A Letter to the WPI Class of 2018 (and Everyone Else)

For all but three days out of every year, I’m an introvert. But not during New Student Orientation.

This stems from a ritual that I’ve done every year for the past three years. I’d move in on Monday, the second day of NSO—the day the residence halls open for upperclassmen—and then, for each meal of the next three days, I’d go to DAKA, sit down at tables with random groups of incoming freshmen, and try to get to know them.

Approaching groups of people and striking up conversations with them is something that would be totally out of character for me at any other time. But at NSO, it just feels right. One of the things I’m missing most about not coming back this A-term is not getting to do that—mostly.

Since they haven’t deactivated my card yet, I was able to come visit campus and swipe into DAKA earlier this week, just for one meal, and talk to an incoming freshman class for the last time. I won’t have the opportunity to meet nearly as many of you or to get to know you nearly as well as I wish I could. But I did get something of a picture of what you guys[1] are like. Plus, having gotten to know three previous incoming freshman classes, I’ve started to notice some patterns.

And as has been the case every year, one message has come in loud and clear:

You are at WPI because you want to do awesome things with awesome people.

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My Favorite Game

Compared to most of my friends, I’m not that much of a gamer.

There’s no one particular reason for this. Certainly, lack of time has been a factor since I became a college student; my class schedule is overloaded much of the time, and my extracurricular schedule is even worse. Also, as with anything that becomes a part of your identity, being a gamer is in a lot of ways about community, and I never really found a “gamer community” in meatspace that I clicked with on an interpersonal level. Finally, a lot of “hobbyist” games (of all kinds) require a significant investment of patience, which isn’t something that I have all that much of (at least not for games). The upshot is that when I have some time to relax, I’m more likely to spend it reading or messing around with code than gaming.

There is, however, one game that I’m pretty heavily into, that I try to make time for even when my schedule is tight: Magic: The Gathering.

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