Quacking for College

Mallory Ensing

High school students across the country should be ready behind the line and set in the blocks to sprint to “Track Town” for college. 

Located in Eugene, the University of Oregon is the number one public university in the state. Popular among Lakeridge students, this in-state college is an ideal example of why in-state schools should not go unnoticed when considering post-high school plans. An exemplary college both academically and socially, UO has continually been an accessible and appealing option for students of the community. 

“At least when I was in high school, many students overlooked the amazing in-state college options we have near us,” said Avery Ensing, a current sophomore at UO. “U of O is an internationally recognized university, and I think that is often forgotten because it’s only a few hours away from LO.”

In addition to having the finest programs in Oregon, this college is ranked number 99 out of the nearly 4,000 US colleges and universities for academics. It is one of the just two universities in the Pacific Northwest that are members of the Association of American Universities, a group recognizing America’s leading research universities. 

Between the nine schools and colleges at U of O, there are over 300 undergraduate programs and 80 graduate subject programs. Majors range from Journalism, Arts and Sciences, Business, and countless other options. 

“They have every single major and minor that you could possibly think of,” said Avery.“My major is advertising in the School of Journalism and Communication and my minor is art.”

One of the most popular departments at the college, the School of Journalism and Communication provides students with rigorous courses and very unique experiences. While a typical day for a student in the journalism school may consist of basic lectures, there are also occasions in which professional journalists from news organizations like The New York Times, The New Yorker, or The Wall Street Journal will come to speak. 

“The “J School,” journalism, is definitely one of the most popular, but business is also a highly coveted department here,” said Kendall Ensing, current UO senior. “My major, Psychology, is also a very popular major along with Political Science and Economics.” 

According to the University’s website, other common majors include Biology, Human Physiology, and General Social Science. Although, despite these many options, those hoping to attend this university do not have to declare a major upon submitting their application. Students can begin their UO experience as an undeclared major, and also can change their major for quite a bit of time. 

“It’s certainly easy to change your major,” said Kendall. “I personally had three different majors throughout my time at UO, and changed mine as late as spring term of my sophomore year.” 

For many high schoolers, picking a college major is a huge stressor. Especially for students that are attending a school for athletics, it can be a daunting task to decide what their educational goals are as well. This is likely a common occurrence at the University of Oregon, as it is a very athletically focused college. 

“We’re “Tracktown USA,” our football team is insanely successful, as is baseball, softball, and soccer,” said Kendall. “There’s just an unbeatable sports culture for the Ducks.” 

Students at UO are known for their passion for the college’s athletics. The student section at Autzen Stadium has been recognized as the loudest college football student section in the country, and Hayward Field will be the location of major track and field events, like the World Championships and the NCAA Championships. 

The university’s campus has gained a positive international reputation, which correlates well with the international programs UO has available to students. There are study abroad programs offered for every term of the year, including summer. 

“I know a lot of people that have been a part of study abroad programs,” said Avery. “I’ve only ever heard incredible things about the experience.” 

Programs like studying abroad at UO are made more possible for students through the substantial amount of scholarships the university provides. Students with high academic achievement are eligible for the Summit Scholarship, which provides $10,000 a year. There are also additional scholarship opportunities when taking part in separate programs like study abroad. 

“I wouldn’t say there’s one type of person I would recommend U of O to because every person here is so unique,” said Kendall. “There are students of all different backgrounds, and students with all different interests and talents.”

A school of sports, academics, and international opportunities, the University of Oregon is an ideal in-state option for the Lakeridge community to consider. Students should continue to pace themselves when deciding on where to attend college, but running through the finish line at U of O also wouldn’t be ducked upon.