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Old 06-23-2009, 12:14 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,943 times
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I'm a seventeen year old soon to be senior living in Sisters, Or. I'm making plans to visit different campuses/towns to help decide on where I want to go to school.

I'm a very liberal, open minded person (even though Im a hunter) who loves the outdoors. I like the idea of a smaller college with a rather vibrant, diverse community. I can't stand the idea of living and going to school in the willamete valley, portland area, for I'm not much of a big city person, hate the traffic, and can't stand most of the people.

I'm just looking for some advise/info on the area and the college, and if this sounds like somewhere I'd fit in.

Thanks for your help - Freewheeler
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:10 AM
 
9,965 posts, read 16,560,061 times
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I attended Southern Oregon for my undergraduate degree--graduated in 2003 before moving to Portland.

It's a good state college although I've heard it's been hit fairly hard from the budget cuts to the Oregon public university system in the last five years(although that is true everywhere these days). The advantage of SOU versus colleges like Portland State or U of O is that for the most part you have very small class sizes--you really get to know your professors on a close first-name basis. The downside is that you have fewer majors to choose from and the choice of classes can be rather limited for some areas of study. But there are some excellent faculty members there--the area attracts teachers who have relocated there for the quality of life. The student body attracts some hippyish transplants from the East Coast and Midwest, but you've got a lot of Oregon natives and students from surrounding states as well.

Ashland is a great town, extremely laidback with a good cultural scene for such a small town. It's a liberal artistic oasis in Southern Oregon and in addition the Shakespeare Festival attracts a lot of theatre types. And the downtown and Lithia Park are both beautiful set at the edge of Ashland Creek. It can feel kind of sleepy and isolated sometimes, but if you enjoy living in a small town far from any urban pressures, it's great.

For me the highlight of living in Ashland was the easy access to the outdoors. The town is literally built into the hills of the Siskiyou Mountains and across from the Southern Cascades. There is excellent mountain biking just above the town, and it's easy to drive up any direction into the hills and have great spots to camp or hike. Mt Ashland is only about 20 minutes away if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding. And there is also the Rogue River for rafting or fishing close by and tons of other mountains and lakes to explore in the surrounding area--Mt Shasta is barely an hour away.

One drawback to Ashland is the relatively high cost of living there-namely high real estate and rental prices. A lot of people I know who stayed in the area ended up moving to towns north of Ashland like Talent, Phoenix, or even Medford. But it's not that far a drive to get anywhere around the Rogue Valley and if you live in the dorms it isn't that expensive--and even rental prices are still cheaper than they would be in much of the Willamette Valley--and I think prices have gone down a little recently.

If this sounds appealing to you, then by all means check out the area. I've got fond memories of the area, even though after four years the town did seem a little too small for me--but it's a great place to spend a few years of college.
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
2,317 posts, read 7,487,525 times
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I cannot say anything about the college, but as for the town? It's not at all diverse; it's rather homogeneous in fact. A lot of people (not all of course) in Ashland can have a real 'snooty' attitude that I haven't seen anywhere else in the state, besides certain pockets of Portland and its West Side suburbs. It is a beautiful area however (a bit dry for me, but comparable to or less dry than Sisters I'd believe), and has some great amenities like a walkable/bikeable compact layout, Lithia Park, OSF, etc. But because of the lack of any diversity (even socioeconomic) and the air of superiority and exclusivity that many people have, I would not want to spend 4 years there. Of course, you could always transfer if you didn't like it, and if you're spending more time with other students (I would assume so) than with the townsfolk then that really makes a positive difference.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:00 PM
 
177 posts, read 564,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backdrifter View Post
I cannot say anything about the college, but as for the town? It's not at all diverse; it's rather homogeneous in fact. A lot of people (not all of course) in Ashland can have a real 'snooty' attitude that I haven't seen anywhere else in the state, besides certain pockets of Portland and its West Side suburbs. It is a beautiful area however (a bit dry for me, but comparable to or less dry than Sisters I'd believe), and has some great amenities like a walkable/bikeable compact layout, Lithia Park, OSF, etc. But because of the lack of any diversity (even socioeconomic) and the air of superiority and exclusivity that many people have, I would not want to spend 4 years there. Of course, you could always transfer if you didn't like it, and if you're spending more time with other students (I would assume so) than with the townsfolk then that really makes a positive difference.
im with backdrifter ... i recently visited oregon and ashland was the only place in the state that i actually didn't feel like was down to earth and friendly people!! i didn't think it was diversified at all ... everyone i met seemed the same - rich and too uptight to say hello. just my opinion. you could like it. it's not for more down to earth, friendly, open people, IMO. ashland has some cool little shops and stuff ... and lithia park, yea it's pretty - despite all the RULES signs everywhere - but nope not for me. doesn't feel real to me. do your research well and maybe visit there first since you are there in oregon.
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Old 06-24-2009, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Oregon
1,457 posts, read 5,757,968 times
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Whare the names of those colleges in Newberg and McMinnville area?

Think George Fox Univ. is the one in Newberg.

You probaby already know the weather in Ashland area. Some people really like that sunshine. Pretty clean town.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:11 PM
 
9,965 posts, read 16,560,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa E View Post
im with backdrifter ... i recently visited oregon and ashland was the only place in the state that i actually didn't feel like was down to earth and friendly people!! i didn't think it was diversified at all ... everyone i met seemed the same - rich and too uptight to say hello. just my opinion. you could like it. it's not for more down to earth, friendly, open people, IMO. ashland has some cool little shops and stuff ... and lithia park, yea it's pretty - despite all the RULES signs everywhere - but nope not for me. doesn't feel real to me. do your research well and maybe visit there first since you are there in oregon.
Not sure if Ashland has changed that much since I left there in 2003, but while the town had some older rich residents(mostly retired) that tended to look down on all us poor college kids, the town as a whole wasn't that bad.

In all honesty, the worst snobs I met while living there were rich out-of-town tourists who came for the Shakespeare Festival. But I don't remember it being much worse then areas of Portland or even Bend..Younger people in Ashland never seemed to have much money(unless they had rich parents), becuase outside of working in restaurants and bars(or if you can get a job at the college), there are basically no job opportunities in that town.

If you go to college in Ashland you won't neccesarily be spending all your time around the downtown area filled with expensive restaurants that most tourists see...When I lived there the town still had a lot of quiet residential areas filled with cool folks that felt very laidback. Not sure if it's been yuppified beyond all recognition since I last visited in 2005..I mean, do they still have hippies hanging out at the Ashland Co-Op all day? Aren't Wiley's World and Omar's still there?

And the great thing about Ashland is that the town is so small it's always easy to get away into the outdoors...If it's not to your liking you can live in one of the smaller towns surrounding the area and just drive ten minutes to the college. I had friends who rented places up Dead Indian Road in the surrounding mountains..Real beautiful country..

Ashland is at least worth checking out, if you think you might want to goto college there. And honestly, this is Oregon, there isn't that much diversity anywhere...

Last edited by Deezus; 06-24-2009 at 07:53 PM..
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
2,317 posts, read 7,487,525 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Not sure if Ashland has changed that much since I left there in 2003, but while the town had some older rich residents(mostly retired) that tended to look down on all us poor college kids, the town as a whole wasn't that bad.

In all honesty, the worst snobs I met while living there were rich out-of-town tourists who came for the Shakespeare Festival. But I don't remember it being much worse then areas of Portland or even Bend..Younger people in Ashland never seemed to have much money(unless they had rich parents), becuase outside of working in restaurants and bars(or if you can get a job at the college), there are basically no job opportunities in that town.

If you go to college in Ashland you won't neccesarily be spending all your time around the downtown area filled with expensive restaurants that most tourists see...When I lived there the town still had a lot of quiet residential areas filled with cool folks that felt very laidback. Not sure if it's been yuppified beyond all recognition since I last visited in 2005..I mean, do they still have hippies hanging out at the Ashland Co-Op all day? Aren't Wiley's World and Omar's still there?

And the great thing about Ashland is that the town is so small it's always easy to get away into the outdoors...If it's not to your liking you can live in one of the smaller towns surrounding the area and just drive ten minutes to the college. I had friends who rented places up Dead Indian Road in the surrounding mountains..Real beautiful country..

Ashland is at least worth checking out, if you think you might want to goto college there. And honestly, this is Oregon, there isn't that much diversity anywhere...
Quite the contrary. Lots of socioeconomic diversity across the state, but not in Ashland.

But it is worth checking out anyway. As a student it should be better there, like I said.
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Old 06-25-2009, 01:00 PM
 
652 posts, read 1,705,237 times
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It's an ok town. Just as white as the rest of Oregon. People are fine there, personally I had fewer hard looks and snooty responses there than I have had in Eugene and I was made to feel welcome by most of the people I had to deal with.
Take all the talk you hear about diversity with a grain of salt. A handful of black people among thousands of whites is considered diverse enough to most of my fellow Oregonians tho they'd say differently if confronted with that fact. Especially if they call themselves Hippie.
Portland is the only place in the state with decent numbers of Black people or people of any other Ethnicity besides European Whites and most of them are in one neighborhood. I don't remember what it is called.
People like to be all flowery about Oregon, but in the long run that only hurts us because it delays dealing with what needs dealt with. Facing the truth, as usual is too hard for those who live a fear based life.
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:05 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,231 times
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Default college bound

My dad was like you...liberal and a hunter. Klamath Falls and Ashland are more liberal areas, however, go north to Medford/Grants Pass to see haters in action. It is filled with conservative Christians...think Rush Limbaugh, and you will get the picture. Good luck!
Quote:
Originally Posted by freewheeler View Post
I'm a seventeen year old soon to be senior living in Sisters, Or. I'm making plans to visit different campuses/towns to help decide on where I want to go to school.

I'm a very liberal, open minded person (even though Im a hunter) who loves the outdoors. I like the idea of a smaller college with a rather vibrant, diverse community. I can't stand the idea of living and going to school in the willamete valley, portland area, for I'm not much of a big city person, hate the traffic, and can't stand most of the people.

I'm just looking for some advise/info on the area and the college, and if this sounds like somewhere I'd fit in.

Thanks for your help - Freewheeler
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
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