Houston is a great city with all sorts of cool opportunities. Most of the year, the weather is great (though you may want to invest in rain boots and an umbrella for the days it's not). However, it can get quite hot and humid during the summer, and O-Week is probably the hottest it will be all year. Houston and its suburbs have over 7 million people, so you never run out of interesting things to see and do. The city's massive diversity means great food and a variety of cultural events. Rice is located adjacent to the Museum District, Rice Village, Hermann Park, and the Texas Medical Center. However, if you are willing to venture further out into the city, there is so much to see. If you have a car, you can easily drive to the Galleria (Houston's largest mall), NASA Space Center, Kemah Boardwalk, or even the beaches of Galveston Island! If you don't have a car, no worries! You can always ride the METROrail (with a card that Rice funds for all of its students) to see professional sports games, ballet/opera/symphony performances, the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo in the spring (aka the world's BIGGEST rodeo), Discovery Green park, and all sorts of hip places to eat or grab coffee in Midtown or Downtown. You can walk to Hermann Park for festivals, music in the Miller Outdoor Theater, the zoo, and a great running trail. We have the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Museum of Fine Arts very close to METROrail stops. You can drive (or even bike) to the Houston Arboretum and Memorial Park to walk the trails and take a break from urban life.
There is really never a shortage of fun things to see and do in this awesome city (there's just not enough time to experience all of it!). The METROrail is expanding, friends have cars, and the weather is usually good enough for biking or walking. Though Rice will be hard to leave because it's such a wonderful place, don't forget that there is an amazing city right outside the hedges that is just waiting to be explored.
An O-Week advisor at Rice is a current student who will be there for you throughout your experience during O-Week and beyond. The goal of an advisor is to integrate you into the Rice community and residential college system as smoothly as possible. The transition to life as a college student is not always easy, but your advisors are here to help you with whatever you may need. Whether you're looking for academic advice, a devoted and kind listener, or just have general questions about what resources to take advantage of while at Rice, you're sure to find what you need with the help of an advisor. Your O-Week group advising team will consist of three current student advisors from Hanszen and one co-advisor from another residential college. Co-advisors play important roles because they help you learn more about the culture of colleges outside of Hanszen, and they also give you a chance to expand your social network. This great group of people will support you throughout your first year and, in many cases, through your entire time at Rice. Advisors come from different backgrounds and have a great deal of experience they'd love to share, so make sure to ask about what they've learned during their time as a proud Rice Owl. Advisors are truly great mentors, confidants, and friends who will be huge sources of encouragement and support as you transition to college life at Rice.
An affiliate is basically a person with any role other than an advisor that is a part of the O-Week team. These include the PAAs (Peer Academic Advisors), Photo/Video Team, Gophers (people who have a car and help with transportation and running errands), Diversity Facilitators, and others. Note that some of these people have this role in addition to being an advisor.
Packing for college can be a stressful experience-- but worry not! Below is a list of things you can bring to get you started. No need to stress, though. There are tons of stores close to Rice if you find that you need to go out and buy anything else!
We couldn't be more excited for your arrival on the first day of a new, exhilarating, Hanszen-filled part of your life. You've got a great week ahead of you, and here are some helpful bits of information to know before you come on move-in day:
If you have any trouble finding Hanszen, don't hesitate to ask for help! You'll know once you make it to Hanszen. You'll hear a bunch of people shouting your name and running towards your car. These are your Advisors, Co-Advisors, and Affiliates who will be with you for the entire week! Your Advisors, along with members of Rice's football team, will take care of getting all of your stuff, your bags, and your clothes to your room. We'll take you inside our Commons, and there you'll get to meet our O-Week Coordinators, Magisters, RAs, College Coordinator and the Hanszen President and Chief Justice. Once hands have been shaken, names exchanged, and room keys given, you'll want to strike a pose for your first picture as a Hanszenite!
Once all that's done, we'll take you up to your room where you can unpack your things and get to know your roommate. Take some time to settle in and check to see if you have everything you need. Even if you don't, the Gophers or your Advisors will be able to help you out in getting anything you're missing. Next, we'll have lunch! South Servery will prepare a great meal for you and your family. Enjoy it and spend some time with your parents. Don't be afraid to sit with strangers because you'll be meeting new people all week! After lunch, you'll say goodbye to your parents. Say your real goodbyes before you get to campus – it might be overwhelming once you get here. However, take all the time you need. Remember that your parents are only a phone call away, so don't forget to call them now and again. You're about to have a busy, fun-filled week, and we promise that it'll be well worth it! Welcome to Rice. Welcome to Hanszen.
Welcome to O-Week!
Move-in is August 13th!