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How to show a future Duck the real student experience

Many of us have younger friends or siblings applying to the University of Oregon during this college application season. Our Student Ambassadors do an amazing job giving on-campus tours, but applicants should know what we do outside of school too. For the real University of Oregon experience, take your future Duck on a tour of Eugene classics.

First stop is an early morning hike up Spencer Butte. Along with floating down the Willamette, hiking Spencer Butte is the most typical adventure taken by UO students. Only a 15-minute drive from campus, this trek is a 30-minute climb through a beautiful forest. At the top, hikers are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Willamette Valley, with Autzen’s “O” easily visible in the distance. The best time to go is early in the morning, to catch the post-sunrise glow of the green valley after reaching the peak of the butte. Take breakfast with you to make it a picnic.

Another beautiful nature walk is Alton Baker Park and the Willamette River. Take that legendary walk across the river to Autzen, visit the dog park or bike along the river on the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path. If your future Duck is visiting late winter quarter or early spring quarter, tubing down the Willamette is a must (or, just hanging out along the banks with some friends requires a bit less energy).

Of course, every future Duck needs to take a trip to Taylor’s Bar and Grill. Underage students can still enjoy a delicious burger or mac ‘n cheese without imbibing in the classic college bar scene. Other quintessential 13th Ave. lunch destinations include Caspian’s Mediterranean food and Webfoot Bar and Grill. But it’s also a good idea to take your future Duck to the real downtown, off of 13th. The center of Willamette and East Broadway is filled with Eugene dining classics: Sizzle Pie, Voodoo Doughnuts and Off The Waffle to name a few. Buy enough food to convince your future Duck to go to college in one of the most underrated foodie towns in the nation.

The most important detail of a prospective University of Oregon student’s visit is seeing the most unique aspects of campus and Eugene. Make sure your future Duck wanders around Autzen to see all of our other sports stadiums, and visits Hayward Field and our famed Rec Center. They should check out the beautiful architecture and insides of Jordan Schnitzer Museum and Knight Library, and every corner of the new EMU. Off campus, check out the Eugene Saturday Market to pick up interesting goodies and meet fascinating people. Enjoy the 5th Street Market, or even just take a walk through beautiful residential Eugene.

Finally, make sure your future Duck goes to a sports game. This is the real University of Oregon student experience: school spirit.

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Casey Miller

Casey Miller