The University of Oregon (UO) is truly a great school. No where else can you find such an interesting melange of unique people. All kinds of people come from all kinds of places to study all kinds of things! Want to study zebra fish or worms? The UO has some of the leading research happening with some of the most renowned professors in these areas. Prefer the arts or entertainment? The UO is home to Beall Hall, a beautiful music hall, a traveling marching band, as well as its very own Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum. If you're into sports, you probably already know that the Ducks teams are among the best in the country. The UO is loved by the city of Eugene. Many Eugeneians end up attending the school themselves, or spending their free time there to eat, drink, lounge, see a show, saunter through the art gallery, or attend a lecture. The campus is mostly near downtown Eugene, with the football stadium, Autzen, and other sports buildings on the other side of the river, East of the central part of campus. The entire city seems to have the Ducks spirit, so much so that we even have a song entitled "I Love My Ducks" (youtube it). The UO is not considered as prestigious as some, but that doesn't mean it's not a good school. In fact it gets more and more competitive each year, and is now one of the top-ranked universities in the country. As far as the administration of the school goes, it seems to work as a well-oiled machine. I decided to attend the UO for summer term on a Thursday, registered on Friday, and was in class on Monday morning. With any problem I've had, such as financial aid questions or registration questions, I have been able to simply call the appropriate number, and they usually pick up quickly. The office clerks know what they are talking about and typically, can answer your questions. The UO duckweb system can be hard to use at times. For example, if you expect to receive financial aid, you need to check and double check, because if there are any holds on your account you will not get aid, and you may not necessarily know if you have a hold. However, that is my only complaint about this school. It is easily remedied by simply talking to a staff member. One thing I will always remember about my time at the U of O are not only the friends I've made, but also the street markets. In the spring, vendors of food, clothing, art, ornaments, you name it--line the main drag on campus. The smell is so wonderful that it's impossible not to be drawn in. You can sample any kind of ethnic food imaginable, made by the hands of people who actually know how to make it. Once I bought a bar of woolly soap--a bar of homemade soap wrapped in colorful wool. Overall, the UO is an awesome university where you can study anything, meet all sorts of people, and get into the Ducks spirit!
If you're looking for a school with a strong sense of school spirit, UO has more than enough. You can find the Oregon logo and images of 'Puddles' the mascot all over the Eugene area. There are many business that offer student discounts and cater specifically for students which creates the perfect 'home-town' feel for a complete 'college- town'. No matter what you feel extremely welcomed! The school itself is good medium-sized campus and there are so many opportunities available. Whether you have a specific department or major in mind...or you're looking for something interesting to do on the side. You will not be disappointed! The campus has some of the best dorm/campus food around and there are plenty of cafes near and on campus. If you're looking for something to do in-between classes, I recommend visiting one of the two museums on campus which are free to students (free to the public on some days). There's the Museum of Natural and Cultural History on the east side of campus- it has everything from fossils and rocks to cultural artifacts- You have to check out the World's Oldest Shoes! On the west side of campus there's the Art museum- it's galleries rotate quite often so there is always something new to see! Other than that, our school has an excellent athletics department and the Student Gym is huge! There's so much to do. The professors are welcoming and the staff are extremely helpful. If there's anything you're interested in or you want to volunteer or become a part of something usually all you have to do is ask and send a few emails. There have been a few major events/ controversies concerning the campus in the past few years. Right now, the school is in search for a new president- you can check out the school's website and state board for information on recent updates. This upcoming fall the University of Oregon will join many other schools in becoming a "smoke free campus." There was a Freshman Riot last year (you can find it all over youtube) and since then the Lane County Sheriffs Dept. has been upping surveillance during the weekends.
Overall, I love the University of Oregon. However, I did not come to this conclusion until my second year of school here. My freshman year was a struggle because I did not get put in a very social dorm, and I came to this University not knowing anybody. A mixture of home sickness and loneliness caused me to become distant from others. So if I would change anything at the school, it would be making sure all dorm experiences are favorable (having said that, the majority of my friends had better dorm experiences then I did). It wasn't until I went home for the summer before my sophomore year that I realized how much I missed the University. My favorite part about the University of Oregon is the athletic events. The town of Eugene is quite hippie-like, aka it has a lot of people who you would not expect would enjoy football games, track events, etc. However, it is quite the opposite. Everyone in the town of Eugene loves the Ducks and come game day (for football) the town goes absolutely nuts. If there is a five o'clock game, I will hear people yelling outside my window "Go Ducks!" at seven in the morning. The excitement is unbelievable and quite unique, making Eugene a great college town. I love the size of the school, it is large but not so large that you feel swarmed. Majority of the teachers that I have had here are passionate about their subjects, and love the ducks as well! The greek life here is just the right size in that it is large enough to be competitive but you will know many people in multiple houses. The campus has a wide variety of protests, public speakers, and events for many different subjects. I love my Ducks!
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.
The best thing about UO would have to be campus size and accessability. Its not too hard to find a house for rent that is close to campus as well. The sports are also very exciting and extremely competitive, a Mac Court basketball game is hard to top. It's an atmosphere unlike any other. I love how Eugene is so accepting, you can be a downright weirdo and fit right in. Or you can be traditional and fit right in just as well. Tons of school pride, the whole community is Duck friendly, tons of support for students. It could just be me, but I don't really see much controversy on campus. There are small rally's and such, but nothing huge that I have noticed. The school newspaper is also fantastic, and covers some controversial issues. Eugene is actually a REALLY safe town, for the low amount of Law personnel, which is actually what most college bound teens are looking for. A break from Johnny Law! Party scene is definitely good, especially at nearby college houses.
There is no single best thing about the UO, instead thousands of good things come together to make the UO what it is. The campus is incredibly beautiful and a walk can be inspirational to even the best procrastinators. The lush campus is nestled right into the bustling city of Eugene. Although its a bustling city, Eugene emits a certain feeling that everything will be alright. Nothing is rushed and everybody is super relaxed. The university has wonderful facilities for students to pass the time, and there are several incredible outdoor opportunities. The beautiful cascade mountains, abundant wilderness, raging rivers, and pristine coast all offer memorable excursions from campus. The university has several student run organizations which make getting involved super easy. There is a student art guild in the EMU offering everything from glass blowing to welding to a complete woodworking shop. The biggest source of complaint is the lousy dorms.
I don't know how most people feel about this, but what I miss most is fun fancy dances. The kinds from high school where you'd dress up in nice clothes and go to a nice venue to dance. Here, unless you are in a sorority or fraternity, there aren't any dances like that. Some bars are fun for dancing, but not everyone is 21 when they first come to college. Otherwise, U of O is a lot of fun. If you live in the dorms your freshman year, they have various activities going on there and "Common Grounds" (cafe in hamilton) is open until 2am everyday. Living off campus is nice too. I lived with 4 other people my sophmore year in college and it was great. It's like having your friends over all the time. Although, now that I only have one roommate, studying is definately easier to do since there are less distractions.
The University of Oregon is an all around great place to be. The faculty on campus are always friendly and helpful. It is the perfect size college town, with a campus that is large enough that it does not seem cramped but not so large that it takes too long to walk to the other side of campus. Being located in the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of rainy days. It would be nice to have a few more days of sunshine throughout the year but if rain is not a huge concern it is an amazing place to be. There is always something to do here; from the popular sporting events to weekly parties. Campus is also located close to downtown Eugene which allows access to even more things to do throughout the week. University of Oregon takes pride in who they are, if you want a school with tons of school pride this is the place to be!
This school is a great place to be. The campus is so lively and well taken care of. School spirit prevails at all times, but students take their academics seriously. Everyone is here to have fun while getting a good education. It keeps a healthy balance between the two, and there are many opportunities to get involved in school and the community. Also, the location is convenient, and only 2 hours away from Portland, OR! The professors are amazing and I feel like I am learning a lot. When I first applied for colleges, University of Oregon was on the bottom of my list. Around April, something drastically changed my mind after visiting with professors and visiting the campus and soon it became the only school I wanted to attend. It has been the best choice I have ever made. University of Oregon is the place to be.
It's easy to find a community in Eugene and the University. It is nice that the community can provide so many great things for everyone. I wish the University wasn't so business-like. The large size teaches you quickly to be your own best advocate. I like the bike culture in Eugene and around campus; it is very easy to get around with a car. I like to spend time on the comfy couches in the Women's Center and Survival Center. The Craft Center is also a great resource for fun, different, inexpensive classes. Fronmeyer is in the pocket of Phil Knight. We have Knight Library, Knight Law building, and (hopefully not) soon Knight basketball arena. Good luck getting sweatshop free apparel.