Adulting with Erin: Get off The Bluff

By Erin Bothwell | October 25, 2017 7:12pm
by Brennan Robinson / The Beacon

When you’re touring The Bluff, campus is pristine. The food is beyond delicious. The dorms are divine. The people are incredibly friendly. You feel like you’ll never, ever want to leave this wonderful place. You were born to be here. 

Fast forward to present day. You have lost track of the days because you stopped making tally marks on your wall after your warden (RA) told you to stop. You eat gruel for every meal. Your fellow inmates (roommates) have started to get on your nerves. The puppy to human ratio is approximately 1:1500 — which is all the numerical proof you need to rationalize you are living in a sad, lonely place. 

Okay Debbie Downer, it’s time to get off The Bluff for a little while. UP is many things, but it is not an actual prison. Take some time to walk around, explore, grab a bite to eat and stock up on groceries. 

If you don’t care about being sweaty, you can bike, walk or otherwise wheel yourself (skateboard, scooter, rollerblade) to the destination of your choice. 

You can also take the bus — Public Safety sells monthly passes for $65 and there is a stop on Willamette which can take you all the way to City Center.  When you board the bus, remember to have your pass ready or have exact cash to pay for your fare. Since the bus makes a lot of stops, it’s a time-consuming mode of transportation, but it’s also pretty cheap. 

If you want to get to your destination directly, try one of Portland’s many cab companies, or you can use a ride service like Lyft. If buying a car is outside your budget right now, but you still want to drive yourself, Zipcar may be for you. 

The easiest & cheapest way to get around Portland is definitely to have a FWAC (friend with a car, pronounced fffff-wah-ck). It is very important your FWAC does not feel you are using her for her vehicle. You can be slightly dependent on your FWAC, but your friendship comes first. You can’t have a FWAC without the friend part.  

If you don’t mind going avant-garde, try one of these modes of transportation:

Hitchhike with other Pilots. Since hitchhiking can take you all around the galaxy, it’s reasonable to expect it will get you to Fred Meyer. (Okay, fine. I never read the book or saw the movie, but it has hitchhiker in the title, so it seems relevant.) And if you hitchhike enough, you just might end up with a FWAC. 

If you hitchhike with complete strangers, make sure you know how to open your door and remember to tuck and roll away from traffic if the ride starts to go south. I mean south figuratively. You probably want to go south literally, because North Portland is only the tip of the iceberg that is the Rose City.  

One of the hottest trends in transportation right now is broomsticking. Essentially, you take a broom or something broom-like, like a mop, and run with it between your legs while jumping occasionally so it looks like you are flying. Broomsticking is both very much like running/walking while simultaneously being not at all like running/walking because yer a wizard. Having someone present to take your picture really sells the broomsticking image. Put on a witch’s hat if you’re feeling extra with Halloween just around the corner. 

Adopt several miniature horses and/or very large dogs and train them to pull you across town in a cart. Despite the expense of buying, boarding, caring for and training several moderately large animals, you will save time in traffic because I think you could get away with using whatever lane you want (bicycle or sidewalk included). You could have impromptu petting zoos to boost morale and become a beloved figure at UP. You may also be expected to dress as Santa Claus and attach antlers to all of your cart animals at some point, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.  

No matter how you decide to get away for a couple of hours, The Bluff will still be here when you get back. Hopefully, the sight of campus will bring back an ounce of the excitement you felt on move-in day. If not excitement, then preferably campus will invoke a feeling that is not dread. Maybe a feeling that rhymes with dread but is not dread, like bread (yes, bread is obviously a feeling. Look at this gif and tell me you feel nothing. I dare you.)