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Rice University - Comments and Student Experiences |
The academics are definitely rigorous but manageable if you budget your time well, but I was a history major and can't speak for science and engineering folks. I graduated top of my class in high school and got a respectable 3.7 GPA in my four years at Rice. There are tons and tons of very smart people on this campus, and I actually felt a lot less pressure than I did in high school, probably because I knew I couldn't be the best. There were times I could have studied harder, but looking back, I have absolutely no regrets. I still keep on touch with my history professor who inspired me in his teaching and mentoring abilities.Rice isn't for everyone. The average Rice student is very intelligent, slightly socially awkward, friendly, open-minded, and especially a bit quirky. It's not the place to go if you are a party animal or a total study nerd. Remember, in my time, we would say, "Here at Rice, we work hard and play harder." I am proud that Rice is consistently at the top when it come to happiest students and the quality of life. It is the closest I have been to utopia.
Everyone here is incredibly friendly and engaged. People are smart, inspired, and passionate about the world around them. Everyone is pretty much friends with everyone - people hang out with certain people more than others, but you can always sit at a new table or reach out to a new friend group. There's not really "popularity" - everyone is equally well-liked. People don't place any emphasis on material things (cars, clothes, etc.) which is such a relief. I only wish I could stay here for more than four years, because I know the real world will be much more superficial and cliquey.
Rice inspires students to be leaders and take control of their own governance. The residential colleges are like little families, completely student-run. I've grown so much as a leader and as a person since I've been here. Rice offers you exposure to amazing role models (upperclassmen, professors, mentors) and the tools to push yourself far beyond what you thought you were previously capable of. There are resources and opportunities EVERYWHERE and I have never felt so inspired anywhere else in my life.
The coursework itself is rigorous but doable. Everyone is smart and working hard, so campus life naturally follows the rhythm of exam schedules and such. People work hard but also relax - there are always parties, events, etc. going on throughout the weekend. I've never felt bored here. I play a lot of intramural sports, plus I'm involved in several campuswide community service organizations. I fell in love with my major during the fall of my freshman year, and now plan to go to grad school and get a PhD in it. The department is amazing and the professors are way more focused on teaching than on their own research. They've gone out of their way to talk to me about everything from academic plans to life goals/hopes/dreams.Rice is an amazing place. It's hard to put it into words, exactly, but I'll try my best...Rice is a place where you will be loved and accepted unconditionally, for exactly who you are when you arrive. Your friends, RAs, Masters, and professors will help you in your tough times and share your joy throughout the good times. They will inspire you to be a better person and you will grow tremendously throughout your time here. I cannot imagine being anywhere else and when I have children, I will certainly encourage them to be Owls as well!
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