By Adam Chimeo for Eugene Daily News
The University of Oregon is an exciting place to be. Students are enrolling in ever-increasing numbers and the University has repeatedly gained national attention in varied fields of excellence. For a first year student, college can be overwhelming. Here are 7 tips that I believe will improve your wild ride at the U of O.
1. Sports – Yes, we all know how great Oregon football is. But hear me out. There are other sports besides football. I know, this is truly hard to believe. The truth is, Eugene football season has a way of hypnotizing us with its 90-yard touchdowns and 4th-down conversions to the point where we’re still talking about it in June. Football is awesome, but so is volleyball, baseball, basketball and track — as well as all the other sports at U of O.
2. Disc Golf – If you haven’t played this game yet, then get out of your dorm right now and head to one of Eugene’s awesome parks. Disc golf is the perfect way to enjoy a sunny day. It is low-intensity and a great way to get to know new friends from class. A full set of frisbees can be as cheap as 25 dollars. There are two courses that are a short bus ride away (which is free to ride with your student ID) The Westmoreland course is located on 18th and Fillmore. Alton Baker Park is located just north of the University. Both offer a scenic route and entertaining obstacles.
3. Running/Hiking – They don’t call it Track Town USA for nothing. Eugene has some stupendous running trails throughout the city. Alton Baker Park is the largest park in Eugene and is fantastic for long distance runners. Also, located conveniently close to campus, the Adidas Amazon Trail is a mile-long loop that runs through the park and is cushioned with bark chips. For those of you who shudder at the idea of running for pleasure, Eugene also has a lot of impressive hiking trails that range from leisurely to challenging. Be sure to check out both Mount Pigsah and Spencers Butte before the rain finds out it is fall and we all get drenched on a regular basis.
4. Food – Where would we be without it? It will not be long before you start to crave anything that does not come from the kitchens of Hamilton. Track Town Pizza is just across Franklin and is a great place to watch a game if you cannot snag a ticket. Caspian’s is a staple in almost every student’s diet. If you’re looking for a great sandwich then you have to go to Chebahut on 11th and High Street (a location that goes well with their over-the-top weed theme.) If you are feeling really adventurous then you should visit the west side of Eugene and eat at Papa’s Soul Food at 400 Blair blvd. This place is absolutely incredible and has great barbecue. My personal favorite is their chicken and waffles. While you are in the area be sure to stop by Sweet Life Patisserie for a treat. It is the only dessert shop that somehow manages to be both classy and affordable.
5. Movies – For those of you who came from a major city, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how cheap it is to see a movie here. With your student ID you can see a movie for under 8 dollars at the Valley River Center. Another movie spot is the Bijou, a local art cinema blocks away from the university. On Mondays they show select features for three dollars a ticket. But the real deal lies in Springfield at the Gateway Mall. For under 2 dollars you can see movies that have recently left the regular theaters. There are also a lot of opportunities to see free screenings of movies on campus, so keep your eyes peeled
6. Music – Eugene has some pretty sweet venues, most of which are bars (sorry, minors.) John Henry’s, Speakeasy, and Sam Bond’s have regular live bands perform and good drink specials. Also, the Hult Center and the Cuthbert usually draw in great bands (such as the Shins who play at the Hult this Friday.) The Campbell Club and the Lorax allow minors and usually have some local bands play on the weekends. Truth be told, the best live music can usually be found at house parties.
7. Study – Studying can be difficult sometimes, and studying in the dorms can be near impossible. I would suggest exploring the campus and searching for your own personal study nook. The U of O Science Library is a nice place to be alone and read. It is usually not as crowded as the Knight Library. The EMU has some really cool places as well, if you are willing to seek them out. It would be wise to get to know your classmates as well. Having a friend in class can really help out once final exams and group presentations start popping up.
The best advice I can give you is this: Be social! Don’t feel nervous about introducing yourself to strangers. Students at the U of O tend to be friendly. Meeting new people will make your life so much more bearable when the stressful times in college come around. So take a chance — Eugenians are generally very welcoming.
Welcome to Eugene. It’s good to be a Duck.