It’s a new semester, filled with new possibilities, yet it seems that around campus, students are gloomy. What with politics, the rain, and classes starting to pick up, it seems that no one is very excited about anything (except MAYBE Beer Bike, which still looms at 60-something days away). In dull or bad times, I like to look at the good in my life. For this reason, this post is structured as a thank-you note to Rice. As a Rice student, I have a million and one things to be thankful for every day, and in the midst of campus gloom, we should be reminded that we all have a reason to be happy. Here’s to you, Rice.
Thank you for the opportunity you provide me to learn in a place that stretches my capabilities and my worldviews. Every day, I learn so much about the world around me, including different cultures, theories and ideas from those who came before me, current events, and so much more. Not only am I challenged to learn about subjects like sociology, English, math, natural science, etc., but I am challenged to expand on what I know culturally about the world and its people. I come into contact with so many different religions, points of view, and ethnicities, and every day I get to learn about those who are different than me, which allows me to appreciate different opinions.
Thank you for the wonderful people I come into contact with every day. Students at Rice are funny, compassionate, intelligent, daring, and hopeful. I’ve never met people anywhere else like this. The best part about Rice is the people who make up the school itself, and the fact that everyone who is at Rice loves Rice. It’s a welcoming community that encourages higher levels of thought, acceptance, passion, inclusivity, and fun. Rice students are quirky, but I love knowing that many of my classmates will grow up to be extremely influential, important people who will make a difference in our world.
Thank you for the college system. Rice’s residential college system is one of the most unique systems of housing/living in the world, and Rice students take it for granted all the time. Being in a college means coming into contact daily with 200-300 people who you know will always have something very specific in common with you-- a fierce loyalty to a living space that is more than just a living space. Each college provides an identity to each student, making even the most lonely or introverted students feel like they are very involved in an exclusive, important group. The college system allows all of us students the opportunity to cry, laugh, learn, and have fun with some of the same people throughout our four years, as we become closer with people from our own college and branch out and seek new friends and new college cultures at other residential colleges.
Thank you for caring. From speaking with administration about issues on campus to conversing with the men and women who swipe my ID card as I’m going into the serveries, it’s so obvious that those who work at Rice really care about the students. I’ve had administrators show up at my sociology presentations because they were interested in hearing about what students had to say about problems on campus. I’ve had one of the maids help me with my Spanish when I was enrolled in a Spanish class. I’ve had Ms. Wilma, an employee at Baker servery, talk me through what I should say and relax before a big interview. Although students think that Rice isn’t listening when we complain, the people working at Rice care so much, and it truly is obvious in everything that goes on on campus, and I appreciate it so much.Overall, thank you Rice for allowing me to earn an unparalleled education in arguably one of the best cities in the country, surrounded by people who inspire me to learn and push myself every day. I am proud to be a Rice student, and I truly believe that coming to Rice was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. When classes get really tough or when it seems like we’re not being heard, it’s important to remember what made us come to Rice and what Rice offers us every day, without even mentioning the benefits we will reap as alums from a top-20 school. So thank you, Rice, for being the source of a lot of my happiness every day.