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Manggala: Tips on how to thrive in Eugene as a UO student



Now that we’ve all settled in after the first week of school, it’s time to branch out of our classes and explore what Eugene and the University of Oregon has to offer. One of the best things about being a student here is that we get to live in a growing, prosperous and small city that has a plethora of things to do. One of the worst things we can do as students here is not take advantage of the city, here are a few tips on how to thrive in Eugene as a University of Oregon student.

Use Your School’s Resources

I get that Eugene isn’t just UO, but it’s undeniably a large part of it. Some of the best things we can participate in is right here on our very own campus, and if you pay tuition, you have access to all of it. This includes UO’s state of the art recreational center, a fitness hub that includes almost every athletic workout possible, from table-tennis to scuba diving. We also have access to free tutoring centers that are spread throughout campus, most being in the library. And we have the ability to join the abundance of clubs that UO offers. Joining a club is a good way to meet people that have the same interests as you do, no matter how strange they may seem. You like making movies? There’s a club for that. You like rock climbing? There’s a club for that. You like Argentine Tango? Oddly enough, there’s a club for that. As a student here, our resources seem unlimited, and we should be taking advantage of what we’re offered.

Sco Sports!

Although the football games are fun to go to, and we should be trying to go every Saturday, it hasn’t been as fun in recent years since the decline of Ducks football. Luckily, that’s not the only sport UO is good at. Our volleyball team is currently ranked 12th in the nation, and I can assure you that you will not have a dull time watching a UO volleyball game. I can also say this about our basketball team, who were so good last year that they cracked the Final Four in the 2017 NCAA tournament. And there’s a reason Eugene is nicknamed Tracktown USA. We have some of the best track and field athletes in the world who go on to Olympic trials and even the main event itself some years. The point is, we don’t need to be a good football team to enjoy UO sports — every other team was killing it last year and may kill it again this year.

Downtown, aka Chowtown

I’m a full Asian, and I can’t tell you how happy I was when I found the dozens of Asian restaurants in downtown Eugene. The food options are surprisingly quite diverse for being a small city, and eating at these local restaurants helps the local economy as well. So really, it’s a win-win. Along with Asian restaurants, we got a Portland-esque food cart scene spread out downtown as well as some casual brunch diners with the best egg benedicts. Some people will tell you the food scene is weak; I think it’s better than most college towns.

Constant Culture

I went to the Brockhampton concert at WOW hall last Friday, and before then there were only three people I knew that have listened to them. Hundreds of people showed up to the concert, and it reminded me that Eugene is constantly holding shows for performers big and small. Various Eugene venues host legends such as Elton John and Lil’ Wayne, while at the same time holding shows for up-and-comers like Brockhampton. Along with music, the film scene is also a hot topic in Eugene with theatres like The Bijou Art Cinemas, The David Minor theatre and some local film festivals screening all over the city. Eugene has music, film, comedy and much more.

The Freshest Air in the Nation

A quick hike to the top of Spencer’s Butte in south Eugene offers sweeping views of the Willamette Valley.

In Eugene, you have the ocean and the mountains within two hours of each other. Florence beach is a perfect weekend getaway for those looking to put their feet in the sand. If you’re looking to travel close, hiking areas such as Spencer’s Butte and Skinner’s Butte make for great Sunday morning exercise. The state’s geography is so diverse that you’re not going to run out of things to do ever. Just make sure to bring your allergy meds because the pollen gets nastier as the year goes by.

Whatever it is you want to do, you can probably do it in Eugene. If you ever need help finding out what to do, the UO has the Center for Student Involvement open in the EMU to students looking to get involved.


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Billy Manggala

Billy Manggala

Senior Editor of the Opinion Desk, Cat father, Grilled Cheese enthusiast