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Old 11-18-2008, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Rapid City, SD
30 posts, read 116,238 times
Reputation: 32

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My room mate (21yr) and I (20 yr) are hoping to move out of South Dakota and we have set up a trip to Eugene at the beginning of March 2009 to see if we like it enough to move and go to college. Our plans and details are still pretty vague and I’m starting to get scared. I’ve heard a lot about thefts and homeless along with a much higher cost of living. A coworker of mine who used to live there has also explained the look of Eugene enough to put the image in my head of a very rural looking city just because there is so much growth even in the downtown area. Does anyone else have any opinions about Eugene to help paint the picture better? My coworker also advised living in Springfield because it's cheaper but a bit shabbier. He also said check out the Skinner and Spencer Buttes. Any opinions on the area are greatly welcome.

A little preference idea on my behalf, Rapid City (where we live now) is starting to sound very different from Eugene. I leave my car unlocked at all times, even drove a Taurus Station wagon for a while where you couldn't take the keys out of the ignition and I have never had a problem with theft. My home has never been broken into, and the only thing I have ever had stolen from me was a cell phone I left in the front seat of a friends car while parked down town at 2 am. I have seen maybe five regular homeless people around town and never have I encountered a vicious attack even though I have made a habit of walking the streets alone in the early AM's since I was 14. The worst violence I have heard of is bar fights and drunk drivers to petty convenience store robberies. I know a higher crime rate is to be expected with larger cities, but Eugene seems to have the same small build as Rapid but with more of the worries. Of the cities that I have been to I loved the architecture of central Washington DC and of what I saw of St. Paul when we drove through to Minneapolis. I love the tall bunched together buildings of downtown Denver. But St. Paul really took my breath away with how historic the buildings looked and complimented with trees and vines and bushes. It was gorgeous.

I’m getting scared of Eugene because my main motive for moving is college, a really touchy subject for me because of money and lack of any sort of idea as to what I’m going into debt for. If I can't find a city I’m secure in, I won’t move for basically my biggest insecurity. I guess this is more venting than anything because really I won’t know until we visit. So I should just ask for advice on any place we should add into our trip to get a better look of Eugene. Thank you for reading through my ramblings. Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 11-19-2008, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,903,785 times
Reputation: 3331
Eugene does have a large homeless population, but from what I've heard, it's not all bad. My good friends live there and seem to like it. The city itself (downtown) isn't real pretty. Not much going in terms of architectural beauty. I guess it used to be beautiful prior to the 1970's, but then the city decided to level many of those old buildings and build new. I think crime is going to be higher than Rapid City, but Eugene is a bigger city. Rapid City seems to be the largest city surrounded by smaller farm towns, whereas Eugene is along the I-5 corridor. I've heard Springfield is less expensive, but my friends tell me they wouldn't want to live there.

I think if you are looking at going to school, but don't know what you want to major in, you might be better off going to a small school closer to home. It will be less expensive, less stressful, and you can always transfer to another school with a program you're interested in later on. The first year or two of college is a lot of basic credits, so you can get those out of the way at a lower cost.

If you are looking at college towns that are relatively safe and smaller take a look at Montana or Wyoming. My sister went to University of Montana in Missoula and ended up staying there. She never locks her doors to her home or car, walks/rides her bike everywhere at all hours, and the worst thing that happened is her bike was stolen once. This is the biggest crime in her town because of the college. You can always drive through Missoula on your way to Eugene to get a feel for the town. Oh, and my sister's best friend who lives in Missoula is originally from SD. She tried to leave Missoula and ended up moving back because she loved it so much.
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:46 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,857,129 times
Reputation: 7112
I second delta's suggestion - if you don't know what you want to focus on in school, it might be better to take classes close to home or even join a branch of the military for a few years first. The National guard or coast guard or navy or air force... something that would broaden your horizons a bit and allow you to travel and earn money and learn more about yourself. Two of my siblings were in their early 20's and totally lost, without any money and really didn't know what to do with their lives. They both joined the air force (we aren't really a military family, so I felt they were really being courageous going against the grain like that) and now they both are really doing well for themselves. They have also used their military benefits to now take college classes and are both working towards college degree's while working their military jobs.

I really wouldn't recommend moving all the way to Eugene or really any other place to go to school unless you were certain about what you were majoring in and had more definite plans. Unless of course you had family in that place that were going to help you, that would make more sense, but if you don't know anyone in that place you might be better off to "bloom where you're planted". Moving is incredibly stressful and expensive when you're on your own.
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:49 PM
 
6,061 posts, read 13,857,129 times
Reputation: 7112
I forgot to mention, too, there's always the option now of taking online classes. My husband and several of the guys he works with take technical classes through Devry. It's a bit expensive, but his company pays for the tuition. Many companies do that... perhaps you could find a job where you currently live that offers tuition assistance and then take online classes to get the basics out of the way? The you could transfer to a 4-year school later on down the road when you have a better idea of what you'd like to major in.
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,903,785 times
Reputation: 3331
I thought a bit more about my earlier post, and realized that I might have steered you in a direction of least risk. I think most people your age go through the same feelings you are when making such a big life decision. I know I did. However, I think college is a place to really find yourself. When I went to school (Colorado State U.), I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I knew what some of my interests were, but I ended up changing my major halfway through my freshman year. You don't have to declare a major right away! College helped me to discover myself. If I would have stayed close to home, I probably would have had a much different life. I think it was good to get away, be a little scared, but really experience independence.

I know HaggardHouseSelf suggested the military. That wouldn't be my first inclination, but you have to know whether it's right for you. I've never been much of a follower, so I couldn't do it.

Regardless, my point is that you should really take a little risk! I know college is a lot of money, but I truly think it's worth it. University, rather than a small town college, is a true college experience, and one that I wouldn't trade for the world!
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