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MIT student blogger Cam T. '13

Let the games begin! by Cam T. '13

Last minute advice for your CPW.

Hey prefrosh!

Welcome to campus! If you’re not here yet, hurry up and get here, and if you are, you shouldn’t waste too much time reading our silly blogs — they’ll still be here after you leave. However, if you aren’t sure what to do yet with your CPW, here are some tips from my experience last year / my observations of other peoples’ experiences.

In no particular order,

  • Don’t spend too much time with your host! CPW is not “meet this cool one MIT student and get to know them and blah blah blah”. Although your host is probably a fairly awesome person, they’ll be around for at least one more year (unless they’re old, in which case, why are you hanging around with somebody so old and crusty anyway? Just kidding, seniors). CPW is a chance for you to meet people in your grade and go to once-in-a-CPWtime events and have once-in-a-CPWtime experiences! If you like your host, maybe hang out with them once, but don’t just go to their events and their living group; you’ll miss a lot. If America’s supposed to be a melting pot, then MIT is a boiling cauldron of every possible kind of weirdness (and some sanity) that you’ll ever encounter. Don’t get a sheltered perspective! Go out, see it all. Your host tell you East Campus is weird and scary? So what! Live a little, get over here (I live in EC, and I don’t bite). Your host tell you West Campus is full of jocks? I know firsthand that’s not true, and I also know firsthand that even those ‘jocks’ can be pretty cool. Go out there and explore! Seriously. I feel that girls especially often feel too pressured to spend time with their hosts; “sorry, my host and I are going to lunch! And then she’s going to show me” BLAH BLAH BLAH. You like her? Catch her after the fun, when you’re recuperating.
  • Make friends in your grade! Although this is a spillover from the general-CPW-rant that the previous item became, it’s important enough to be repeated here. I still know and talk to a number of people I met during CPW, whom I would never have met otherwise during my freshman year. I think my phone’s contact book filled up during CPW faster than it did when they transferred my bajillion contacts after purchase; seriously, if you do decide to come here, these are the people you’ll be learning, growing, blah blah blah cheesy metaphor with. Although the undergraduates already here are many kinds of awesome, your grade is going to be 1/4 of it for 4 years, and they’ll the people you’ll have the chance to know for the longest. Get to know them!
  • Eat a lot. CPW is full of free food. Enough said. That $20 in tech cash they give you? Use it right away for non-food (buy something semi-useful at Verde’s, if you can) because there’s food all over, 24/7. And it’s not half-bad. CPW should be more or less free.
  • Don’t spend too much time in any one place. This one’s a broader version of the first point; CPW is a smorgasboard of smorgasms*, and you should have them all. Or something. Again: You’ll have four years. *I don’t know what that means or is even supposed to mean; don’t ask.
  • Come to MITERS! Shameless plug. Chris and I were going to try to get you to come hang out at MITERS, but we had too much work this week to do the blog post we wanted to. MITERS has spawned a number of cool things, the most famous of which I’ll just link you to right now: a (non-river) Charles. In a nutshell, if you’ve ever decided something on instructables was cool, come to MITERS. It’s not that far — very close to Chicago pizza (open till 4am, if you need a place to snag a drink), just a 2 minute walk down Mass Ave from the Student Center — and it’ll definitely be worth the trip. Directions: N52-115. Best time to come is probably Friday night, 7pm onwards, before your parties start up. It’s in the butt-end of the MIT Museum building, kind-of. Edit: MITERS has spawned more than Charles. See: Squid Labs (Instructables! Whoa, we spawned that?), Z-Corp, & more. Whoa. (If you don’t know what those are, use your google) 
  • BE FLEXIBLE! I think this also repeats the general idea present in most of these tips (play Twister? nyuk nyuk nyuk, puns), but: don’t fix your schedule! There are cool things that come up, and even if you really really really were planning on going to have pancakes or play foosball at living group X, don’t hesitate to go with the flow and live in the moment and other cliches, because CPW should be spontaneous. Plan it out, and you’re liable to miss out on a number of cool things. I think I also missed out on some of the official / mandatory / whatever events, but hey, those might be pretty cool too. Activities Midway / Academic Fair = bags of swag. It’s like halloween.

Last minute addendum: See a sunrise! Sleep may or may not be for pansies, but you can afford to do it at least once this weekend. Good fun.

Ok, Cam out. Time to do my work so I can haze you all (legal note: kidding) when you get here; one last note, if you see me at any time during the weekend feel free to say hi, ask a question, whatever! I promise to give you wrong directions and whatnot, so that you look even more like a lost prefrosh.


13 responses to “Let the games begin!”

  1. mariett says:

    hi my name is mariett urbina i’m from venezuela.. i’m student from system Engineer here in ULA, i have a question i’m studing my third year and i want to do a realy good final project.. how can i apply to do my final project there.. i know about some students that did it there.. please help me thank you chao…

  2. wil says:

    Hola mariett, yo también soy Venezolano. Pues déjame decirte que es un poco complejo el poder ser aceptado en MIT ya que es una de las mejores instituciones en los Estados Unidos y como tal su criteria para la aceptación de estudiantes es extremadamente alta, a menos de que seas un estudiate sobresaliente y bastante proficiente con el lenguaje.

  3. haha this post is frenetic and awesome, you seem as excited as the kiddos

  4. kia says:

    I have a new theory that Albert Einstein would have thought
    All have solid soul
    Means that every molecule and every atom of atoms and electrons, protons and … Has been established .Can you Help me?

  5. Banerjee says:

    I would give everything to be a prefrosh next year!! You guys (prefrosh) are so so lucky to be there. Enjoy =) It seems totally awesome.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “I feel that girls especially often feel too pressured to spend time with their hosts”

    no sexist generalizations on the MIT blogs, please. you are adding to the constant subtle discouragement that keeps women out of science and engineering.

    -current MIT female

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh, give it a rest. If anything he’s shedding light on and addressing it. If it’s true that girls feel pressured to hang out with their hosts, then it’s encouraging them to go and explore more. If it’s not true, then it doesn’t hurt to have people be aware of the potential!

  8. Cam says:

    Anonymous MIT female,

    During my CPW, several of my female friends often chose not to attend activities they were invited to by other prefrosh because they ‘felt bad ditching [their] host’, and I felt like they missed out on the CPW events they didn’t attend during those periods. Although they had an experience that was likely enjoyable and that they chose of their own free will to attend, I feel that CPW is time (mostly) better spent with one’s own grade. None of my male friends at CPW seemed to share such host-ditching sentiment; I, for one, never even met my host (unfortunately; he seemed nice when I talked to him online pre-CPW).

    I was making a comment about pressures at CPW based solely on my small sample, and can see how that could be viewed as a generalization. However, I would like to remind you that at the top of my post, I mention that the advice is based on *my CPW experience*, and not some general perspective that I believe applies to all prospective students. I also do not feel that such a statement in any way creates discouragement for women considering science and engineering.

    If you still feel, though, that my advice was “a sexist generalization”, then I encourage you to e-mail me (unless you *really* wish to remain anonymous, for some reason; sigh, the internet) and we can discuss it further. I take your accusations seriously, which is why my response is rather lengthy; however, there’s no need to be snooty to me about it. If an error or accidental generalization was made, I welcome polite criticism and will publish corrections / apologies as necessary.


  9. Anonymous says:

    MIT female has a point. Gender-based generalizations do not help : (

  10. Cam says:

    @latest Anonymous:

    You are correct in that gender-based generalizations do not help combat sexism (either towards females or males), and I do not approve of them. However, please read my above comment.

    Whoever the above commenter is happens to be posting from the same IP address as the “MIT female”.

    Sigh, internets.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I absolutely enjoy reading your blogs.Do you really know how funny you are?