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How 'required' is O week?

CriedEmersonCriedEmerson Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
I feel like skipping the fun stuff... water balloon fights, races, etc. I just want to be there for the academic stuff. But Rice says all students are required to attend all of O Week. How strictly is this enforced? It's not like they're going to do anything to me if I skip some of it, right?

And is it okay to live off campus during O Week?

Any help appreciated, thank you!

Replies to: How 'required' is O week?

  • ChiGuy123ChiGuy123 Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    edited May 15
    You're transferring, correct? From a transfer perspective, I think the O-Week coordinators and advisors are generally more lax if you don't want to participate in certain things. For example, you actually probably won't find the academic advising to be much help, because you'll likely be ahead of the freshmen and maybe even some of the advisors in terms of coursework. So chances are, much of their advice will be irrelevant. On the other hand, events such as the transfer meet and greet would be particularly helpful to enable you to become familiar with what to expect as a transfer student and how the transfer experience might differ from a freshman's experience. You can probably talk to your advisors to determine which events you should prioritize over others. For instance, I was able to skip certain events to talk with faculty in my major's department about coursework.

    That being said, as a transfer student, I personally feared not being able to find a good group of friends, because 1) you aren't exactly a freshman, and 2) the upperclassmen likely already have their own group of friends. However, O-Week really helped integrate me into Rice socially, and I felt that I was able to capture the Rice experience via O-Week. There definitely were some activities in which I did not want to participate, but overall, I felt that O-Week helped me seemlessly transition to Rice logistically, socially, and even somewhat academically (e.g., finding study group members). Rice's experience often heavily revolves around your residential college, and O-Week tries (and often succeeds) to get you started right off the bat. The advisors probably won't hold you to it to participate in everything that O-Week has to offer, but the activities are definitely worth a try so that you are starting on the right foot to take in all that Rice as a whole will have to offer while you're in attendance.

    Regarding living off-campus during O-Week, I'm actually not sure. Transfer students have been guaranteed housing for their first year at Rice, but I don't know if they force you to live on-campus that first year. I think if you decide to live off-campus your entire first year, you'd obviously be able to live off-campus during O-Week. However, if you mean living off-campus for only O-Week, and then coming back to campus after O-Week, that might be harder to get past administration. Also, the logistics of doing so may be a little whacky, unless you're commuting from home. I think if you're considering going through with this, the coordinators should be your first point(s) of contact.
  • Houston1021Houston1021 Forum Champion Rice Posts: 1,036 Forum Champion
    Listen to @ChiGuy123. Check with the administration, but I think all incoming students must stay on campus for all of O Week. I have heard that some events take place in the middle of the night. O Week is a 24/7 immersive experience. The academic items, fun, and team building activities are inextricably intertwined. You would be missing out on the best chance to become integrated into Rice, especially as a transfer, if you skip out on parts of it.
  • CriedEmersonCriedEmerson Registered User Posts: 73 Junior Member
    Thank you so much for the info, guys. @ChiGuy123 did you find yourself to have more friends in the class you enrolled with or the upperclassmen you graduated with? I'm actually super nervous about the social aspect of rice... I'm afraid I won't make any friends!
  • malibugirlmalibugirl Registered User Posts: 47 Junior Member
    @CriedEmerson if you're afraid you won't make friends then that is all the reason why you SHOULD attend O-week. My daughter's entire O-week group (advisors from her college, advisors from other colleges, freshmen/transfers) has met all year for lunch/dinner and gone to concerts/outings throughout the year. My D will be an advisor this year for her college and was terrified last year as a first gen student. She embraced the process and it was amazing. You were able to gain admittance, you are good enough to be there and you should have the full experience. (That is my Mom advice.)
  • ChiGuy123ChiGuy123 Registered User Posts: 149 Junior Member
    @CriedEmerson I, as well as most transfers I think, was closer to the class with which I matriculated/enrolled. I think a lot of that does indeed have to do with O-Week. My matriculating class included the first people whom I met, socialized with, explored Rice with, etc. And as mentioned, the upperclassmen all seemed to already have their own groups of friends, which could be daunting to try to force yourself to meet.

    That being said, I did know just about everyone in my graduating class at my residential college as well. Once you make a few friends in the residential college, it kind of propagates. You probably would get pretty close to your advisors, and you may get to know their friends. Also, at least for my major, you start seeing the same people in each course, so you inevitably start interacting with such people.

    If you are very nervous about the social aspect of Rice, I would soak in every bit of O-Week. Participate in everything you can, even the water balloon fights and races, and events that are deemed optional. You are probably going to get close to the other members of your particular O-Week group, but also take the chance to interact with other O-Week groups. Even when there's a break in the O-Week schedule, consider mingling with others rather than going back to your room and napping. I'm not the most social person, but I definitely felt that I was able to meet a lot of people during O-Week, without ever feeling like I was "forced" to be social. Also, as a transfer, you already have more college experience than 95% of the other matriculating students, so take advantage of your bountiful wisdom.

    If you need any additional information from my perspective/experience, feel free to DM me.
  • fun1234fun1234 Registered User Posts: 424 Member
    @CriedEmerson My son has made friends with people with upperclassmen. It depends what you activities you do in your spare time. He also spent a lot of time with people in his major with study groups. I would strongly recommend that. As soon as his classes got smaller it was easier to do.
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