OH MY GOD IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR CPW!!!! Class of ’26, we cannot wait to meet you!!!
I know how excited I was for my CPW, so I can only imagine how excited the Class of ’26 is when their last two years of high school were impacted so much by the pandemic. I hosted a mini virtual CPW event on Sunday that people shockingly showed up to, despite me putting in almost 0 planning, and I asked them why they would willingly indulge in another virtual event when they have in-person ones to look forward to this week. most people answered saying they simply could not wait for CPW. valid!
I’m a member of one of the two classes that experienced an in-person CPW prior to the pandemic. normally, by this point, I would’ve hosted CPWs in my freshman and sophomore years, but instead I was running weird virtual events as part of CP*! one time, not a single prefrosh showed up :D slay
so here I am, a junior CPW chair, writing a CPW how-to with only the hazy memories of my CPW to guide me. this is totally credible and you should take everything I say to heart!!
tip #1: go with the flow
being psycho about scheduling every hour of your day only gets you so far. look at this spreadsheet that I made back in 2019 in ADDITION to my very over-populated Google Calendar. did it give me an idea of where I wanted to go and what parts of campus I wanted to explore? yes. did I go to even a third of these events? ain’t no way
my year, I made a ton of friends in the Messenger groupchats that I spent a lot of time talking to pre-CPW. we all made spreadsheets like this so we could compare, which wasn’t the best move since it’s best to go to the events you want to go to rather than planning around other people’s interests.
anyways, you have a dope website to help you plan your CPW, so there’s no need for insane spreadsheets like this. peruse all the events, add the ones you’re interested in, and go to the ones you’re feeling at the time. that’s about it!
there is SO much to do on campus—in addition to all the dorm/residential life events, there’s academics, UROPs, and clubs. it’s overwhelming, so don’t try to optimize, just do what you can. running back and forth across campus to get 15 minutes at each event is not a fun time.
tip #2: try to meet new people
my CPW, I stuck with one friend group. it was great, but I wish I’d been more flexible; I could’ve met a lot more people. the thing about coming to campus no one is that it forces you to leave your comfort zone and hang out with new people who have similar interests—after all, they came to the same event as you. if you’re coordinating with an already-established friend group, you’re going to have tons of fun, but you’ll be limited in the experiences you can have. don’t be afraid to wander off and do your own thing! there are so many dope people to meet, and you won’t find them if you’re chilling with the same four people all the time.
tip #3: don’t burn out
I’m pretty sure I stayed up until 6 am every single day of CPW in various Burton Conner lounges. it was great, but damn…I felt like I was post seven-week bender when Sunday rolled around. take care of yourself! as a student, it’s important to find balance, and CPW is no exception. drink water and get lots of sleep so it cancels out the copious amounts of free food you’ll be eating :)
tip #4: go to lots of residential life events
CPW should be stress-free since you have quite a bit of time until you commit to MIT and arrive on campus, but it’s nice to start exploring communities early. everyone has to live in a dorm your first year on campus, so wouldn’t it be great to find one you vibe with?? MIT students get support from all sorts of places, but for many people, their residential communities are the most crucial. it’s good to use CPW to get a glimpse of what living groups MIT has to offer.
if you’re interested, look at the dorm pages and check out their resources (such as i3 videos) to get a sense of their vibe. there are a lot of factors that go into choosing the dorm right for you, but you don’t have to worry about most of them right now; you won’t be choosing between cooking and dining halls and such at CPW. just seek out people and events that you vibe with!
don’t worry if you end up not going to a wide spectrum of res life events, or if you can’t find events you really enjoy. my living group, Burton Third, has been the most important part of my MIT experience, and I didn’t find this community until REX. I was hosted in Burton Conner for my CPW and knew I liked the people, so I went to events in a handful of dorms at my CPW, and ended up ranking Burton Conner #1 later.
tip #5: lean on upperclassmen!
upperclassmen are super hype to meet you. half of the school never had a real CPW, so they’re thrilled to experience it for themselves, and the other half knows exactly how you’re feeling! don’t be afraid to ask us anything—upperclassmen aren’t scary and they know what’s up. your host is there to support you in your experience, so they are a super valuable resource. ask them any questions and share your concerns! get their contact info so you can coordinate wake-up/sleeping times and such with them, and ask them about their living group and activities on campus. you can approach event hosts too; they’re all students who are excited to help you and point you in whatever direction you need.
I’m not going to put a cliche “tip #6: have FUN!!!” because god that is cringe and chances are you’ll be having a fun time anyways…so yeah, that’s about it!
miscellaneous event recommendations
- Meet the Bloggers – Friday at 8 PM in W20-307: come say hi to all of us and ridicule me for all the trash I publish blithely to the internet
- Simmons Hall Live Projection – Friday/Saturday/Sunday between 8 and 11: my friend Karyn ‘23.5 is a god of interactive installations and will be projecting onto the dorm Simmons every night for three hours. come see! you can stay for as long as you want
- (my living group’s events)
- strange meats – Thursday 5:03rd-6:03rd @ Baker grills since we have no Burton Conner grills to use :(( come eat some strange, strange meats and meet B3rd
- skate and tape a mate – Thursday 6:03rd-7:03rd on W20 (Stud) steps: pull up for an absurd time involving skateboards and WAY too much duct tape
- hot ones with hot ones – Friday 6:03rd-7:03rd in W20-407: eat hot wings as you try to answer strange questions. featuring a lot of wings and a lot more hot sauces
- deep talks with shallow people – Friday 7:03rd-8:03rd in 3-333: this event changed my life and might change yours too! i’m hosting it. come for the most befuddling bamboozling experience you’ll ever have
- no more table – Saturday 3rd:03rd-4:03rd in 1-150: could not tell you what this event is. let’s find out together
- aaaaand Burton Conner Ice Cream Extravaganza, Saturday 8 pm on Kresge: B3rd and C2 will be there to eat ice cream with you and chat about BC/MIT/anything. C2 is a lit community so come through
- OR any Burton Conner event! I’m CPW Chair and helped coordinate all our events, so I’d highly recommend any of them. BC has been such a formative part of my MIT experience and it’s FINALLY reopening, so come get to know us and the dorm!
- Rope Swing in the EC Courtyard, Saturday 3-6 PM: at my CPW, my rope swing released right when the chorus of Electric Love came on and it was kind of incredible
and that’s all! happy CPW :) see you soon <3