5 Things to Know as an Incoming Freshman

Welcome to Rice! Now that you’re here, there’s a few things you may want to know to make the most of your time here.

1. You do not have to have your life…or career path… figured out yet. 

Let’s be honest, do any of us really have our entire lives figured out yet?   If any one answers unequivocally yes, they are delusional.  

                 Expectation                           vs.                                       Reality


Choosing a major and a career path is a process, one that you shouldn’t try to rush. Explore different majors and careers by taking a variety of classes, completing some career assessments with the CCD, speaking with alumni, and exploring the world of work with an Externship. Things may change along the way, and thanks okay! The CCD is here to help guide you navigate the exploration process.

2. You do not have to get involved in everything.

There is a danger in becoming over involved. As Bilbo told Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings, “I feel think, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” This does not happen only in fantasy novels, but in real life if you over-commit yourself.

You will not impress an employer by being involved in over 20 student organization and in 10 leadership positions at your residential college.

As someone who works with overwhelmed students frequently, there is only so much cognitive and physical energy you have to spend. Don’t be that freshman that only gets 2 hours of sleep and walks around like a zombie. College is about learning, growing, and developing…. things that are impossible to do when you have no time to reflect on your experiences.

3. Try something new.

How can you learn something new if you are always doing in the exact same things you always have? College is the time to branch out and try something you never thought you could/would do. Explore; you might find something that will lead you to a new career.

4. Learn from your peers.

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel! Luckily for you, Rice has a built in community of support with our residential college system. Having a hard time with a particular class? Wondering how to best prepare for an upcoming exam? Unsure how to apply for an on-campus research position? 95% of the time, an upperclassman at your residential college had those same questions. Put yourself out there and just ask!

5. Have fun in Houston.

Eat delicious Houston food. Walk over to Hermann park and watch a free show at the Miller Outdoor Theater. Head to Galveston for the weekend to enjoy the beach. Take the light-rail downtown and explore Discovery Green. Houston has wide variety of attractions and events for any interest, besides snow-related activities. Get out and enjoy the city!

6. Get involved with the CCD

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you don’t need to think about your career until senior year. Avoid that unnecessary anxiety by visiting the Center for Career Development your freshman year! Not only can our office help you pick a major, find internships and jobs, and connect you with employers, but data shows that students who see us starting in their freshman year are more likely to have either graduate school plans or a job lined up at graduation. Don’t hesitate to come by during walk-in hours (12-1pm Monday-Friday) or schedule an appointment in RICElink: Powered by Handshake!


Andrew Tessmer, M. Ed., Assistant Director, Career Development at Rice University, Houston, TX

Authored by: Andrew Tessmer, M. Ed., Assistant Director of Career Development at Rice University, Houston, TX

Make an appointment with Andrew or any of our other career development professionals in RICElink: Powered by Handshake today!


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