5 Tips for Ducks

A recent UO grad offers sage advice

It’s that time of year again! Time to crack open some beers … I mean books.

This is the first fall in four years that I won’t be returning to campus. So now, as a grad, I’m passing on my top five things you need to know about being a Duck.

1. Be prepared for sogginess.

Eugene is a beautiful, wet place. The sunny summers of campus tours don’t last. Invest in some waterproof boots, or at least some waterproofing spray for your Sperrys. Get a waterproof jacket (not water resistant, and yes, there is a difference). Fellow Duck Cassie Copeland advises against umbrellas. Don’t be that student who nearly takes out everyone’s eye just so you arrive to class dry.

2. Go Greek! Or just get some fro yo. 

UO has an active Greek life. Participating in a fraternity or sorority can be a great way to meet people and get involved on campus. If Greek isn’t your flavor, don’t worry. The idea that you have to be a Greek to have a social life isn’t true. There are plenty of clubs, volunteer opportunities and friendships to find outside of the Greek system.

3. Mo’ bikes, mo’ problems.

Eugene is bike-friendly, but it’s also home to some super-savvy bike thieves. Invest in a solid U-lock and use it around your bike frame, not around your tire. EW’s very own Amy Schneider, a former Duck, cautions students to be emotionally prepared for bike theft, even with a U-lock. It happens to the best of us. UO student Aaron Poor recommends checking your bike tires frequently to make sure they are properly inflated. Riding on tires with low air wears them out much faster! Safety tip: You can get ticketed by UOPD for not obeying campus stop signs on your bike! I learned that one the hard way.

4. Branch out! 

Campus is very football-centric during fall, and winter, and then there’s the spring game … but campus and Eugene have way more to offer than great football. Music lovers should check out local venues like The Shedd or Sam Bond’s Garage. Adventurers: You can head out to the coast or keep it local with a hike up Spencer Butte or Mount Pisgah. The Outdoor Program offers rock-climbing classes (there’s a wall at The Rec), wilderness survival and weekend field trips you can sign up for, too. You can learn to dance swing or salsa at the Vet’s Club or spend a relaxing weekend at the downtown Saturday Market. Market foodie tip: Dana’s Cheesecake is heavenly.

5. Make connections.

My favorite part of being a Duck was the opportunity to create friendships with my professors. Go to office hours, no matter what. Even if you don’t need help with the material of the class, stop in to chat! Some of my biggest opportunities after college came from letters of recommendation or professional advice from professors I had. So build those connections!

Finally, it’s sappy but true. Your years at the UO will fly by, so make sure to love every minute. Have a great year!

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