“Space,” it says, “is big. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
At my very first day of the Piscine, I was *very* anxious about what to expect. Hopefully, dear reader, you don’t have to feel like that if you read my post about preparing for the 42 Piscine. (If you didn’t and you want to, just click here.)
At 9:42 we had our first Kick-off, a virtual event with the 42 staff and all your peers. After that you will have access to the Discord channels, where you can talk to everyone.
You can earn “points” for the time you are online on Discord text and voice channels, and you may also request to the staff to create themed channels, for you and your peers to socialize. There were also “game nights” organized by peers, where we could all join the voice channels and play Among Us, Skribbl.io, and other fun party games.
We had an event called “Basecamper Triads”, that are like speed-dating but with 3 people at a time. They will randomly put 3 people in a Zoom breakout room, where you have a few minutes to talk and get to know each other, before they shuffle again and put you with other people. This was quite helpful to get to know more people and have an idea of everyone’s background.
I met interesting person in the Triads and got an invitation to join a Tribe, so we formed the tribe number 7. A guy invited me, and then I invited another person, who invited another, and the domino effect was real haha. So we formed a six-people tribe very quickly. I am very happy we formed a tribe with 3 men and 3 women.
You will also get access to the “manual”, which is composed of several pages on Notion, with important information about pretty much everything. Read the manual. Seriously, you should read it. And if you ask a question which the answer is in the manual, people will tell you: read the f*king manual. 📚
There is a section in the manual where you can see the profile of the staff, the “W.O.L.F. pack” — the group of volunteers that will be very helpful during the whole process — and you can also make your own profile and start a learning journal. This is a great way of getting to know yours peers better as well.
They also gave us a “personality test”, and scheduled a call in the next day with a person from the company that made the test, so he could explain how it works, how to understand your results, etc. It was interesting, but I honestly didn’t think my result was very representative of myself.
The next day we got access to the Basecamp, their online coding environment. It is a good idea to start looking around to be familiar when the next week starts. You might also find some video-tutorials in the Manual that are good prep work.
On Wednesday we had a virtual tour through the school and it is so cool! I’ve never seen a school like this, the computer rooms are impressive, and plenty of spaces to code, to lounge, and the amazing FabLab. I really wish I could move to Wolfsburg and study on campus.
Throughout the whole week, there were interesting talks with special guests, like people from Volkswagen, from the gaming industry, with campers from a previous Piscine, etc. All events are optional, but it is nice to participate and get to know more about the industry and the school. And you can also get points for that.
The 42 team also hides Easter Eggs pretty much everywhere. On the first day, I found 2 eggs, which you can claim on your intra page. There are 5 eggs in total, and clues are not always easy to spot.
Finally, on Friday we had the first official Tribe check-in at 10h. Normally in the check-in, there is an appointed “timekeeper” and each member has 5 minutes to talk about their experience, their feelings, and whatever more they want to say.
The tribes have to come up with a name, a motto, and build a profile. One guy in our group is a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory, so we decided to go with “Perpetual Motion Squad”, and our motto was “we can go all night”.
After that, we had a second kick-off, and a free weekend. I would really recommend that you enjoy yourself and rest instead of spending time “preparing” since from Monday on, it will be non-stop until the end.
Looking back now at my first week, I think I enjoyed it and don’t have any regrets. I tried to participate on every event, tried to get to know my peers and to participate on the Discord channels, the game nights, making a profile, and everything else.
Our piscine started on March 1st, 2021, and we had 139 students, from which only 38 were women.