YAY PREFROSH Dispatches from the first day of CPW

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Francesca McCaffrey, from Wakefield, MA.
Andrea Robles—The Tech
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Rex Lam, from Wakefield, MA. Economics major.
Andrea Robles—The Tech
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Susan Ballentine, from Richmond, VA. Mathematics major.
Andrea Robles—The Tech

So much can happen in a day! The Tech asked a few prospective freshman what they thought of Campus Preview Weekend so far.

Photography by Andrea Robles

Francesca McCaffrey

Hey everyone! My name is Francesca McCaffrey, and I’m a senior at Wakefield High School in Wakefield, MA. The reason I’m writing to you right now, of course, is the fact that I’ll soon be a freshman somewhere else. Finding where that somewhere else will be has been a long journey, to say the least, and this weekend at MIT is only part of it. If what I’ve seen so far is any indication, I can tell that this is one stop on the journey which I’m going to thoroughly enjoy. This is only my third hour on the MIT campus, so I can only guess what I have yet to see, and so much has happened already.

Wakefield is a mere twenty minutes from Boston, but already I feel as though I am worlds away. I love being in the city, and there’s a certain excitement here which is due in part to the intensity of condensed humanity which is so characteristic of Boston and is a major reason for my desire to go to college in the Boston area. What I’ve learned, even after only being here for a few hours, is that this intensity also owes a great deal to the already vibrant MIT community and the ever growing flood of prospective students swarming its buildings, exploring its sidewalks, and so I hear, devouring its nitrogen-chilled ice cream. I can’t describe how excited I am to be part of this community, if even for a weekend.

Soon I’ll be attending a welcome event for all of the prefrosh. I’m curious to meet more prospective MIT students and to see part of the larger MIT picture, one which I am quickly learning is made up of an incredible vivacity, bringing together students from all walks of life, with all personalities, and, from what I have seen so far, a shared ability to carry on intense conversations about everything from world affairs to psets (especially the psets). I’m heading out now — welcome events start in about five minutes. Can’t wait to see more of MIT — I’ll see you around campus!

Sam Carreon

Greetings, reader. My name is Sam Carreon (pronounced “carry on” — I can’t tell you how many times people have poked fun at this...), and I am a potential student in MIT’s class of 2014. Coming from Palmdale, California, Massachusetts has been quite the culture shock. Weather in the Mojave Desert is drastically different from what I’ve experienced here: cold, windy, and slightly humid. Although I find the weather here to be far from ideal, I have realized that there is so much about MIT with which to fall in love. First, the super-cool hacks. Day one on the campus, and I see a living room suspended from a concrete arch. Pretty awesome, in my opinion...

Another cool thing: The people here are great. Everyone is so... amazingly smart! Not only that, but the students I’ve talked to are extremely nice and have demonstrated that “nerds” (a few of the students I’ve talked to swear that “we’re all nerds here...”) know how to have fun.

Pretty much the only other thing I haven’t enjoyed today is the copious amount of walking I’ve had to endure. Typically, I enjoy walking about, but the campus is huge and my feet are dying. (Which, by the way, is the reason why I’m writing this article... I accidentally stumbled into The Tech room while looking for a place to sit, then asked to “rant about CPW.”) Anyway, in retrospect, the amount of walking isn’t that bad.

So far, CPW has been... interesting. I’m still not entirely sure if I want to attend here, but I have utter confidence that the events of the next three days will help me make a decision.

That’s all, folks. :)

P.S. Happy birthday, Mom. I love you!

Rex Lam

Hi! My name is Rex Lam from Wakefield, Massachusetts. I plan on majoring in Economics at MIT. I am very excited to be here for CPW. So far, it has been a great experience. Registration ran very smoothly, and I quickly met up with my host, a sophomore pursuing Economics and Mathematics. We took a shuttle to Next House, which I learned was last one in the long line of different dorms. As my host said, Next House is always the “next” house – which ended up being the last one on dorm row.

There are so many activities going on that I cannot keep track of all the events. In a matter of three hours, I went to two ice cream socials, attended an Economics class, and looked at laboratories where both undergraduate and graduate students conducted research. It was very exciting to see what I just learned in my biology class, such as the use of restriction enzymes and gel electrophoresis, applied in current research on malaria at one of the most cutting-edge research universities in the world.

I am looking forward to the rest of the weekend and to coming back to MIT in the fall.

Susan Ballentine

I am regretting my decision this morning to read on the plane instead of sneaking in one last hour of sleep before the onslaught of CPW activities began. I flew in this morning from Richmond, Virginia on a 7:00 a.m. flight and was greeted in the Boston Airport by an enthusiastic group of current MIT students. From there I was shuttled to campus at which point the festivities kicked off. Within 30 minutes of arriving, I had made new friends from as close to my home as the next city over to as far as Luxembourg and the Netherlands. I was shuffled into the endless line to sign-up for UROP tours which were quickly filling up due to their popularity. I was asked “What’s you major?” about fifty times (and informed that it was not Math, but Course 18). I was approached by many current students preparing me for CPW by asking me questions to help best direct my attentions, and allowing me to ask a few of my own.

As I have visited campus before, I skipped the official tour and began wandering on my own in the lucky weather. I learned that no, the building numbers do not necessarily follow a pattern, but there are plenty of people around campus willing to help a confused-looking prefrosh. I spent the rest of my day bouncing from activity to activity, visiting almost every dorm and concluding that the CPW planners definitely tried to schedule consecutive events as far away as possible. I made truffles, visited a freshman physics class (excuse me, 8.02), attended several ice cream socials, used my TechCASH Card for the first time, helped The ENGINEERS defeat The Beavers in a friendly game of MIT Jeopardy, sang karaoke with the girls of McCormick, and visited the friendly staff at The Tech. (Ed. note: We made her say that.) Today’s events were punctuated by the CPW Student Welcome, followed by the CPW Festival where the organizations, free food, and handouts never stopped coming.

The night is still young and I am already having trouble keeping up with all the events. My campus map is already worn from being pulled out so many times. My iPod is almost dead from my constant checking of the MIT CPW App. I’m almost afraid to go to the midnight movie tonight for fear that I will succumb to sleep in a dark theater setting. Yet, I must persist for fear of missing any of the great things going on this weekend. I await what tomorrow has in store for me and my classmates.