Thursday, July 30, 2020

What to expect when youre expecting CPW

What to expect when you’re expecting CPW Since nearly two-thirds of the admitted students are attending Campus Preview Weekend (CPW), I figured it would be worthwhile to spend a little time helping to set expectations for the weekend. Because CPW is such a big MIT event, theres a lot of hype, rumor, and mythology surrounding it, and I hope I can give you a better sense of what to really expect, and what not to expect. Your host: Theres no one standard for hosting. Some hosts are very hands-on, being excited to be with you the entire weekend. Others are more like guides: being willing to give lots of advice, showing you around to some extent, but also giving a lot of freedom for you to explore on your own. You may want to talk with your host about your needs for the weekend, the help that youd like, and to what extent youre looking to explore on your own.A team of admissions staff and MIT students spent much of last week trying our best to find every one of you a well-matched host for the weekend. Like online dating, sometimes the match is perfect, but more often its just pretty good, and occasionally horrible. Weve done our best to make mitHarmony. If you find that you and your host are not a good match, dont suffer through it please let us know, we do have backup hosts. The CPW Weather Machine: One part of CPW mythology is the Weather Machine that somehow, the weather during CPW seems to be much nicer than the days around it. It would be nice if it were true, wouldnt it?You should definitely keep your eye on the weather forecast as you pack for the weekend. Right now, it looks like the CPW Weather Machine may actually work, especially Friday, but theres a slight chance of rain Saturday and may be a little chilly Sunday (that might just give you more incentive to explore MITs extensive tunnel system). CPW isnt real: An oft-cited criticism of CPW is that it isnt representative of a typical weekend at MIT. It is true that CPW isnt a typical weekend, but as long as you understand that coming in to the weekend, I think you can learn a lot. That being said, CPW is far from fake actually, it is the true MIT, in a supersaturated form.Think about it this way: there are 400+ student activity groups on campus, 40+ living groups, 30+ academic departments, and more than 3 dozen varsity sports. They know that a substantial portion of the Class of 2013 will be on campus, so it would actually be pretty irresponsible if all of these groups didnt have events. CPW isnt jam-packed with events to fool you its jam packed events because so many groups at MIT are excited about your presence. What you wont see: There are a number of aspects of life that youre less likely to see during CPW. For example, you probably wont see much in the way of tooling, of students working on problem sets. For sure, it will be happening, but many students will try to organize their week such that their studying is done before you arrive, or while youre at other events. Again, thats not to hide this aspect of MIT, but rather its part of being a gracious host: making time for your guests.While youll have lots of opportunities on Thursday and Friday to see classes, youll have fewer opportunities to see labs. In part, this is because labs are not designed for large numbers of visitors, and in part because research is going on all the time. We will offer UROP tours (sign up at CPW headquarters), and your hosts and hosts friends will be a great resource in showing off their labs, but your relatively brief visit to the labs greatly underrepresents the importance of undergraduate research at MIT. Similarly, you may or may not have the opportunity to have one of those real great conversations with professors. If it doesnt happen, dont be too disappointed; youre only here for two class days. When youre at MIT, youll have many more opportunities to have meaningful interaction with faculty, in the classroom, in the lab, in the dining hall, athletic center, wherever. (A couple neat opportunities to chat with faculty: Dinner with Professors at TEP on Friday night [including Gerry Sussman and Scott Hughes], and the Professor Talent Show Saturday afternoon [including Hazel Sive and Sarah Brouillette].) And, of course, you wont get to see all of the date-specific events from the rest of the year, like Mystery Hunt, Ring Premiere, International Fair, Steer Roast, IAP, the 2.007 finals, etc. Over-hype: After all this build-up, its inevitable that every year, some folks come back from CPW disappointed. And if you dont have ZOMGthetimeofmylife!!11!1!, that doesnt necessarily mean MIT isnt the right place for you. For some people, things dont click immediately, and thats okay. Just be sure to keep your eyes peeled for whats important to you in a college, and do your best to seperate that from other extraneous stuff. Parents: Ill let Kims recent entry cover this I know weve all been throwing advice at you left and right lately, but above all know this: were all really excited to see 1,000+ of you really soon! Ill see you at the Registration Desk, or Meet the Bloggers on Friday evening, or at the CPW Closing

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