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Ask Me Anything (A Sophomore at Rice)

tropicalslushiestropicalslushies Registered User Posts: 397 Member
I am a sophomore majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I am involved in research and I have an on-campus job.
Ask me anything about Rice. I'd love to help provide information to potential students.
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Replies to: Ask Me Anything (A Sophomore at Rice)

  • sarangooLsarangooL Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    What kind of campus jobs are available?
  • MGatsby20MGatsby20 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    @tropicalslushies Hi, I know this might seem annoying because there are a lot of questions about this topic.
    I'm trying to see what are my chances of transferring into Rice University. As I came upon that it's a massive competition since Rice only admit 50-100 transfer each year out of 1000+ applicants.

    My secondary school isn't the best scores since i've been dealing with major depression and anxiety throughout my entire adolescents life. Hospitalized twice and due to that missed some important classes and messed up my GPA. Graduated from a Private Christian School in Florida with a 3.3 GPA.

    High school
    GPA: 3.3
    Freshman and Sophomore year: Basic classes (Biology, physical science, Geometry, Trigonometry, English, English lit, US history, government and languages: Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, Latin)
    SAT: 1740
    ACT with writing: 26.
    2nd attempt ACT: 30.
    Junior and senior: Calculus, Calc AB, Physics, Chemistry, leadership, DC: Business communication, DC: Business market, DC: Business management DC: college success, DC: Psychology, DC: American lit, and DC: Government.

    -Editor of yearbook club
    -Student government
    -Forensics Club
    -Band
    Not really a social person to join clubs during high school.

    Community service
    -40...ish hours- Library (sorting out books)
    -34 hours- Tutoring kids. There’s a school in my hometown where there are kids that have learning disabilities and where they’re taught how to read and write.
    -48 hours’ food bank.
    -70-80 hours in soup kitchen/ Shelters.

    On the other hand my college entrance exam such as SAT: 1740 and ACT:30 was decent enough to enter University of Florida and acceptances of other schools like RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute)
    but my gut just had a feeling to follow dream college which i've been dreaming since I was five.

    I am currently a freshman at University of Houston and Houston community college but transferred from University of Florida three months ago. This Fall semester I had taken about 18 credits (3 from UH and 15 from HCC) since i've heard that most transfers apply during sophomore year, I decided to take as many classes as possible. Fall semester 3.83 GPA.
    This upcoming year during the spring I will be retaking the SAT to at least come between a 2000-2200 on the SAT.
    Any advice would you advise me to do for better chances?

    Today, I've attend one of the admissions information sessions and student led campus tours. This campus is just breathe taking from art in every conner of the school, and the architecture of the school is stupendous!

    Sincerely,
    MGatsby20

    P.S Love the name!

  • mallorypikemallorypike Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    Thanks for doing this! I applied for the school of engineering and I've heard from other posters that Rice doesn't make you choose a major until the end of the first year. So at our first year of Rice, does everyone learn the basics? I'm not sure how it works
  • tropicalslushiestropicalslushies Registered User Posts: 397 Member
    @sarangooL
    I work at the on-campus Coffeehouse. There are also jobs at the library, different academic offices, etc. You could even be paid to work in a research lab in many cases. I cannot think of anyone I know who wanted/needed a job and couldn't find one. Ones at the rec center and others are nice because you can sit and do homework if no one is there asking for information.

    @MGatsby20
    I'm glad you loved campus! I really can't recommend specifics about admissions, but I can say to try and be genuine and specific when explaining why you chose Rice. That is what I perceive to be a big thing admissions look at here.

    @mallorypike
    At Rice you do not have to declare a major until Spring semester of sophomore year. I'm not an engineering major, but from what I gather, engineering students take a lot of "basic" courses and kind of explore different ideas in engineering in their first few semesters. They then have a better idea what type of engineering to specialize in. But you can actually declare a major whenever you like. 2nd semester sophomore year is just the deadline.
  • sarangooLsarangooL Registered User Posts: 161 Junior Member
    @tropicalslushies
    Could you give me just a rough estimate of the pay per hour? Just curious :P
  • NewEra14NewEra14 Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    @tropicalslushies
    Could you expand on what the social life/environment is like at Rice? (Parties, clubs, fun activities, Houston environment, etc..)
  • Ariz0naAriz0na Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Does Rice have a good career fair/career services?

    Also, is Houston really humid?
  • tropicalslushiestropicalslushies Registered User Posts: 397 Member
    @sarangooL
    The pay per hour is different for every job. I'm really not sure. It's above minimum wage. If I had to give a guess for an average pay per hour, about $8 sounds right.

    @NewEra14
    The social life revolves around the residential college system as I'm sure you've heard. Events take place at the colleges and you will always be surrounded by your college community. Most of your close friends will probably come from there. That said, it is very easy to hang out with people from other colleges. You might meet them through class, work, research, a club, etc.
    Once or twice a month we have public parties that a college hosts in their commons. I'm not a huge fan of them personally, but some people really like them. It's mostly just dancing and free food (and beer for 21+ students).
    A lot of people drink every weekend or semi-regularly. This surprised me when I got here. A lot of events involve alcohol; Beer Bike is a big one of course, and then crawls are also common. But even small events often have alcohol involved. People (in my perception) always want to make an event wet rather than dry (no alcohol).
    It's not a huge party school. The wildest people here are very very tame compared to some people at big state schools with party reputations. And people who don't drink still have lots and lots of fun and a rich social life. Even at events involving alcohol, I've never felt any sort of pressure to drink.

    @Ariz0na
    I've only used the career services office once (for a CV review). It was accessible, easy, and very helpful. In general, I think people think the career offices could do more, but my one actual interaction with them was perfectly fine. One big complaint is that job advertised tend to focus on oil, industry, etc.
    Houston can be really humid. The weather is very sporadic. Rainy one day, scorching the next, then cloudy, then windy, then rainy, etc. But, yeah, I stayed here over the summer and it got very hot and humid. It's better during the school year.
  • annaerhearannaerhear Registered User Posts: 44 Junior Member
    What kind of research were you involved in? How did you get your research position?
    Also, do you know anything about the Rice Catalyst and the Rice Thresher? Are most students committed to clubs/organizations (more so than high school)?

    So many questions >< But thanks!
  • tropicalslushiestropicalslushies Registered User Posts: 397 Member
    @annaerhear
    I am involved in research in my major. I work in a lab on campus. I got the position when I met the professor at a "research open house." There were booths where various departments had profs telling about their research. I think it is very easy for students to get into a lab in general.

    The Thresher is relatively prominent on campus. Everyone talks about the particularly controversial articles and the Thresher is well-respected. The Catalyst I know less about; I think it's fairly new.
    Students do a lot of clubs. Some people do many things in many realms and I wonder how they find time to sleep. I dedicate a lot of time to research and work and do minimal time with other clubs. People find what works for them.
  • somerandomusersomerandomuser Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    What majors are Rice famous for?
  • tropicalslushiestropicalslushies Registered User Posts: 397 Member
    @somerandomuser
    Rice has one of the top architecture schools in the nation, a highly ranked music school, and is well-known for STEM education in general. I am not aware of any majors that Rice is specifically known for, but all of its STEM curriculum is excellent. On the flip side, I don't think it is very well-known for the humanities or social sciences (at least not as much as for math and science and engineering).

    Most people seem to be either engineering or pre-med, but this may just be an odd generalization because apparently our most popular major is Economics. I'd never guess this because non-STEM majors are more rare.
  • k13427k13427 Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
    In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of attending Rice? Are you happy with your decision to go here?
  • jfking01jfking01 Registered User Posts: 160 Junior Member
    Jumping in because I wanted to add to a couple of the answers! @tropicalslushies is doing an awesome job and I agree wholeheartedly with everything said. I'm a junior Computer Science major at Rice.

    @mallorypike Freshman engineering is definitely fairly general, with some exceptions. Bio- and Chem-related majors have a lot of overlap for obvious reasons, so they're all taking gen chem, physics, math classes, maybe some bio depending on the major. Physics-related majors also have some overlap but the requirements are more physics and math related. There are also majors like Statistics or Computational and Applied Mathematics can see some good overlap too, since linear algebra and stats are important to most engineering disciplines. I should point out that although I don't actually know if the latter two are engineering, it doesn't really matter. It's not very difficult to transfer or pick up majors across schools, and actually quite common. Computer Science and Electrical Engineering are kind of separate, but that's more true for CS since ELEC can overlap with mechanical engineering or physics. You can respond or PM me with more information about your interests if you want a more specific answer! I don't want to hijack the thread or anything

    @sarangooL A couple other examples of student jobs are Pub (student run pub in the basement of the student center), the Hoot (student run late night food stand), Rice Bikes (student run bike shop) and things like being a tour guide. Student run businesses are beloved and numerous here!

    @somerandomuser Were there any majors you're wondering specifically about? I won't just hype whatever major you say :)

    @annaerhear Clubs are popular, but I remember high school as club overload. Everyone just wanted to join clubs because of college. That's not the case here. People are busy anyway, so when they join clubs, it's because it's something they really like (usually)
  • pittsburghscribepittsburghscribe Registered User Posts: 368 Member
    What do you know about the political science department? Do undergrads get much benefit from the Baker Institute?
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