Setting the bar

I had lots of fun this candidate's weekend! Running the design build was nerve-wracking (I was as nervous as you! but overall rewarding, exhilarating, and spectacular! On Saturday night, west hallers really pulled all the stops. I wish I had been able to meet more candidates, but I was called away to play rehearsal. As predicted, I did no work this weekend, but our professors have been more than lenient this week with extensions. Anyways, I saw my classmates pick up my slack - and then some! Actually, if I've noticed a theme in the conversations I've had with regards to candidate's weekends, it's been "too much" and "too strong!"
It's true; we did a lot. I found the sheer energy captivating! Then again, I'm a freshmen, with no standard against which to hold my experience. Conversely, some of the more centered students thought that our lounge-wide nerf gun battle, the Mardi Gras hallway, antilounge dance party, and the _____ show in the _____ (sorry folks, it's a secret) were overwhelming and felt artificial.

To be honest, this surprised me. These are things we do at Olin. We really do them, and we love them! They are mostly new to the school as of this year, reflections of the Class of 2013's ebullience, but still, they are accurate depictions of life here at Olin. Certainly, the events of a month had to be compressed into a weekend, but our enthusiasm with each event was genuine. This being said, I can see how from a newcomer's perspective, this approach might have seemed overeager or fake.

There's also the problem that our vim and vigour crowded out the low-key conversations - heart to hearts that I enjoyed in my candidate's weekend. This was, I understand, the purpose of the visit to the dorms. Oops! The thing is, we wanted to entertain you, but this was also our opportunity to be real with you. We were to answer your questions person to person, whether the response was good or bad.

We want you to know all about what life is like here, and still want to come!

With this in mind, I vow that we will reshape the weekends to come. Thank you to our guinea pigs, with whom we are enamoured. If you would now like to sit down and have an open talk with a current student, please contact me any time and I'll a) be your guy or b) connect you with someone. I'll do my best to get you the full CW experience!

It wasn't all negative! We set the bar high, but I know that it is very much within our reach to raise it much higher. We're looking forward to next week. I hope you're ready for us, candidates to come!


I had an awesome time with the antilounge dance and the nerf battle etc. I don't really see how it was fake, but then I suppose I have more experience with Olin than most. It seemed to me also that there were plenty of opportunities during that time just to go in someone's room and hang out, and have that sort of heart-to-heart conversation.

I wouldn't suggest doing away with all the big exciting things, but I would suggest making the hanging out and talking and such more accessible.

Have fun!

Please do feel free to contact any of us with any thoughts. Oliners, in general, love to chat with candidates/prospies/parents/non-sentient beings.

I will second Graham's sentiments. Olin is often filled with random amusement. As I sit in my room, I can hear dancing, Disney music, and NERF guns. No joke. Of course, things are a bit *ahem* extreme during CW, but this is because not only do we want you, the candidates, to have a good time (and to hopefully like us...), but because we're so excited to see the faces of the incoming class of Oliners.

That said, I encourage every candidate to seek out a lone Oliner or two during CW and really grill them. We'll be honest. I didn't speak with many candidates because I was scrambling to do work. Yes, we work hard, like at any other college. But we have fun too. Seriously, just ask.

I feel like first year students are usually over-excited about everything and that is why West Hall has such a distinct personality from East Hall (although you could also argue that it is a product of the architecture, whatever). In any case, I feel like a lot of what candidates see at candidate's weekend is more of a reflection of what its like to be a first year at Olin than what Olin is like as a whole.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that - but I do think it helps to put it in perspective. Then again, I hated Candidate's Weekend when I was a candidate and was one of those first years who mostly hung out in East Hall because I was dating an older student. So eh, like every other school, Olin is what you make of it.

I do hope that candidate's found the chill spaces who wanted them. At least, that is the atmosphere we were trying to create in the West Hall kitchen to talk about diversity at Olin.

Yes, that was a plug.

Another Olin student here -- I may have rolled my eyes at the huge nerf fight, but it didn't seem "artificial" Usually somewhat smaller ones go on, but it wouldn't be very fair if the Weekend Warriors (Olin's nerf gun club) only brought out *some* of their guns. I hadn't even considered the Mardi Gras room being out of place though. Huh.
As for the performance -- are we talking about the club that sounds like an obscenity when shouted very loudly and a Cockney accent? (But what doesnt?) Yeah, that was artificial. You usually only see it on Tuesday nights -- not the weekend. Sorry to let you down.

Hey there!
I actually had a lot of fun at candidates weekend. Then again, I was probably so happy to be at Olin I did not care what we were doing. It was a "long" weekend though with a lot going on, so much to do, so much to explore, etc. It took those exciting things to keep the fun going and end the weekend on a positive note, while it also gave the opportunity for others to hang out with the students and just talk about stuff in general.

I kind of figured that some of the stuff that went on probably did not happen "all" the time, but it most certainly happens. After all why would you have a mountain of nerf guns anyway? In the most part what I enjoyed the most were those conversations with Olin students. I had already asked and heard so much that I did not have any questions for the end of my interview!

Anyway, the point of Candidates Weekend was to give a feel of the school, which I believe it did - whether or not everyone was super hyper. Some candidates were probably nervous or shy while others were having the best time of their life. It really just depends on the person, and that is what helps to make Olin and our world in general so diverse. ^-^

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Recent Comments

  • Katarina Austin: Hey there! I actually had a lot of fun at read more
  • Ryan Mitchell: Another Olin student here -- I may have rolled my read more
  • Casey Canfield (2010): I feel like first year students are usually over-excited about read more
  • Brittany Strachota: Please do feel free to contact any of us with read more
  • Amos Meeks: I had an awesome time with the antilounge dance and read more