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Erik Tamayo is a prospective student from Lawndale, Calif.
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Erik Tamayo

Just as any new hectic day begins, MIT has been the most chaotic one so far in the past couple of years. My name is Erik Tamayo, recently accepted to the MIT Class of 2013, and completely oblivious to how this institution runs.

Hailing from Lawndale, California (a city within the Greater Los Angeles area), I had no idea what to expect from MIT and its Campus Preview Weekend. This trip has proven to be the most rewarding and memorable one of my life. From the get-go, I was puzzled about how the buildings seldom went by its name but rather, its building number. Being lost for a couple of hours was probably the most fortunate event that has occurred. I have met many prospective freshmen as well as current MIT students who are soon to become long-term friends as I undergo my undergraduate education at this university.

CPW is filled with so many surprises, from the usual campus tours, to smashing fruit and eating nitrogen-chilled ice cream. I have been in so many events and so far it’s barely been the first day of CPW. As this event continues, I’ll look forward on the rest of the weekend, making sure that I won’t miss out on any of the best activities at MIT.

It has only taken one day for me to realize that MIT will prove to be the school for me. I eagerly await the upcoming fall term of 2009 and am grateful that I decided to attend CPW an event that every prospective student should attend to complete their idea of this school.

Elizabeth D’Arienzo

Hello MIT community! My name is Liz and I am a prefrosh from New York enjoying the first tastes of CPW. Today has been amazing, and fortunately for the future members of the class of 2013, this is only a sample of what is to come.

Let’s start at the beginning. 5:45 a.m., my alarm rings. The sun is just stretching its tiny rays as I enthusiastically woke the rest of my family. Normally, I do not usually wake up so easily, but today is not a normal day (unless believe the chalk designs left on Mass Ave. courtesy of the residents of Random Hall). After packing the last of the necessary supplies — a pillow, some extra socks, etc. — we all piled into the car for the hopefully traffic-free journey north to the mythical place of MIT.

Fast forward about four and a half hours. We are now on Massachusetts Avenue crossing the Harvard Bridge between Boston and Cambridge. The view in our front window now becomes what I have been anxiously waiting for the whole ride — the great dome crowning Killian court on the right and dorm row rising on the left, signifying our arrival. It is one ten in the afternoon; CPW has officially started for me.

After registering for the weekend and contacting my host, I am eager to explore the wonders of the campus. It is not my first time here. The Women’s Technology Program, a month-long overview of engineering for rising senior girls, was the beginning of my fascination with MIT. Since then, I have become mildly obsessed with all things related to the Institute. I am extremely excited to return, meet up with many of my friends from the program, as well as many others who I will soon get to know embarking on my own much-anticipated CPW experience.

I had about an hour to kill before the first event I wanted to attend, truffle-making at Random, was scheduled to begin. So, I decided to wander around in the general direction leading to that dorm, and eventually wound up at the correct location, though with help from the many arrows and encouraging messages pointing me in the right direction. Upon entering, I was asked why I was there, since my face was new at the dorm. I enthusiastically replied that I was a prefrosh who was just wandering around and wanted to check out Random. The door was opened and immediately I was introduced to a current resident, who led the way through the building to help me find the current tour group. I began my CPW with a dorm tour, and from there experienced the joys of truffle-making, cooking French food, exploring the campus, and consuming delicious liquid nitrogen ice cream.

All of these events led up to the big CPW welcome and festival later this evening. All of us prefrosh were finally in one place at the same time. We met the admissions officers who admitted us, enjoyed a variety of performances, and learned unique facts about our class. (It turns out that my name and my sister’s are the most popular girls names in the Class of 2013!).

Our orientation leaders were introduced with a Harry Potter skit, the Logarhythms sang an outstanding trio of songs, and we were given practical CPW advice by a current freshmen. As we entered the festival, we were greeted by the music of the MIT marching band, a group that I was really looking forward to see (Yes, I like band — flutes rule!). The festival was packed with stands advertising the many MIT activities open to students. Music was playing, a miniature golf course was set up, and free food and shirts were to be found everywhere. I met many members of my future class, people coming from all over the world, everyone happy to meet everyone else, and ready to embark upon that journey that is CPW. And so it begins…

Samuel Millington

Greetings! I’m Samuel Millington from New York City. After a four hour drive and arriving at MIT, I was eager to take my bag and jump out of the car, but my sister reminded me that before submerging myself into the amazing event known as CPW I had to eat something. I quickly reminded her that food was not a problem and it was going to be available pretty much everywhere.

After my quick registration, the next question was what I would do next. I decided to take a campus tour to get well acquainted with MIT.

Out of the many events, I decided to attend the minority dinner where I met many other prefrosh. I realized that in order to fully experience CPW, I would have to make friends. From the dinner my new friends and I walked around campus before going to the welcome ceremony. It was loaded with exciting events such as a hip-hop group and the all male a cappella which were my personal favorites.

I headed out to the CPW festival where, for the first time in my life, I had the chance to smash a coconut with a jackhammer and eat nitrogen chilled ice cream.

Now as I continue my quest to participate in every event possible, I am more convinced that MIT is the place for me.

Kenya Mejia

Hello everybody, I’m Kenya Mejia, a future Environmental Engineer. I arrived at MIT Thursday morning at 8:15 a.m. after a red eye flight from Los Angeles. After quickly dropping off my luggage, I went hunting for breakfast and had a nutritious and delicious Snickers bar.

I was excited, yet nervous to be exploring my soon to be home, but what really made my experience more fun was the people I met. Erik was my host’s friend’s prefrosh and so we headed to a Latin Studies class somewhere in the infinite corridor. I found my other friend, ”Ben,” at the Minority Student Discussion dinner where I stuffed myself with three different types of meat: a burrito, tacos, spoonfulls of rice, beans, guacamole, and sour cream, and a quesadilla.

The most exciting event for me was the CPW festival. After taking the advice of taking as many freebies as possible and trying out new things I ended the night with blue fingers, a free Spark shirt (for which I fought giant prefrosh for), and a funky balloon hat. I knew CPW would be crazy, and hopefully tomorrow will include events more wild than smashing fruit.