Ahh CPW. The time when underclassmen, upperclassmen, and prospective members of the former convene together to celebrate a 10M concentration of all the things that make MIT great. Parties, food, geektastic activities, food, a showcase of student organizations, food, sample lectures, food, and most importantly….food.
(seriously, there’s so much food for you guys. It’s ridiculous.)
All the dorms will be pulling out the stops to show off their unique cultures, get to know you, and help you get a preliminary idea of where you might be happy. (There’s a very important event for students who accept admission called REX that’s dedicated to figuring out where to live, so don’t worry TOO much about it. CPW is about whether or not you like MIT.)
You’d be amazed by the number of student groups we have too. Everything from rock climbing to Shakespearean theatre has a group, and many will be there to talk to you about what they do, and convince you to join up should you join us here at the ‘tvte. There are some really interesting groups too, including the MIT Science Fiction Society which has the worlds largest open shelf collection of science fiction! They have over 90% of ALL SCI-FI PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH! Which is a pretty remarkable nerd collection that you can peruse whenever they’re open.
There’s also MITERS , which stands for “The MIT Electronics Research Society”, though to be honest that name is a bit of a legacy title. In reality, we’re a student run hackerspace that draws a diverse and talented group of individuals who use the space to work on any number of projects. Ever wanted to build a robotic panini press that only works when you play a Bb on a keyboard? Come to MITERS. Want to browse an extensive gallery of various electronic detritus we’ve acquired over the years? Come to MITERS. Want to see the other insane projects members have built, including a musical Tesla coil, homemade analog segways, 3D printers, electric go carts, Wiis-stuffed-into-laptops, and more? You guessed it, come to MITERS. It’s a really incredible atmosphere to immerse yourself in, where engineering is the art by which people express themselves; building cool things for the sake of them being cool and not necessarily for any practical or academic reason. It’s one of the few shops where you can be a little more relaxed and listen to music, snack on a sandwich, or just hangout with your friends.
Besides checking out the cool organizations, there are a number of great events to go to. I think everyone should go to one of the many dance parties hosted around campus, if only because it’s a unique environment to go to for a lot of people. There’s also Senior House’s infmaous bouncy ball drop, the EC liquid nitrogen ice cream party, Meet the Bloggers (come revel in my depthless wit in real life!), and who knows what else. It’s seriously like someone just dumped a bag-of-holding worth of awesome on campus just for you guys.
But with so much stuff, there are two primary concerns I get from students:
0) How can I do all of this? There’s literally nonstop events 24 hours a day for the entirety of CPW?!
1) Is this really what life is like?
My non-institute-sanctioned opinion on 0) is to go out and do as much of the fun social things as you can (even if you have to do the MIT thing and sleep a little less). You’re probably already convinced that MIT has a stellar academic program. (If you’re not, ***SPOILER**** we do.) Now if something like computational methods for abstracting biological nanospheres (which I’m almost sure I just made up) is critical to your undergraduate experience, by all means poke around at the academic lectures. But in my opinion, one of the greatest assets at MIT is the people, and CPW is a great chance to already start to forge some friendships with people who truly, deeply, GET you and your love of math puns or your compulsive need for proper punctuation (you guys are probably, twitching: while read this]. There’s this common thread that resonantes in everyone that you just don’t find anywhere else, and I think it’s a fantastic time to exploit that. Talk to students and prefrosh, ask them what they think about MIT. Or Lady Gaga. Whatever, just enjoy being here with such a high concentration of intelligent and interesting people like yourself.
Now about 1). Here’s the thing. CPW is not MIT everyday. But everything you see at CPW is representative of things that happen throughout the year. There really parties like the ones you can go to, and people really do wild things like liquid nitrogen ice cream. But we also do muggle things too, like study for exams and work on psets. But those aren’t necessarily the things that make MIT special, so CPW focuses on the things that do. And with so many fun, unique things to try and cover in 4 days, you wind up with the concentrated and caffeinated variety show that is CPW. (Besides, I’d like to see the matriculation rate after a CPW modeled on 4 days during finals week……yeeeeesh….)
So get excited for CPW, take pictures, go out and meet people, enjoy the party, and say hi to me if you see me. Actually, maybe that’s too generic. Maybe you should say something that lets me you read the blogs, something creative and otherwise puzzling…..how about “Vulcans never bluff!”? I’m almost positive I won’t hear that unless it’s coming from one of you guys.
Remember, this weekend is for you. You’ve done some working hard, now get ready to play hard. So say we all!