Parent and Alum’s Reflection on Rice


Peter Sheppard standing at the Grand Canyon, in Arizona on July 18th, 2021 by Logan Sheppard (Photo/Logan Sheppard)

Logan Sheppard, Journalism Student

While Peter Sheppard was feeling lost and thought he was going to be a failure, Rice was able to surround him with staff that wanted to see him succeed as they saw that he could do this. Peter recently had this to say about finding support from those at Rice. “Honestly, if I had never played soccer, I don’t think I would ever be able to dig myself out of the hole I was in. My coach saw my IQ on the field and told me he knew I had what it takes to succeed not only on the field but off as well.”

After having his confidence boosted by those around him at Rice Memorial, Peter felt as if he could finally buckle down and start doing his work and receiving the grades those around him knew he was capable of. Not only was Peter known for his hard work ethic, but he also was very friendly and did not want to have any enemies. This made him pretty well known around Rice as everyone was able to go up and start a conversation with him. “If I’m being honest, I was more worried about people not liking me when I first started high school. After my freshman year, I felt like I had a solid group of real friends that I could have conversations with,” said Peter.

After getting a quick overall glimpse of Peter Sheppard’s high school life, he was asked further questions about his hardships and how he overcame them. Here are some questions that were asked along with Peter’s responses.

Q: Was it at all difficult for you being a freshman and trying to balance academics along with the sports you played?

At first it was very difficult and overwhelming, I wasn’t exactly sure if it was something I was going to be able to do actually. I have an older sister who had balanced sports and academics and I remember her telling me to just figure it out. However, with a lot of focus, hard work, and simply just asking for help when I didn’t understand something brought me a very long way.

Q: What was the hardest year of your time at Rice Memorial and why?

That’s hard to answer. I really struggled my freshman and sophomore years but if I had to pick one it would have to be my freshman year simply because I was new to the whole high school system. I really owe getting through my first year of Rice to the staff for supporting me so well and I can’t exaggerate that enough. The support I was given during and outside of class really changed my academic career and they made me feel like I could do anything I set my mind to.

Q: What was the most challenging event you had to overcome at Rice on your own?

The most challenging event I had to face alone at Rice was definitely every year when it came to midterms and finals. I was just simply not a test taker no matter what I did to prepare and study. For my first two years at Rice my grade would drop down drastically whenever I had to take tests and exams. It wasn’t until the summer going into junior year, where I was able to find a study tactic that actually worked for me and helped me remember stuff. Using flashcards was a game changer for me and it really was the best way for me to retain information. For the next two years, I remember actually feeling very confident for most tests and exams.

Q: Do you see yourself being in the same position you are today, if you had attended a different high school?

Absolutely not and if someone had asked me this while I was at Rice, my answer may be different. Looking back, Rice prepared me for life after school and even was able to lead me to the career path I am on today. Not only was Rice able to help prepare me for college, but for so much after, and I would have never guessed that.

Q: What is it like for you to have the opportunity to send your children to Rice?

It’s somewhat of a dream come true. After having kids and seeing the impact Rice had on me, I knew it was a place I wanted my children to have, if not the same, a very similar experience as to what I was given at Rice. Not only is it a dream come true, it is very exciting for me as I believe the education they will receive will lead them to do great things.