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MIT student blogger Bryan O. '07

Surviving CPW by Bryan

Tips and tricks on making the most of your CPW experience

So even though my own CPW was now FIVE years ago, old age has not settled in enough that I don’t remember what my own experience was like :-P

For the record, during my CPW, it rained for a little and despite that, I still had a blast; so, regardless of weather, get ready for the most jam-packed days you’ll have until you come for Orientation of course ;-)

Here are a few tips to making the best of your CPW experience.

Rule #0 (To be done before you come): Figure out the big questions that you have about MIT, Cambridge/Boston, etc…

That way when you get here, you can make sure that those questions that you do have get answered by students, faculty, and anyone else you manage to meet.

Rule #1: If you’re paying for your food, you’re doing something wrong.

Campus Preview Weekend is full with free food all over campus. Open houses, free pizza, liquid nitrogen ice cream, donuts, dinners at fraternities. So keep the cash in your wallet for your MIT sweatshirt.

Rule #2: If you’re sleeping, you’re also doing something wrong.

There is so much going on, and I don’t remember getting much sleep whether it was checking out another aspect of MIT or talking to the potential students.

Rule #2.5: Caffeine.

Courtesy of Snively. See his blog post from last year here.

Rule #3: Talk to people, prefrosh and current students alike.

I think the best part of CPW for me was talking to other prefrosh getting to know the people that I would be going to school with for four years. I also had a lot of questions about MIT and what it was like here. Ask people tough questions, and if you aren’t satisfied with the answer, ask someone else.

Rule #4: Explore the campus.

Walk around the campus. The fact that you’re a prefrosh is like an open door to visit labs, classes, and get exposed to everything that MIT has to offer. Relish in it.

Rule #5: Don’t knock it ’til you try it.

I can’t say how many things I would have missed out on if I had not kept an open mind. I really took CPW as an opportunity to explore things that I had not seen before. So don’t judge a book by it’s cover, and take a chance to try something new.

Rule #6: Pack for the weather.

I forgot my umbrella during my CPW. Not awesome. So pack a jacket and check the weather before you get here.

Rule # 7: HAVE FUN. If you’re not having fun, something is not right.

For students and faculty alike, CPW is one of the most fun times of the year, so please have fun. And lots. Thanks :^)

And now for shameless CPW plugs:

Friday, April 11, 8:30 PM: Meet the Bloggers, Mezzanine Lounge

You’ve read our stories for an entire year and you’ve shared your stories with us. Now it’s time to meet in real life :) And hopefully, you don’t tell me that I look a lot taller in my picture than I do in real life because that would make it three years in a row. Bring your parents and your friends!

Saturday, April 12, 8 PM: Battle of the Bands, Lobdell Cafeteria

Battle of the Bands is an annual CPW event hosted by ZBT where a bunch of bands get up on stage to show their musical talent and you get to rock out all night long; could it get any better? Maybe. You get to hang out with Ben Jones as he and I will be judging the acts. RSVP on Facebook

(Historical fact: My CPW was the first BOTB.)

OK — no more shameless plugs :)

If you have any questions, feel free to post comments and ask questions about CPW and I’ll answer them here on the blog or someone else will if I’m asleep.

See you all on Thursday!

23 responses to “Surviving CPW”

  1. Karen '12 says:

    YAY! CPW! Sleeping is for the plane ride there and the plane ride back, right? smile

  2. Judy '12 says:

    @Keshav – Ok! Great… less packaging for me

    @Paul – ty for the comment. I can’t wait ^__^ I’m definitely going to the Meet the Bloggers Session!

  3. Bryan says:

    @Li, feel free to bring your camera. In the event that the lab doesn’t allow pictures, they’ll probably tell you.

    @Julian, the questions I asked focused on opportunities available ie UROPs, clubs, etc as well as living options. I also wanted to know about life in an urban environment since I was originally from suburbia, so I wanted to know what the transition would be like.

    @Omar, sleep a little smile

  4. Julian says:

    aloha bryan!

    thank you for sharing this information with us. i’m preparing my list of questions as we speak. may i ask what were some of the questions you had when you went to CPW? UROP? clubs? classes? thank you again, and hope to see you at CPW!!!

  5. Omar '12 says:

    How possible is it really to stay up for four days straight? I’m gonna try but I just don’t know. I’m addicted to sleep…it’s sad. So looking forward to Meet the Bloggers!

  6. Li '12 says:

    Are we allowed to take pictures during the lab tours?

  7. Piper '11 says:

    Just to add on, don’t miss out on stuff because you think no one else will be going. Because they will be =D

  8. free tshirts?
    and how do i avoid sleeping?

  9. carmen'12 says:

    this is so exciting!!! btw..does anyone know of any current mit students who was trying to decide between mit and harvard back when they were a senior? I would love to talk to them and hear why they chose mit over harvard.

  10. Judy '12 says:

    Wow, such a bustling week. How do we squeeze classroom visit into our busy schedules?

  11. Judy '12 says:

    Rule #2.5: Caffeine.

    I’m bringing BAWLS and mixing it with bubble tea for some serious energy drink ^__^

  12. keshav '12 says:

    judy, dont waste your money bringing your own energy drinks. as cpw is dry, i heard that frats and what not give out evergy drinks for free. (confirm this please, bryan).

  13. Paul says:

    There will be plenty of sugar and caffeine at CPW, all free – energy drinks, from my experience, are not quite as common but still a good option. For example, my fraternity, Phi Kappa Sigma, is continuing our tradition of throwing a Monster Party on Thursday night. You can find several similar events in the event guide if you just search for “caffeine.” :D

    That being said, I’m sure bringing your own sources of caffeine can’t be that bad of an idea. wink

  14. Paul says:

    There will be plenty of sugar and caffeine at CPW, all free – energy drinks, from my experience, are not quite as common but still a good option. For example, my fraternity, Phi Kappa Sigma, is continuing our tradition of throwing a Monster (Energy Drink) Party on Thursday night. You can find several similar events in the event guide if you just search for “caffeine.” :D

    That being said, I’m sure bringing your own sources of caffeine can’t be that bad of an idea. wink

  15. Paul says:

    @Judy: Events are kind of more academically-focused during the day. The majority of the dorm and fraternity parties and social events happen later at night (since the students throwing those events have class too ^_^). During my CPW, I found time to go to three classes, a UROP panel, and two lab tours. It may seem overwhelming now, but it’ll work out. smile

    @ Bryan: “And hopefully, you don’t tell me that I look a lot taller in my picture than I do in real life because that would make it three years in a row.”

    I couldn’t help but laugh as I read this – way to ensure that everyone will make that comment now Bryan. :D

  16. Judy '12 says:

    @ Amy – I guess they don’t want you collapsing on the floor at 4am and catching a cold raspberry

  17. Becca says:

    You could always just pack a blanket, if you sleep like that. =P

  18. karen says:

    Lainers-

    you don’t need to RSVP for the event. It’s just so they have a general idea of how many people are coming. My suggestion is not to spend your time at CPW making a facebook account…Once you are here, you will find people to hang out with, and not so dependent on the internet =)

  19. Piper '11 says:

    Don’t worry about it too much, Lainers. It’s nice to get to know some of your classmates before attending, and Facebook is really good for that, but just use Orientation to get to know a lot of people. Plenty of people don’t have a Facebook and are perfectly fine =)

  20. Lainers says:

    I don’t have a Facebook and am not going to be able to get one until I’m on campus. This has become a nuisance in several capacities, including now this potential RSVP. Does anyone have any good alternatives or workarounds for these situations? I have email addresses for some other prefrosh, so I’m not as out of the loop as I might be, but I still sometimes feel somewhat estranged.

  21. Lainers says:

    Thanks for the reassurance, guys! Just to clarify, I meant there won’t be any Facebook for me at least until I’m permanently on campus, not just CPW. I was trying to figure out just how out of the loop that could put me in the next few months.

  22. Amy '12 says:

    So if we’re not going to be sleeping, do we really even need to pack a sleeping bag? (Because that would make my suitcase sooo much lighter.)