Back to the BooksHousing

Back to the Books: Welcome to the best years of your life

I’ve been to a sorority house on three occasions, and each was accompanied by copious amounts of pie and a serenade by On the Rocks. I’ve never lived in the residence halls. And I’ve certainly never experienced what it’s like to share a house with five other guys.

Sure, we have a lot of shared experiences during our time at the University of Oregon: Indecisive treks down 13th Avenue on an empty stomach (It all smells so good!); the high that comes with your first walk across the Autzen footbridge (Or utter bewilderment that anybody could be that excited over something as trivial as a football game); and the Friday and Saturday night wait for an Uli’s taco or a Dough Co. calzone.

But the places we call home are all vastly different. Where one guy would hang a 24×20 poster of former Oregon footballer Kenjon Barner, another hangs a colorful tapestry from Lazar’s Bazar while another still nails a framed “Legend of Zelda” poster.

Whether we’re there for nine months or all four years of our careers at the UO, our homes are what define us. That’s why it’s important to not only make sure you individualize your home decor, but also treat your pad with respect.

Ladies and gents: Do you really want your apartment or house to look like Pinterest threw up in it? No? Then leave the melted crayon art pieces at home.

Freshmen: Before you move into your dorm, heed our reporters’ advice on how to save your meal points and be a good roommate.

If you’re considering rushing a sorority during your time here, be wary of a little something they call a sleeping porch — it’s kind of like the sorority version of the owlery in “Harry Potter” — and the fact that you can’t have boys over after 1 a.m. But when you have man-servants and a good chef, what more would you want?

And before you plan that rager in your house on the corner of 13th and Ferry Street that will inevitably put you in danger of a Social Host Ordinance citation, remember that a friendly knock on your neighbor’s door may help you avoid all sorts of unnecessary confrontation.

Those are just some of the tips we can offer you in this, the first housing guide of the academic year (there’ll be more to come. Trust me.)

Our special sections serve to fulfill our motto as both a student service and as a modern media company: We want to make your college experience better.

In the coming weeks, months and years, we’ll be here to offer you the newest in everything from fashion to dining, nightlife to arts and culture and everything in between.

Whether you’re starting your first year at the UO or returning for your last, don’t forget to do the following at least once a term:

Wake up at 7 a.m. on a Sunday and take a walk through your neighborhood or across campus.

Invite all of your friends over for an hours-long feast, complete with a good bottle of wine (if you’re of age) and board games.

Clean your apartment or dorm room with your favorite artist blaring and the windows open, especially in the middle of winter.

Lock yourself up at home for a full day and binge watch your favorite series on Netflix, curl up with your favorite book or play through all of “Donkey Kong Country 2” for the seventh time — the rainier it is outside, the better.

After all, these are going to be some of the best years of your life.


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Eder Campuzano

Eder Campuzano

Eder is the Emerald's director of audience engagement. His work has appeared in The Oregonian, The Statesman Journal and the News-Register in McMinnville. He was also a founding member of the University of Oregon's competitive Pokémon league.