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The best thing about UO is the atmosphere. UO has a gorgeous campus all year round (especially when it snows), but I wouldn't...
The best thing about UO is the atmosphere. UO has a gorgeous campus all year round (especially when it snows), but I wouldn't recommend it if you hate squirrels. I am on campus everyday, and I never go an entire day without seeing a familiar face. UO is just the right size because it's not so big you'll get lost or so small you'll know everyone's name by the end of freshman year. Eugene also has a great atmosphere. It's definitely a college town - it's common to see small businesses with the O symbol or the Duck on their windows - but UO is not all it cares about. There are other colleges here, including Lane Community College and Northwest Christian College. When I tell people outside of Eugene that I go to UO, I get a few glares from Oregon State University fans, but otherwise people seem pleased. My parents are especially happy because it's close to the Portland area. (However, it's not too close, which is something I definitely appreciate.) One student complaint is the library not being open 24 hours unless it's during Dead Week or Finals. Another issue is with the distribution of student tickets for sports games, which currently involves waiting in line during school. Some people have to skip classes just to get tickets. The administration has been trying to find a solution, so hopefully this won't be an issue for much longer.
Most of the students at UO are from Oregon, so when I get asked where I'm from I usually say "West Linn" or "the Portland area". The majority of out-of-state students are from along the West coast. A lot of people I know don't have a lot to spend on school, so staying close to home is a good way to save money. Many students are on financial aid, so it's nothing to be embarrassed about. Student clothing depends a lot on what term it is. It rains a lot in Eugene, but many of us don't use umbrellas. (It's only water!) In the fall and winter, I see a lot of people in sweaters and jackets. In the spring, there's a lot of sun, so people love to put on their shorts and study on the grass. In the business school, I also see a lot of people dressed up to give presentations for their classes. At UO, just like in Oregon in general, there are a lot of white people, but minorities are definitely accepted. There are several student clubs and activities on campus to promote diversity. As an employee at UO Disability Services, I think UO does a good job of accommodating students with disabilities. I work with students who have difficulty hearing lectures, and they are generally quite successful with their classes.
If you're considering UO, I would definitely schedule a visit. This happened to be the only school I applied to my senior year of high school, but I lucked out. As much as I love Eugene, it's definitely not for everyone. But if you can tolerate Pacific Northwest weather, chances are you'll be just fine! Also, if you want to live off campus and go here, make sure you work out your transportation in advance. Parking is horrible on campus, so a lot of students ride the bus or ride bicycles. Riding the bus is always free, since student IDs count for bus passes.
There is an overall feeling of environmental conscientiousness in Eugene. I know quite a few vegan people, but there are definitely meat-lovers here, and they get along just fine. I'm not sure about UO's ranking among other Oregon colleges, but I know it is one of the best and am glad to be here.
There is quite a mix of students at UO in terms of their study habits. I know a lot of people from the Honors College who make academics their top priority, but there are also some Honors students who party a lot. The same mix exists for "normal" UO students, but people generally get their work done. Personally, I like to space out my work so I don't have to cram, so I'm not the type to pull all-nighters. I spend around six hours total on each of my English essays, though, so the hours still add up when there are exams and homework assignments breathing down your neck as well. People at UO get to take classes from a lot of departments to fulfill their general requirements, so everyone has the chance to explore different subjects and learn what they really like. As a double major, I still get to do a wide array of assignments for my classes, so it gets interesting. Just last week, I was taking notes on human resources recruiting practices one night and writing a paper about Shakespeare's critique of Petrarchism the very next. It's a lot of work, but it's fun because I'm never bored with my classes for long. I like the English major because I have a lot of freedom to choose classes I want to take. There are certain categories to fulfill based on the time period of the literature being studied. For example, I have to take one upper division class dealing with Pre-1500s literature, so I could take a class about Old English or study Chaucer extensively (among other options). The only classes I can't get out of are in the yearlong introductory sequence. They're lower division, but they're actually much harder than most of the upper division courses I've completed. I'm taking one of the classes right now, and I'm putting in a lot of hours at the library just to get Bs on my essays. I would enjoy the classes a lot more if I could just go to lecture and listen. The Business Administration major is a lot more organized in terms of the curriculum. UO has its own business school on campus, so not everyone can graduate with a Business or Accounting degree. There are five pre-Business classes to take: one introductory business course, two accounting courses, and two economics courses. When I got into the business school, the minimum GPA requirement for these five classes was a 2.75 (a little better than C+ average), and I know a few people who didn't get high enough grades and had to retake classes. Once you're in, most people pick a concentration like Marketing or Finance, but some people don't. I currently don't have a concentration, but I still have time to decide. Both the English and Business departments try to get students prepared for life after college, but sometimes I don't feel like it's enough. Some English classes include a part-time internship; I'm a Writing Associate for a lower division English class and get to help students with their papers. The business school has their own career center, which is very helpful, but people have to go in on their own time. I think it would be more beneficial if we had to do an internship as part of our graduation requirements, because some students get left behind.
People tend to only live in the dorms their freshman year. The majority of students live off campus in houses or apartments, but some people continue to live on campus. Even though it's been almost two years since I left the dorms, I am still friends with a lot of the people I lived with. In terms of UO athletics, I would have to say football is the most popular sport to watch, but basketball is also very popular. I have yet to go to a basketball game because I always seem to be working when tickets are distributed, but I've been to some football games and they are extremely fun. Autzen Stadium is off campus, but many students and Eugene residents meet on campus and walk together. I always get excited every time I go to a game. Some people don't like to go unless they're drunk, but I personally have a great time without drinking.
I have heard we are vegan hippies, and also that UO is the best school in Oregon academically under Oregon Health and Science University.
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