Should I Go To University of Oregon?

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Schuyler is a 2014 graduate of University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He currently specializes in many subjects, including Essay Editing tutoring, Literature tutoring, and ACT Reading tutoring. Check out his review of University of Oregon:

VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?

Schuyler: Getting around campus and downtown Eugene is very easy. Students have free use of the bus system, including the EmX, which is an express that runs through campus, from downtown Eugene to downtown Springfield. Students need to keep their wits about them when traveling at night, though. Many friends and I left college with at least one story of being mugged. Do not walk around at night alone! I also had two bikes stolen. U-Locks are a must, but even those are not foolproof.

VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Schuyler: For every class, you are guaranteed to have at least one staff member there to help you through the course on a personal level. For the larger, lower-level lectures, that person is usually a teaching assistant. Professors for upper-level classes were approachable, available, and eager to share their knowledge with students. Professors are aware that they are getting paid to be available to students, and they encourage students to take full advantage of that.

VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Schuyler: The dorms at University of Oregon are tiny! Anywhere in the room, my roommate and I could reach out and touch each other. That being said, I am really glad that I lived in the dorms. I made friends with many people who I never would have talked to, if we had not been living mere feet away from each other and sharing a bathroom for nine months. The dorm food is also pretty good, with various food choices and venues open until 2:00 in the morning every day (disclosure: I worked in the dining halls for two years).

VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?

Schuyler: Business and Journalism are the two majors you hear the most about. I studied Journalism because I heard it was one of the best programs in this field on the West Coast. Journalism was well supported as a major, with tons of resources, from the expertise of its professors to the ability to rent the equipment needed to produce professional-quality pieces of media.

VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Schuyler: The dorms provided lots of opportunities to make friends as a freshman. Many of the friends I made that year remained regular fixtures in my life throughout my four years at the University of Oregon. Greek life is very prevalent on campus, but I never got involved.

VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus? 

Schuyler: The Career Center seems fairly useful. I tried it several times, but no job opportunities ever transpired. Friends of mine, especially those with Business majors, used it with more success.

VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Schuyler: There is no shortage of places to study at the University of Oregon. Your favorite chair at the Erb Memorial Union might be taken come finals week, but there will without a doubt be a place for you to study somewhere on campus. My favorite place to study was outside on the beautiful campus amongst the trees and squirrels running around. The squirrels are friendly and used to humans, so they will eat any of your study snacks that you are willing to share, right out of your hand.

VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus? 

Schuyler: Eugene has joined the microbrewery explosion of the Northwest, and it has tons of great places to enjoy quality beer. Many bars also feature live music, so that was where I was most Friday and Saturday nights. Before I was 21, I spent my time enjoying the bounty of natural beauty surrounding campus. The Willamette River runs just off campus, and that was my favorite place to be on a sunny afternoon (or a rainy one—I am an Oregonian, after all). Spencer Butte is a short drive, or bus ride, away. It features a hiking trail that is short, but that will get your breath going and reward you with a wonderful vista at the top.

VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Schuyler: Lower-level classes were typically 150–300 students, while upper-level courses were usually under 100. Many of my specialized classes (Reporting, Journalistic Interview, Travel Writing, etc.) were under 20 students. Those were my favorite courses, but anyone attending a state school should be prepared for their fair share of large lecture classes.

VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Schuyler: My favorite professor was Melissa Hart, a Journalism instructor. Many moments stick out in my head, but one that was a lot of fun was when she drove us off-campus to a raptor center she was involved with and showed us around as a part of our Travel Writing course. We hung out with birds of prey for two hours, took pictures, and then wrote a blog post about it.

Check out Schuyler’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.