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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

Campus Preview Weekend by Ben Jones

...begins a week from today!

CPW begins a week from today, and I’m really psyched. The weather is beautiful around here (let’s hope it lasts through next week!) and everyone is working hard to finalize plans for the ~500 events we’re going to cram into four days:

thursday | friday | saturday | sunday

Last year over 800 admitted students attended; it looks like we may have an even higher number attending this year. If you haven’t yet registered (via your MyMIT account), please do so ASAP!

CPW is my favorite time of year, as I get to meet so many people “in real life” for the first time. Please come say hi! Here’s where you’ll find me over the course of the weekend… the events in bold are the ones I REALLY hope you’ll attend (for reasons which will become obvious below).

Thursday, April 6

From 8:30AM – 6:00PM, I’ll be at the registration desk on the second floor of the Student Center (La Sala). You all have to come here to check in and get your meal card, etc., so be sure to say hello. From 8:30PM – 9:30PM, I’ll be at the Student Welcome in the Rockwell Cage (W33). This event is a lot of fun, and you’ll see many familiar admissions faces here along with a performance by the Logs. Following this, I’ll be at the CPW Festival (in the Johnson Athletics Center – W34) eating way too much Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream from 9:30PM – 12:00AM.

Friday, April 7

Working the registration desk again from 9:00AM – 12:00PM. Then from 12:30PM – 2:00PM, I’ll be at the President’s Welcome which includes a talk by Eric Lander (awesome). From 2:00PM – 4:00PM, I’ll be cruising between the Academic/Athletics/Arts Fairs, which take place in the Z-Center.

There’s a bunch of stuff I want to check out in the 5:00PM – 8:00PM slot, and I’m going to try to get to all of them. The Senior Haus/East Campus Water War & Bouncy Ball Drop is not to be missed, and Resonance is rocking Lobby 7 @ 5PM sharp. One of my favorite events last year was the live jazz happening in the BSU Lounge, which begins at 7:30PM.

From 8:30PM – 10:00PM I will be at the Meet The Bloggers Party. (Duh!) If you’ve been following these blogs all year, this is one event you won’t want to miss! All of the admissions bloggers will be there – please come, and bring your parents too!

Saturday, April 8

Oh boy, there are so many things going on today, and for once I’m not bound to the reg desk. I’ll probably spend most of the day floating around and talking to people. You should definitely check out the dorm tours from 1-5. From 5:30PM – 8:00PM I’ll be at the CPW Closing Ceremony / A Cappella Concert in Kresge Auditorium. It’s a fantastic concert – don’t miss it.

And then… the ultimate end to CPW… ZBT’s Battle of the Bands from 8:00PM – 11:00PM. My band is performing, and Marilee (yes, that Marilee) will be joining us for a song. PLEASE COME! The show is not free (it’s $3 for you guys) but all proceeds go to Children’s Hospital Boston, so your money goes to a good cause. (Feel free to download my band’s record for your ipod if you haven’t already.) I’ll have tickets with me all weekend (including my 10 hour shift at the Reg Desk on thurs) so if you want me to hold one for you, just leave a comment in this thread.

Sunday, April 9

I’ll be hanging around the checkout area on the second floor of the student center until I pass out. :-)

Can’t wait to meet you guys!

46 responses to “Campus Preview Weekend”

  1. Kristin R. says:

    I never would’ve thought I could anticipate something THIS MUCH. But I am.


    And please, save me a ticket if at all possible!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am so excited to see you in real person. I will look for you first thing when I arrive in Boston.

    This is going to be quite an adventure!

    It’ll be amazing!

  3. longL, we live in CA too, and for CPW last year we flew in early: there are Wed. night “red-eye” flights that would have you arriving Thurs. morning (or Thurs. night arriving Fri. morning) — see if JetBlue flies from your part of CA. If it’s not too late to change your flight, you might want to look into that possibility….

  4. Ritu T. says:

    I can’t wait for CPW, and to meet you and all the admissions people in person, as well as to meet all the awesome students at MIT!!

    I’m so excited!

    and I would really appreciate it if you were able to save a ticket for me!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Sounds awesome; I can’t wait!

    When are we assigned hosts? At registration or beforehand?

  6. Caroline says:

    Oh my gosh I’m so excited!!! smile It’s going to be so awesome.

    I really really hope you guys make me fall in love with MIT so that my decision is easy!

  7. Sam C. says:

    Ben, what kind of music does your band play?

  8. faye says:

    Just dropping by and saying hi =) You’ll be seeing a lot more of me next year when I’m a senior.

    I <3 MIT =) I hope I get in next year.

  9. My son (a freshman) was in Arizona and LA for spring break. He flew back to Boston on Jet Blue from Long Beach on the redeye yesterday. Departed LGB at 9:40 PM (Wednesday) Flight # 488, arrived BOS at 5:30 AM (Thurs), went to dorm, took a nap, drove home to Vermont.

  10. Nur says:

    Sounds great!

    Pleaseeeee hold a ticket for me!

  11. Shen says:

    Awesome, Ben! I’m so excited for the events. I’d love a ticket to Battle of the Bands, too!

  12. Phillip Kim says:

    Woot! I’m excited!

  13. l0ngL says:

    Hey Ben!

    I am super duper excited for CPW. Though I have a small problem. I live all the way in CA and it takes half a day to get to Boston, so I will miss pretty much many events on Friday =/ (I arrive at 5:30pm Friday)

    And how do we know who our hosts are?

    Oh, and wow, SO many things going on I don’t know what to see.

  14. l0ngL says:

    and did I mention that I was really surprised when I found out that you were the lead vocal for Tremulant???

    When you said “my band,” I thought you meant a band you sponsored, not your band your band. Wow. I wonder what other interesting left-hand jobs the admission officers have =D

  15. Zach R says:

    im so sad…. i cant go (playing w. my jazz band at Disney) but i got to schedule a visit on my own and it was a blast, so ill be comin in the fall wink

  16. Anonymous says:

    That is so awesome that the Battle of the Bands money is going to Children’s. That is a terrific hospital and they really, really deserve it. Thanks so much.

  17. Joel Paulino says:

    Hey Ben,

    Could you hold a ticket for me for the “Battle of the Bands”? I would really appreciate it.

  18. Shikhar says:

    hi Ben,

    Can you (or anyone else) tell me how far WPI is from MIT..

  19. visitor says:

    Worcester is about 45 miles from Cambridge and would take around an hour to drive, depending on traffic.

  20. Phillip Kim says:

    Oh Ben, I forgot: I’d be grateful if you could hold one ticket for me – i’ll try to meet u thursday morning! =]

  21. l0ngL says:

    hello leftcoast mom!

    i live near you around the bay, right? i live in san jose, actually. i will call the travel agent to see if he can change my flight.

    thank you!

  22. Kel says:

    If you could keep me a ticket, I’d appreciate it. Tanx!

  23. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to put a ticket on hold. Thanks =)

    Also, a few questions for CPW:

    1) Can you give us an idea of how long it takes from the time we reach Boston airport to the time we’d check-in and be ready to roam? A breakdown would be cool… just to give us an idea of what classes we would be able to sit in for.

    2) Is it alright to walk in and out of a class? Is it considered a disturbance or disrespectful? If we enter a class at the starting, should we stay until the end? Or should we stay until the end? Are we allowed to visit certain professors?

    3) Do you recommend sitting in any classes? Also, how do we know if these classes are freshman/soph/jr/sr classes? Just to give us an idea of difficulty.

    4) Do you recommend a tour before we do anything?

    thanks. SO excited =)

  24. Christine says:


    Hold me a ticket for the BOTB, sounds like a blast. I’ll definitely see you at registration Thursday morning.

    Getting more and more excited by the minute!

  25. nehalita says:

    ah. btw, that was me above.

    another question:

    Food is a very important part of my life. Recommendations?

  26. longL, I live near San Jose, too, and JetBlue does fly red-eye from SJC daily (flight leaves about 8pm). I’ll be putting my son on that flight today, for him to return to MIT from Spring Break. grin (Get in touch through my blog if you want to ask any questions.)

    nehalita, it takes between half an hour and an hour to get to MIT from Logan Airport, as I recall. Check-in time will depend on the lines: last year, you first had to drop off your luggage/bedroll in one room, then get in line in La Sala to pick up your registration packet. Sometimes the lines were long, sometimes not. I’d say *max* for drop-off/check-in total might be 30 min.? And DEFINITELY sit in on classes! The class number gives you a clue as to whether it’s an intro or upper-level class: if the digit after the : is a 0, it’s likely a more intro class (for some value of “intro”). As for food, well, you should “eat around”! Try the dorm eateries, the places in the Student Center, even the food trucks: try it all, see what you like! And there will be plenty of free food everywhere at CPW (and Orientation week): be sure to take advantage of it!

    Have a great time, everyone!

  27. And let’s hear it for BEN’S (former) BEARD, on the MIT main webpage today! grin

  28. kiersten says:


    you did the homepage!!!!!! YAY!


  29. Masha B. says:

    Hey Ben!

    Im soooooo excited for CPW, and all the events and things.

    And could you please save a ticket for Battle of the Bands for me? I’d love to go! (how would I get it? I suppose I’ll be stopping by Thursday afternoon….)

    Thanks so much (I finally get to meet you amazing bloggers ^_^)


  30. Masha says:

    Also, I had a question – when it says there are financial aid appointments for parents, how to we schedule the appointments?

  31. Grace M. says:

    Mr. Jones, can you hold me a ticket as well? Thank you!

  32. Nicole says:


    I downloaded Tremulant’s entire record a while ago, and I absolutely love your music. Actually, I think Tremulant is probably my favorite band. Ever. You guys rock! I’ll definitely be sure to catch your act at Battle of the Bands – can you save me a ticket too? Thanks.


  33. saw that ben hasn’t responded and thought i might jump in

    1) Can you give us an idea of how long it takes from the time we reach Boston airport to the time we’d check-in and be ready to roam? A breakdown would be cool… just to give us an idea of what classes we would be able to sit in for.

    assuming you have already gotten your luggage at baggage claim, it could take anywhere from 12 minutes to 30 minutes via taxi (30 depending on traffic) to get to MIT. however, if i remember correctly, MIT will provide a shuttle bus…they leave approximately every half hour from one of the terminals (they’ll probably send you an email or letter with more info) i would guestimate then going from airport to MIT will be anywhere from 45 min to 1 hour. check in should be quick, and the furthest dorm from the student center is about a ten or twelve minute walk. if you are staying at a fraternity, sorority, or independent living group, it may be further away. however, there are also factors involving the availability of your host or what not….all in all, my best estimate is that it will be around two hours from landing to getting fully settled and ready to roam MIT

    2) Is it alright to walk in and out of a class? Is it considered a disturbance or disrespectful? If we enter a class at the starting, should we stay until the end? Or should we stay until the end? Are we allowed to visit certain professors?

    most classes it should be fine…just be quiet and respectful when entering/leaving and while you’re there. professors and students alike will be expecting that the admits are sitting in on the classes, so it’s not a big deal. there might be some extremely high level classes that you can’t just walk in on, but they won’t be on the class list and someone will probably say something when you enter

    3) Do you recommend sitting in any classes? Also, how do we know if these classes are freshman/soph/jr/sr classes? Just to give us an idea of difficulty.

    if it’s anything like five years ago they will give you a list of classes and descriptions.

    in my opinion, it’d be a great idea to sit in on

    (1) a freshmen class, such as 8.02 physics 2, 18.02 multivariable calculus , 18.03 differential equations, some form of biology 7.01x

    and (2) an intro level class for a major that you’re interested, such as 6.001 for eecs people, 14.01 for econ, etc. most students walking around will be totally willing to suggest a good class…

    4) Do you recommend a tour before we do anything?

    tours are fun….i didn’t get a full campus tour at my CPW, but i did join and really enjoyed some of the lab or department specific tours and i totally joined in on one of the full campus tours as a freshmen as a joke, and it was still as interesting as ever — you learn all sorts of random facts to tell your friends when they visit

    hope that was helpful. i loved MIT so much that i’m still here as a masters student…

    just a few tips:

    1) get lots of sleep before CPW because there’s soooo much to do during CPW that you don’t want to spend it tired. try to partake in as much as you can

    2) stay up all night and talk to the students, really challenge the current students — ask them hard questions, it is MIT’s turn to convince you of their merits (which isn’t hard in my opinion) but really work to find out if it’s a good fit….as much as we’d love you to come, we don’t want people to come here and find out they don’t like it, we don’t want our peers to be unhappy, etc. so it’s in our best interest to try to see if you are that great match that the admissions people thought you’d be

    3) have fun. if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing (whether it’s a class or an event) then leave and go try something else. the school is so big and has so much to offer, similarly CPW is so big and has so much to offer…most likely i think you’ll find that you won’t have the opportunity to do everything you want

    my food recommendations on campus

    –> indian food: lobdell’s cafe spice in student center

    –> healthy food: steam cafe, fourth floor of building 7 (the little dome) — it has brown rice!

    –> dorm dining halls: great way to sit with current students

    –> food trucks!!

    although as leftcoast mom says — just go enjoy the free food, you can find out about the places to eat during orientation.

  34. Phillip Kim says:

    wow thanks alum! =] great info/advice

  35. Omar says:

    WOW this is awesome! So much to do! I can’t wait for CPW. See you all there! I’m looking forward to meet all of the bloggers, and to say hi to some other people!

    smile See you all in 4 days!

  36. Yay for Resonance rocking Lobby 7 @ 5PM Sharp.

    Further yay for ZBT’s BOTB.

    I’m psyched to meet all the prefrosh, woohoo.


  37. Sarah Dupuis says:

    Hi Ben,

    I don’t really know how to e-mail you, but I wanted to let you know that the note you wrote me on my acceptance letter (which I’m sure you won’t remember!) about the opportunities for a singer-songwriter in Cambridge really solidified my decision to enroll at MIT. I really love Tremulant’s music and I can’t wait to hear more at CPW.

    Thanks once more and I can’t wait to spend the next four years at MIT!

    – Sarah Dupuis

  38. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for including the Resonance Lobby 7 sing!

    I’m looking forward to meeting all the prefrosh!

    For some reason, I really want prefrosh to read my blog…maybe it’s because I want to help them learn as much as possible about MIT and everything…especially so they can learn from my mistakes!

    Hopefully you get to meet my sister in person!

  39. Prannay says:

    ohhh! I am sooo sad I can’t come to CPW. I am going to miss all the fun. Hey Ben is it possible if u guys lake a lot of pics at the event and video too and post it up after CPW. I don’t want to miss it but I have no choice. Orrr… if we think hi-tech could a live video feed of various events be arranged just to satisfy all those missing CPW. I would like if some of the above is seriously considred.

  40. Masha says:

    I hope the weather improves. It was so gorgeous out last week, thats the weather we shouldve been showing off to them visitors… smile

  41. Hey Jones, I’m a newbie to your blog even though I play in a band with you! Just want to say thanks to all your fans for the support. We’re going to rock Saturday for y’all.

  42. Justine says:

    In the true spirit of RPCS poor eating habits, I’m taking orders for berger cookies. How many boxes?

  43. Timur Sahin says:

    Hope you’re not too busy Wednesday. wink

  44. Ben says:

    Alum (c/o 2005) – thank you so much for that amazing answer to Neha’s questions. I couldn’t have answered them better myself! Sorry I’ve been too busy to respond guys – hope to see all of you at CPW! I’ll be posting pictures as often as possible.

    (Justine I emailed you about the cookies… grin


  45. Anonymous says:

    I won’t be able to go to CPW :(


    Because I was rejected!

    Yes, I’m a little bit bitter. I felt that I really deserved to get into MIT.

    Oh well, it’s all good.

    MIT made a mistake. It happens.

    I was accepted to Yale under their Single-Choice Early Action program. Harvard and Stanford offered me admission for regular decision too.

    MIT made a mistake. It happens.

  46. MIT grad says:

    Hey, Anonymous. Get over it.

    So you got into Harvard, Yale, and Stanford? There are thousands and thousands of students out there who would have been thrilled to get into even one of those top-tier schools. But all you can do is feel bitter and post a “sad face” on an MIT admission officer’s blog cuz you weren’t admitted.

    You think MIT made a mistake? You think admission to any one of the highly competative HYPSM universities means you’re entitled to admission to ALL of the highly competative HYPSM universities? Think again. College Confidential is full of posts written by bright, outstanding students who got into some combination — but not all — of those schools. No, these colleges don’t make “mistakes.” It’s a numbers game — sometimes the numbers come up in your favor, sometimes they don’t.

    My advice to you is to enjoy Bulldog Days, Harvard Days, and Stanford Days (or whatever they call those “Days”), and relish in the fact that you have an amazing choice to make. Don’t publicly pout on Ben’s blog right before CPW.