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.