Adkins: 9 things I love most about the UO

As an opinion columnist, I often look at the University of Oregon with a critical eye. I search for faults that need fixing, issues that need addressing and something to take a stand on.

However, every now and then, I find myself wanting to express my gratitude for this strange and wonderful place. Only nine weeks into the first term of my freshman year, I’ve already fallen so deeply in love with this campus. So, in the spirit of the recent and upcoming holidays, here is a list of nine things (one for every week I’ve been in school) that I love most about UO. I encourage you to check these things out if you haven’t yet and share your own list:

1) The guy who plays piano in the EMU. You can find him weekdays from 12 – 2 p.m. in the Taylor Lounge (that place with the comfy chairs on the first floor, behind the stairs). Plus, if you’re really lucky, you just might hear his insanely good rendition of the “Game of Thrones” theme song.

2) Puddles Cafe. I live in Barnhart Hall, which is far away from every other coffee source on campus – so Puddles is a godsend. Plus, since it’s less crowded, they make lattes there way faster than Common Grounds (sorry, Hamilton), and they serve breakfast sandwiches until 10 p.m.

3) Quiet floors. Honestly, I never thought I could be so productive. If you ever need a miracle (two essays, WebWork and three tests to study for all by tomorrow?), I’d recommend the fourth floor of the Knight Library, in the back left corner by the windows. For those of you who have spent any time on a quiet floor in any of the UO libraries, you know exactly what I mean.

4) The people handing out free stuff on campus. Free granola bars. Free keychains. Free coupons. Thank you! Thank you!

5) Turkeys. Turkeys are my second-favorite bird (ducks come first, duh). And the iconic campus turkeys are both hilarious and absolutely intimidating. They once blocked the entrance to Barnhart — but how did they get out there? Did they ride the bus? When you’re sad, just think about the campus turkeys riding the bus.

6) Biking to Class. As a student who used to exclusively walk to campus, I had mixed feelings about bicyclists (cars may stop for us, but bikes really won’t). But then I became a bicyclist and discovered that I could get to campus in three minutes flat. Plus, there’s really nothing like successfully juggling a coffee and dodging pedestrians, all with the rush of the wind in your hair. Anyone with a mode of transport like this knows what I’m talking about — be it a skateboard, scooter, roller blades or unicycle (you know who you are).

7) EMU Starbucks. I know there’s an awesome one on 13th St., but I prefer this one. I honestly cannot explain why. Go on a weekend morning or late at night, when the line is considerably shorter than during the week.

8) Football games. Love them or hate them, there is truly nothing like screaming about a touchdown at the top of your lungs with all your classmates one moment, and then melodically singing “Coming Home to Oregon” the next.

9) Meeting New People. At no other time in our lives will we live with so many people our age in such close quarters and at the same time be presented with so many opportunities to meet those people. I personally don’t talk much in my lectures, but I’ve made friends going to on-campus events, games, concerts, parties, etc. Plus, no matter what, we always have something in common: we’re all Ducks.

What do you love most about the UO?

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Maddie Adkins

Maddie Adkins