Leah Pratley at the University of Oregon and Clark Honors College!
We asked some of our former students to report back about their college experience so far. Leah is our highlight for July! Here's what she has to say about her campus.
What do you like about Oregon?
"I really enjoy the access to the outdoors that the university’s location provides. In the last year my friends and I have taken advantage of this more than I could’ve ever hoped, and we’ve been to dozens of waterfalls, gone on hikes, made it out to the coast and skied on several mountains. As far as the school itself, I love the opportunities in my department as an undergrad. I know this is applicable to both people interested in research in the science realm as well as within the School of Journalism. I’ve started to network significantly within my department and my professors have been incredibly helpful and available."
What is something that surprised you about Oregon?
"Something that surprised me (in both a comforting and sometimes funny way) is how small it can feel. Everyone knows someone that you know, whether from home or at school. In this way it’s easy to meet lots of people without feeling like you know everyone on campus. Oregon’s size is pretty much perfect because obviously there’s so many people that I’ve never met in my class but I recognize many from other friends, from organizations I follow/join etc. I love meeting people who know where I’m from or share a similar background as me while also meeting people who are entirely different."
Fun fact you’ve learned about Oregon?
"This goes along with the whole loving the outdoors/plant life but the University of Oregon is one of the only campuses in the country that’s classified as a 295-acre arboretum containing approximately 4,000 trees of more than 500 species. It’s absolutely gorgeous even on the cold winter days and I’m always so happy to be walking around campus and observing the natural beauty as well as impressive buildings like the Hayward Track or our older red brick buildings."
What are you studying/involved in?
"My major has switched from journalism to public relations to advertising and I think I am set on advertising. I am also minoring in Spanish and legal studies. I love the department because of everyone’s friendliness and willingness to help out with projects or just career advising. It’s a tight-knit program that’s established and has great networking opportunities. I am also involved in Greek life where I’ve held an executive position and also write for the Clark Honors College weekly magazine. One of my favorite things though is that I am a senior editor for Align Magazine, which is a student-run fashion/culture/lifestyle magazine that is published once a term. I am so happy that I have gotten involved in so many different activities because it was crucial when the pandemic hit to have established connections with people prior to quarantining. Each has been so fun and beneficial."
What did UniVarsity Help You With?
"UniVarsity helped me with figuring out what I truly wanted in a college, not just what I thought that I wanted. I pictured myself as a liberal arts student in a small school on the East Coast but ended up at pretty much the exact opposite and couldn’t be happier. They were so patient with my indecisiveness and helped rule out many options that I was considering at first but realized would not have been a good match for me at all. Talking to each person at UniVarsity felt like a strange form of therapy, where I could be honest and express concerns about college, ask way too many questions about dozens of universities, and all the while be met with knowledge, kindness and humor."
Doing Anything Fun on the Weekends?
"During freshman year, my friends and I didn’t have a car and pretty much stayed on campus or close to it. So our fun included things like sorority events (movie nights, excursions with older girls, family dinners) as well as attending fraternity parties. When the pandemic hit, these things were no longer an option so in my sophomore year my friends and I had cars and took advantage of all of the beauty Oregon has to offer. Between going with my friends, boyfriend, or by myself I’ve seen easily over 20 different waterfalls, been on so many stunning hikes, swam in three different lakes, gone skiing on two mountains, visited the only national park in the state, and been to the coast several times. In a way, I’m grateful that last year’s online classes allowed me the flexibility to explore the outdoors. This year, it’s a mix of both, and also checking out the college bar scene now that I’m 21!