Rice Essay

Cringey essay for rice from 2016?

Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve. You can type directly into the box, or you can paste text from another source. (250-650 words)

It’s hard to extricate the personal from the academic. Empirical sciences interpret the world through approximate models while literature imputes argumentative value through the realm of the subjective and aesthetic. A dichotomy emerges that manifests itself in the schools of higher learning, e.g. schools of liberal arts and of natural sciences. Of course the areas available to study today convolute this one example of higher learning’s equivocal function. Other conflicts can be drawn from the explanatory/philosophical, to the highly practical/mechanical: the debate between theory and practice. The lines further sharpen and bleed into one another as aspects of a subject appear inevitably linked with the definition of another, as when the question of interpretation in empirical sciences exchanges paradoxical glances with the empirical weight of literature in anthropological studies. Out of this mess of distinctions and indistinctions emerges some loose definition of higher learning’s function- a university’s function. However loose and amorphous, the definition encapsulates my reasons for transferring and the concomitant goals therein. 

I believe that the purpose of a university is to teach its students how to proceed through life. 

-deep sigh-

An accompanying shaking of the head in disbelief would be appropriate, but I reiterate nonetheless- universities guide students through the process of life. It sounds utterly banal and commonsense, the fodder of commencement addresses immemorial. Could an accompanying poignancy be latent? I have to ask, what is life? It’s the seed of germination, the chicken and the egg, the cause and effect- personal and academic, the individual and the family. What is life? When I considered it fully, I never saw myself concluding what I did: that life was inextricably everything- a concert of contradictions that makes the Gordian Knot look like a simple shoelace tie. 

All these crossed lines and bloody contradictions might suggest higher learning provides students with sharpened wits as to cut, like Alexander the Great’s sword, through the mick-mash of obfuscating life. But I believe the opposite is true, that universities hold the tools to see these lines and somehow help students embrace them as a homogeneous whole- in other words, that universities help students study life. This life includes the personal and academic- together.

This life includes the family and individual- together. This life exists in between the lines, is made up of the lines and as a whole has no lines at all. 

When I looked at life at my college, I realized that I had, in a major sense, been running away. The contradictions of the self and family peeled like salty brine at my insides, so I threw myself in the lukewarm solace of isolation 1,600 miles away, away from the problematic.

Unfortunately in life the problematic is also usually essential. What I did at my school newspaper I saw myself doing anywhere- writing is always going to be a part of me. Still, the newspaper gave me a chance to see myself in print for the first time and exposed me to the impact of college newspapers (e.g. the debate issue and Sigma Pi hazing piece proliferated nationally), but ultimately I’m not essential to the team, to the university.

I’ve meshed the academic and personal for most of my life. I remember sharing the details of Saturn and Jupiter to my father in between clothes racks too tall for my head to clear. I hope to continue meshing the personal and the academic in the process of learning how to live life. I hope to understand the implications of a life necessitated on each individual part of its gestalt, a life with self responsibility, familial responsibility, academic vivacity and the incessant progression of ideas.



In between my bed and bed frame, there’s a really old photo of a stuffed animal I had when I was a newborn. It’s a green and red caterpillar/millipede type thing, but not as terrifying as the real life one. They (the makers) weren’t really going for realistic accuracy-it has a cute smile and stubby legs…

Anyways I really liked that stuff animal, it’s stuffed somewhere in a closet now (with at least one leg missing) so I just have a photo of it as a material representative. 2-D.

I’m hungry today, I was hungry yesterday. I will be hungry again, sometime in the future. I think I should continue this job (writing/being a student). It’ll be fun to do.

We run out of energy, we’re always running out. I think we can pause the drip for a while, but it doesn’t increase so readily. It decreases. Decreasing energy levels make it hard to work sometimes. It’s like pulling realllly hard, or pushing extra hard. It can be okay, paradoxically it can be even energizing, maybe.

For the sake of it. For the sake of A goal.

I still want to know. 5 years have passed, and I still want to know. In momentary glimpses of life I want to know. I want to know illuminated microcosmic instances like they’re sunny urban landscapes titillating macrocosms

My grandpa stares at me through partially formed cataracts. I don’t know how these medical things go. The eyes start to cloud anyways, so when I was sure he was looking he didn’t see. I was sometimes frightened of these eyes that saw sometimes-didn’t see.

Today’s over an hour ago. I run out of steam, the bell’s in the bag.

I look over slowly, closely eyeing the water on wet rocks.

I look and something glints, sturdy I see, it glints, metal, medium-sized, plastic orange form-it glints, my key.

How did you first learn about Rice University and what motivated you to apply? 


I’m not sure. I think I first heard of Rice University…in middle school. I think elementary school was too much a time of suburban underwater microcosms. Middle school took me out of the world of pissed jeans, duck duck goose, Mrs. Sawyer’s Journey blasting on the radio in 5th grade science, and into one of G.T. inculcation (we were the “smart ones”), portable philosophy and a universe of magical dimension: Downtown Houston.

On the day to MFAH for a field trip-8th grade-sunny in January, I see out the right side of the white bus’s windows a building in stucco white and a stone sign in front announcing its function- “Rice Graduate Apartments.” A young adult male, Asian in black uniform walks on the sidewalk past the sign and I say, “there’s a guy” sincerely thinking the spoken phrase would ignite some imaginary filament of knowledge in my mind-a pathway between this finite figure and the infinite curiosity of this 13 year old.

Maybe he was a Rice student- Who knows? I wanted to know.

I still want to know. 5 years have passed, and I still want to know.

With the understanding that the choice of academic school you indicated is not binding, explain why you are applying to that particular school of study. (150 word limit)

The quality of Rice’s academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What personal perspective would you contribute to life at Rice? (500 word limit)

_____________ > ______________


Hofstra, why aren’t you a professionally viable choice for me?

So many people kick off their careers from here. NYC is in range! You can try going places. You can try in the best city in the world.

Hofstra I love you, but you’re bringing me down.

The other college. I love Rice. I love Houston, and Rice is at the center of the city’s intellectual life. It’s situated right in the Museum District, my favorite place in the world, and has a great number of trees.

I need to get a financial aid estimate. But now, ideologically, I would go.

Or not.

Rice + family

Hofstra here! um I’m not really a college but I’d like to be!!! Hahaha, um please don’t be too harsh. I have cool ppl! I can make you an assistant features editor! Or something! Who the fuck knows! LOL, HAHAHHAHA FUCKKK. Okay, I’m going. Fuck me. I love these ppl but I can’t stand to let them bring me down.

Rice, don’t look so smug. you’re not even considered an Ivy plus, you’re just a sad little private university in Texas where you have had free reign to be as exclusive and free reign as you want with money from a racist. Good job with that though; the trees look nice. You’ll be tough, but at least I’ll have a good time kicking your ass as you kick my half-ass. It’ll be sad to leave Hofstra but it’s just not enough for me. The trees and the place are so overwhelming in the moment, but I can effect greater potential in my life nearer my family. Not that I haven’t done great things here. I’ve found my self-esteem as a writer for the Chronicle. My friends from Nonsense are the strangest and coolest ppl I’ll probably ever meet, the creative equivalent of some extraterrestrial haven in the cosmos. I just hope to god I meet ppl even a smidgen as weird or creative as these people at Rice.

But, fuck, how can I??