I just gotta put this out there: don’t visit Houston in August. Just don’t. Any other month, literally any other one, would be better than August. I made this mistake and I wouldn’t want anyone else to do the same.
I have very mixed feelings about my visit to Rice. Allow me to extrapolate…
The campus was shockingly beautiful. I had no idea what to expect and I was blown away by the campus. It was the perfect size for me and in a residential area and just so, so pretty. I likened it to Stanford. The Stanford of Texas! Also, there were a few students there and they were so friendly to us! It was really sweet; they were welcoming and encouraged us to go to Rice. Also, we got to go inside of a dorm which is something I really appreciate.
I signed up for the tour about six weeks before it and got a very brief email with barely any information. Then, I got to the admissions office (which was incredibly beautiful) perfectly on time for our tour. The lady in the office was unfriendly and merely handed me a packet of papers when I introduced myself. She asked me to sit down and then about five minutes after the tour was supposed to begin, she told me and the other students waiting in the office that the tour already started and that we had to go catch up with them…yup. We were instructed to walk across this lovely, but large, quad to get to them:
By the time we got to them they were already 10 minutes into the tour…great. Furthermore, the group was waaaaaay too large. There were forty some people there and yet only one tour guide. To add to this, the tour guide was horrible at projecting her voice and talking clearly so if you weren’t standing right in front of her it was impossible to hear. In turn, I ended up learning nothing from the tour. Clearly, they should have divided our group up into multiple tours.
My point: I was overall very disappointed in the admissions office. Not only were we treated poorly, they didn’t seem to care very much about our experience. I did not feel welcomed or wanted and I honestly think they did not care about my visit at all. Their jobs are to advertise the school they work for and I really think they showed Rice in a poor light.
If anyone else has had any more positive experiences with Rice, I would love to hear them. Maybe I was there on an off day or something and I really don’t want to judge them too harshly off of one experience.
The upside: They sent me a survey a few weeks after my visit. This showed me that they do care about visitors’ experiences and that they are, hopefully, open to hearing criticism as well as praise.
So yeah, it was a rocky (and boiling) visit but I am still very interested in Rice for two reasons: a) it’s a highly regarded school with very strong academics and b) I truly loved the campus. Plus, the students that we passed by on the tour really made a positive impression.
They have the residential college system which is very appealing to me and something that I think I’d love to have. On the other hand, it only has about 3,000 students which I think is too small for me. Furthermore, it’s in Houston. Now to be honest I didn’t get to see much of Houston, but what I did see wasn’t very appealing. I didn’t hate it or anything, I just certainly did not love it. I do feel like it has good resources however and, like I said, the school seemed to be in a nice area.
The athletics there are fairly weak so I’m not really sure how the school spirit is there. It’s not an aspect that they prided themselves on so it was hard for me to tell what that atmosphere is like. They do however have very strong diversity, which is something that I would like in my school.
If it isn’t clear to you already, I’m really on the fence with this school. They have many of the characteristics I am in search of and yet there are a few parts of it that just don’t add up. When I was there on campus I had a fairly difficult time picturing myself there, which may be revelatory of how I really feel. When it’s hard for me to picture a life there it’s hard for me to really love a school.
I still don’t know if I’ll apply or not. Part of me thinks why not, I really liked it and it’s a fantastic school and yet another feels disinclined because I didn’t feel anything overpoweringly positive.
Help!!! I really don’t know what I should do about this school and if any of you have any advice, I’d love to hear it.
Here are the other pictures from my visit, (I had more but they got deleted…boooooo technology, booo.)
And these are just some purty buildings we got to see.
Okay well, I guess I’m done with this one! I’d still like to learn more about Rice so please share your knowledge, advice, and experiences in the comments! I’m sure that we would all really appreciate it! Is anyone sure that they are applying to Rice? Why? Did anyone have it on their list and then take it off for some reason? What was the reason? Why should I want to or not want to live in Houston?I’d really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions so don’t be shy!
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Gracias mis amigos!