So, today is the day! CPW has finally arrived! As many of you make your way to campus, I thought I’d share a few words on my experience at CPW last year in your shoes. Well, I had never been to Boston before, so I got out at Logan airport, and I immediately entered a state of utter confusion. I read in the itinerary that MIT would be bussing us from the airport, so I scurried around and looked for MIT folk for a solid twenty minutes. Now that I look back, I never really mentally processed what I was looking for. I was hoping someone would have an MIT shirt on or something, so I wouldn’t have to go up to strangers and say, “Hey are you the people from MIT here to take me in a van to campus?” Luckily, I eventually found a cluster of people wearing maroon, and I immediately fell into a state of social awkwardness as here were some of the people I’d be spending the next few years with.
After an initial hello, we walked outside, and I stopped for a second as the chill of Boston froze me. I had just left my town that was 80 degrees with 100% humidity in Florida, and I could now see my breath in the air. Still, I was in a state of confusion and was trying to process the new landscape, new people, and my new home. I had already committed to MIT prior to getting on the plane, so I thought to myself, well Jack, you better like this place.
After traveling in what appeared to be a maze, I saw the dome, and I had a moment of amazement that the images from google were true. I was here. Now, once I got in, checked in, and I headed out and about, I had already heard from twenty people that there is no wrong way to do CPW. My host at the time told me to not spend a dime on food, which I, sadly admit, did, and I saw the schedule that made me so overwhelmed I had to take a moment to catch my breath in the Student Center.
I handled CPW a lot differently than most of my friends did that I now hang out with. I literally like only went to academic stuff. I swear! I basically went from academic event to some sort of physics lab tour, and I stopped in between only to get something to eat. Looking back, I wish I would have went to a few more of the fun looking event like Scootah Hockey or Toilet Paper Dodgeball, so even though I did not attend them and can’t talk from experience, I encourage you to go and meet some friends there.
By the end of the first night, I was soaked from the rain, freezing, but I was so happy that I was coming to this place. I went on a UROP tour (Sign up early, they’re super cool and some of my friends are leading some!), I went to an Interphase EDGE info session (I’ll be there this year on the student panel Friday!), and I explored by myself some of the areas of campus that I’d be taking classes or read about on the internet. It was a ton of fun.
The second day was a lot like the first, but I actually met my closest friend on campus to this day and summer roommate Uriel. He, like me, was into going to all the academic events, so we drifted around together for the rest of CPW.
In sum, these next few days are exactly what you make of it. I encourage you to have some fun with the people here, look into some of the aspects that are not just the free ice cream and Korean BBQ, and truly ask yourself if this is the place you can see yourself for the next four years. Also, don’t be like me and buy so much stuff in the coop that your suitcase wasn’t big enough, and you end up having to wear 4 layers of clothes when you have to get off in Florida 80-degree weather and will sweat through the first three layers! Talk to the people in the class of 2022, but you should also try and talk to some of the people who are students here. I love telling people about my experience here, and I know just about everyone I know shares that sentiment. With all that being said, have a safe travel in, and I hope to see you around campus! Enjoy MIT this weekend and welcome