and provides the means to continue your discovery of self and the world. Making the most of your college experience is as simple as maintaining a positive outlook. This is easiest at a school that suits your tastes and keeps you comfortably challenged, but can be achieved anywhere. Make the most of these years: expand your horizons, try new things. Saying "yes" to new opportunities and stepping outside your old comfort bubble will allow you to discover a wealth of new interests, make many lifelong friends, and redefine who you are.


A great number of people choose a college based on its name and academic status, but the important thing about undergraduate study is finding the school where you feel most comfortable. When I arrived on the Rice campus for the first time, something clicked. I knew right away that it was the place I would be attending, although I didn't officially make the decision until a month later. In my opinion, the best thing a student can do before choosing to attend a certain school is to visit. For me, I had narrowed down my choice of places to attend to three schools, and then I visited all of them, talking to current students, getting a feel for the campus and the area nearby, and if there was anything I didn't like or feel comfortable with, I weighed how that negative would affect my experience. Rice is in Houston, Texas, the most humid and uncomfortable place to be during the summer. However, I realised that if that was the worst thing I could find about the school, then I knew I had made the right choice.