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My advice to freshman as a senior: UO Edition

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I am coming to the end of my time as a UO undergrad and as I reflect on my time here I love to take a glance back on the girl I was when I came here. I would argue that it is endearing to visualize that lost, optimistic young eighteen year old but it is also horribly embarrassing to acknowledge my lack of awareness to college culture. Although humbling, I want to offer some guidance to my young ducks to soften your fall. Im not going to discuss the importance of going to office hours, what professors are the best, or what classes to take. There are 101 other articles on the internet that you can google about your academic success. I’m talking about the hours you are not an active student in the classroom. I’m talking about the things you want to know living on campus and being in college at Oregon.This is very niche to the social scale at the University of Oregon, in my opinion.

When thinking about wardrobe, here are some must-haves. A staple piece to invest in is a black puffer coat. Preferably one with a hood because of the intense rain we get. Over the years, I have acquired some bold colors in my puffer collection but a staple black one will become apart of your identity the first year. It oddly goes with every outfit and completely worth every penny because you will wear it til its on its last leg. Feel free to splurge. UO has this obsession with white nike shoes and as basic as it seems, white Air Force One’s is the dress code. Any kind of white shoe street shoe will be needed for your time here. I know that sounds obvious? But as a California girl coming here, all I packed was Rainbow sandals and Birkenstocks. Im advocating for my warm climate natives that are just clueless.

Speaking of attire, game day in Eugene is monumental and you WILL need more green and yellow. Game days during fall term is seen as the main event of the week. Getting together a few “out there” outfits for a home game means preparing early. Some fun, patterned pants or a light-up green cowboy hat will make you feel so involved and happy to be there. Get crafty and make a custom shirt with your friends. Buy those yellow pants you wouldn’t wear anywhere else. Go all out. Autzen is the place to do it! Over the last few years, the wardrobe trends at the games has leveled up immensely and the space for creativity is there. Freshman year I wish I knew how big of a deal gamely was for the city of Eugene.

If you don’t already, download the Starbucks App. As a freshman you will be in the EMU daily and that will be your closest coffee stop. It is a complete war zone in there and you if want to make it to class on time I would suggest downloading the app so you can order before even leaving your dorm room. Waiting in that line then waiting for your drink to come out will have you standing awkwardly for at least 15 minutes. Also, the app is a must because of the amount of gift cards family members will gift you for Christmas. Those points will be racked up by the end of the term.

During your first year of college you will soon find out that every social event has a theme and you are required to go allllll out. Hiron’s is the go-to store for just about everything you can imagine. Its a hidden gem in this town and if Amazon isn’t gonna arrive on time, Hiron’s will save you. They have a crazy (almost overwhelming) amount of stuff packed into their store but thats what makes it fun. Gather a group of friends and just explore the aisles for some fun entertainment. From game day gear, birthday party decorations, to a mini-cvs they will have stuff for every event that you will go to in college.

Last but not least….

Take the lanyard off. Its like a spotlight on every first year student on every campus. But especially at UO, the bright green and yellow lanyard is a clear indicator of being new. Although small, hearing how seasoned students talk about the freshman and lanyard joke was mortifying and I wish I would have known. There are so many trendy and cute options to carrying around your ID card and keys, check Amazon!

These are some very specific areas of advice for my freshman friends, in my opinion these are just some tips you cannot get anywhere else on the internet. Think of this as a personal conversation we would have if we bumped into each other on 13th and just had a fun conversation! Remember these moments and embrace the not-knowing and “lost” feeling as a freshman! I would trade the world to be in your position.

Alyssa Leon

Oregon '22

I am a senior at UO studying English with a minor in legal studies. I am passionate about social justice reform, my book collection, and saving the sharks!
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