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MIT student blogger Rachel D. '16

AHHH CPW!! by Rachel D. '16

Goal: Do ALL the things!

CPW. Campus Preview Weekend. MIT’s admitted students weekend sponsored by MIT Admissions during which hundreds of prefrosh from around the world gather for the first time together in one spot to go up to random upperclassmen and say “I am prefrosh” and then get blasted with free food, swag, and all sorts of other goodies. Ah, I miss those wonderful prefrosh days.  I made some of my best friends during CPW, and I’M SO EXCITED THAT IT IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!!

Undergraduates just got their prefrosh assignments last Friday, and I am so happy to officially say that my friend Victoria will be staying with me!!!   Although Victoria and I planned for me to be her host prior to Friday, most people were matched by admissions with a prefrosh that fit their profile, and everyone was super excited on Friday to find out who they were going to host and where they were from. I have to be honest to the prefrosh – many of you were stalked on facebook by eager MIT students, excited to reach out to you and find out all about you to maximize your experience when you come here. For example, my friend Neerja A. ’16 came into physics today really excited about her amazing prefrosh’s glass blowing skills, and lots of other undergrads are really impressed by the awesome skills you all have.

We have prefrosh, and that makes us happy :)  It is helping us get through this tough week, and we are so excited to see your faces in just two days!

All of this prefrosh CPW preparation really got me thinking back to my own CPW. It was filled with food, dyed hair, parties and more, and I remember it like it was just last weekend, even though so much has occurred since then and I feel like a very different person. I remember exploring the tunnels with my new friends including Emma S. ’16, Anthony P. ’16, and Jake I. ’16. I’m still great friends with all of these people – Emma and I get lunch about once a month to catch up on things, Jake lives down the hall from me, and every time I see Anthony around campus I get really excited. CPW buddies really can become long-lasting friends.

CPW really was one of the greatest weekends of my life, and I am so thankful for having the opportunity to attend the event.  I had the best time ever with my new friends and my new home and so many welcoming undergraduates and faculty that would do anything to make us happy and have the desire to go to MIT.   After CPW, I knew that I was going to MIT.

If you can’t go to CPW, no worries! Orientation week is just as great, just a week long instead of only one weekend. But try your best to go to CPW or to at least do an overnight visit before then; visiting MIT is one of the best experiences ever.

My favorite events at CPW included smashing things at East Campus, laser mazes at Epsilon Theta, sword fighting at Simmons, and liquid nitrogen ice cream at Random Hall. Now, I’m going to highlight some of the events I’m involved with for this CPW, and which ones I HIGHLY recommend that you attend.

I’m involved in:

  • Campus Tours – If this is your first time on campus, come for a tour of campus! Us tour guides will be doing quick 30 minute tours where we talk about student life and tell you some stories about ourselves and MIT. It is a great opportunity for you or your parents to ask questions to current students at MIT. Also, every dorm will have personal tours throughout the day so that you can take a look at each dorm. I am doing a couple tours of East Campus on Saturday, and I hope that I can give you a good idea of what it’s like to live in East Campus. Who knows, maybe you will even get to pet a cat :O You should probably inform your tour guide of any pet allergies before the tour begins.
  • ANYTHING EAST CAMPUS – Spoon Making, Hair Dyeing, Grilling, Painting, Milk Hero (Like Guitar Hero but with milk), Tesla Coil Singing, Soldering Seminars, Rock wall climbing, etc.
  • East Side Water Wars – We have shields. Make a sword beforehand and beat senior house!! They may have bouncy balls, but we have more prefrosh.
  • Sports and Athletics Midway – I’ll be there with the pistol team, come say hi!

I would also recommend:

  • Tours of UROPs
  • Tours of Freshman Learning Communities
  • SEE EVERY SINGLE DORM – go to at least one event in each dorm. It will help a lot when you’re deciding where to live in a few months, trust me.
  • Liquid nitrogen and RHOP at Random hall – I know it may seem far away, but go anyway. Pancakes.
  • CPW Prefrosh Welcome – SO MANY GREAT THINGS. Last year, Jake and Rachel N. ’16 sang disney songs during this.  It is a great bonding opportunity with your class, try your best to not miss it!
  • Firehose classes – They say that when you go to MIT, you learn so much information in such a small period of time that it is like trying to drink water from a firehose.  You should totally try this.  Go to Firehose, and take incredibly interesting classes like Phsyics Until We Die and learn physics until you can’t physically or mentally handle physics anymore.
  • Mad Hatter Tea at Senior Haus – They have really funky hats.
  • Do something relevant to your potential major – If you are undecided, go to a seminar on learning about the majors. I went to the Materials Science information session during CPW and got a really cool keychain. And I also got super excited about polymers.
  • Tire Swinging at Senior Haus – What’s the point of going to a campus preview weekend if you don’t go home with a bunch of scrapes and bruises to prove that you had a great time?
  • Association of Student Activities Midway – This is a great event where over a hundred student groups set up booths and give out tons of cool stuff!!

A full list of the CPW Schedule is here.  There are so many events and I know that it is hard to decide which ones to go to, but once you come here you will be able to pick and choose and try to fit as much as you can into the short amount of time that you are here for CPW.  If you miss something, then there is always orientation or even the rest of the four years that you are here at MIT to try that activity or go to a similar event!

My advice:

– Aim for less than 10 hours of sleep the entire weekend

– Don’t pay for ANYTHING (except for maybe MIT clothes like a sweatshirt or fancy pants, I still wear my MIT sweatshirt I bought at CPW all the time).  Go find free food!!

– Don’t just do academic things – It’ll be great to go to a class, but the purpose of this visit is to see what it would be like to be a student at MIT. We don’t just go to class here. We build things and destroy things and search for free food.

– Don’t bring homework – Forget about school and home and just let loose and surround yourself in the craziness that is MIT.  You are only a prefrosh once, so soak it all in and let everything be awesome.

– Stay away from your parents – There are plenty of events just for parents so that they get their own feel for how you will do at MIT.  Sure, it’s nice to maybe meet up with them for lunch one day or call to say hi, but they will not be with you everyday when you go to college, and this will give you a feel for what that would be like and the type of person you would be away at college next year.

– Do ALL THE THINGS!! See all the dorms, because if you choose to come here then you will be living in one of them and it is really hard to decide between them!  Try to go to as many activities as possible, and try to talk to as many upperclassmen as you can to get a feel for what it is truly like to be an MIT student.