The Freshman 15


They say Freshman gain 15 in the first year.

I am officially done with my first term at the University of Oregon. This MBA program has been incredibly busy, but I have loved (almost!) every moment of it, and I have definitely learned a lot. Luckily, I haven’t gained 15 pounds – but, I have gained a few other things during my first term at UO.

Here is my Freshman 15:

  1. Possessions – After I quit my job and moved back to Los Angeles with my parents, I left the majority of my possessions up in Sacramento. It kicked off this huge spur of minimalism for me (read about it here). But once I moved up to Oregon, I needed to build up my possessions again. Since moving, I have gained a desk, mattress, and bed frame!
  2. The Duck Network – Being a University of Oregon Duck means more than I first imagined. I have gained access to the larger Duck network, which has served me well as I seek internships and informational interviews.
  3. Football – Although the Ducks did not do as well as expected this season, I gained a greater interest in football. Going to the Ducks game is a large part of the culture up in Eugene and I was happy to have free tickets as an MBA student! Hopefully they are better next year. SCO Ducks!
  4. Swag – To go along with the sporting events, I have definitely acquired some UO swag. Between name tags, clothing, luggage tags, and pins, I am definitely ready to rep the #OMBA.
  5. Conferences – Being in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship track of the Oregon MBA program has meant invitations to a few business start-up pitching contests. They are thrilling to watch and provide great networking opportunities. Read my recap from the Bend Venture Conference here.
  6. Inspiration – Aside from being surrounded by driven and interesting people, I find myself reading tons of articles for my MBA classes. A few of them have inspired posts on FromBrownEyes, like this one on job crafting.
  7. Shift in Scale – With everything in millions and billions in my finance and accounting classes, I have definitely gained an altered sense of financial scale. For example, when I heard that the Phil and Penny Knight Foundation made a $500M donation to UO, I really wasn’t too shocked with how gigantic a sum of money that is. Thanks, Uncle Phil!
  8.  Credibility – Since I started pursuing my MBA, I have definitely have noticed a shift in the respect I receive from others. When I am asked what I am up to by strangers, my answer is always met with encouragement. It is nice to get that reaffirmation that this big sacrifice of time, money, and sanity is well worth it!
  9. Appreciation of the Sun – I miss my daily dosage of vitamin D, so when the sun is out, so am I. I never appreciated sunny days as much as I do now and I make a huge point of getting outside and soaking as much of it in as possible.
  10. Running – Along with football, running is a part of the Eugene history. NIKE was born here and the Olympic Track and Field trails were hosted on UO’s historic Hayward Field this past year. A good amount of my cohort peers are marathoners and it has definitely inspired me to make time for running.
  11. Fresh O2 – Oregon has definitely brought me improved air quality. Compared to Los Angeles, Eugene offers tons of trees and less pollution. It has been so nice to breathe in that wonderful, crisp air as I am out for a run.
  12. Rainboots – I didn’t own a pair of rainboots before moving to Oregon. Now I have two! My raincoat collection has also grown by one. It is definitely different living in such a wet climate, but as long as you have the right gear, it isn’t so bad.
  13.  Travel – It is no surprise to my readers that I love to travel and this MBA program at UO offers me plenty. Aside from a day trip to Portland and a weekend in Bend, I just returned from a week in Seattle, WA. Next term I’ll be in San Francisco, CA for a week and this summer I will be in China. I love that this program appreciates travel as much as I do!
  14. Belonging – I never really felt like L.A. was the place for me, and moving to Oregon has really confirmed that. I miss my family like crazy, but I really feel surrounded by my tribe. Creative, outdoorsy, accepting, and less materialistic to name a few common traits of Eugene locals. The feeling maintains for the University of Oregon. I never felt attached or bonded to my undergraduate alma mater the University of California, Davis, but maybe that had more to do with the fact that I was working a full time job. Either way, I feel like I belong in Oregon, and at UO.
  15. Friends – This program has brought me many new friends. There are over 100 people going through this MBA program with me as either first or second years, and many more that I have met through working on campus or just being out and about in Eugene. It has been so great going through this program with a really solid group of people.

As you can see, I have gained a lot through this program, and it is only just the start.


What has your Freshman 15 looked like since the new year started? Let us know below.


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