Tips for being a Successful Student at SOU

How to be a Successful Raider

Hi everyone – it’s Alivia with Campus Recreation. Here at Southern Oregon University, providing students with the most quality and fitting educational experience is one of the top priorities. Therefore, while SOU is working to provide for you, there’s some tips and tricks on how you can work toward success for yourself at SOU, as well. Below you will find some advice I learned from others or from my own personal experiences in college.

Professors are Your Friends
Personally, one of my favorite things about SOU is the class size. The majority of classes at SOU tend to be on the smaller side which helps in an abundance of ways. This makes it easier for you to create better and more personal relationships with your professors. When professors have minimal students to be responsible for, they are able to answer emails quickly as well as provide you with whatever extended help you may need. Having a smaller class size also makes it less intimidating to ask questions. My advice to you is to make yourself known to all your professors early on each term since it is easier with the minimal other students you have to compete with for attention. Introducing yourself to your professors is especially important if you’re a part of a sports team or any other extracurricular activities. This way they can put a face to the work being turned in and when you’re off at an away game they’ll respect that and help you be successful even while you’re on the road.

Communication + Organization = Success
Going off of what I stated above, early communication with professors is super beneficial in any instance. Getting into the practice of communicating early and often with professors about questions, complications, or anything going on that may be an issue will prove to be immensely helpful. Asking questions often will also make professors aware of how dedicated and interested you are in your education.

Learning how to communicate well will also help you stay more organized. Staying organized and on top of your work/schedule is, in my opinion, the key to being a successful student. With that being said, there is no wrong or right way to stay organized. Everyone has their own special way that works best for them and that way may ONLY work for them, and that is fine! Whether your way is Google Calendar, sticky notes, a planner, or random papers all over your dorm…if it works, it works. Finding an organization technique that works best for you early in your educational career is a must.

SOU Has Plenty of Resources
Finally, use your resources! SOU has some amazing sources for students to utilize for a variety of issues they may be having. The Hannon Library itself has a large number of tutors that can help you with writing papers, math classes, science classes, and more. There is also an IT/computer service desk at the library that could help you with some little issues you may be having. Plus, the IT center can help you out with pretty much any computer problem that could come up. Apart from schoolwork, there are also counselors on campus that are free for students to use whenever they may need them.

Of course, there are many other helpful hints you will be able to pick up from other students and professors, and from mistakes, as you move forward. I know I said mistakes, they will happen, and that is perfectly normal. You should be more worried if you are able to go through your entire college experience without a single misstep. With that, it is also okay to ask for help. Utilize the friendly Ashland community you are surrounded by. If you use the resources that are available all around you, your mistakes will be minimal and probably comical later on in life. I hope these tips help you out a little bit, good luck Raiders!

Ashland Go To Shops and Stores

Ashland Go-To’s: Shops and Stores Edition

Hey all, it’s Alivia again! I am back with some of Ashland’s best stops and shops. Similar to Ashland’s restaurant selection, you won’t be finding any of your basic stores like Urban Outfitters or Forever 21 anywhere around town. Almost every little shop located in town is unique to not only the area but in general. Each store has its own vibe and is filled with items you most likely won’t be able to find anywhere else. There is a wide variety of shops, from more high-end stores to the thriftier lifestyle to even a combination of both ends of the spectrum. A casual walk downtown will give off the classic “hallmark movie” town aesthetic lined with stores full of the friendliest people you will ever meet.


  • Deja Vu – This spot is for all the fashion divas out there (you know who you are)! You’ll be able to find designer brands here for a mere sliver of the original price. I love the fact that there are always new items out, so you’ll never have to pick through the same stuff over again. They also pay you for any items you are looking to sell as well. Instagram: @dejavuashland
  • Three Penny Mercantile – Here is a place where anyone can find something they love. They have anything from the classic closet basics to unique finds that will definitely have people taking a second (or third) glance. In addition, there are also cute little buttons, jewelry, and even some old-school records. Side note, the store is a strong advocate for sustainability efforts. Instagram: @threepennymercantile
  • Good & Will – We all know Goodwill is a staple for thrifting. However, this little spin-off shop is for the thrifters going for the high-end looks. A lot of their merchandise is on the nicer side with well-known brands. I have come across a ton of one-of-a-kind finds here at fair prices.
  • Get ‘N Gear – This is a hotspot for adventurers and outdoor life lovers. They have whatever you may need for however you are planning on spending your day in the great outdoors. They have a great selection of comfortable clothes to keep you protected, as well as various outdoor gear and even nature-based transportation choices.
  • The Emporium – If you are looking to redecorate, are ballin’ on a budget, and have a sense of style beyond the basic trends, this place is for you. It is filled with home decor made for the soul searchers and some other clothing items and knick-knacks to pick through.

Health and Healing

  • Sound Peace – There is no time more fitting for self-discovery than your collegiate years, and this place is made for assisting in just that. They have a fantastic variety of crystals, books, jewelry, and more that will surely help anyone find inner peace. Instagram: @soundpeace
  • Emz Blendz Soap Co. – Simply walking through the front doors of Emz Blendz will have your body feeling cleansed. Every product and scent is so natural and pure, and it is definitely a place you’d spend hours testing and smelling everything you can get your hands on. Instagram: @emzblendz
  • Bestow – I genuinely believe the best way to learn how to take care of yourself sufficiently is to take care of a plant. Thus, Betows is a must-go! Here you will find a diverse selection of plants to choose from and fill your home with! Instagram: @sobestow 
  • Bloomsbury Books – A safe haven for the book worms, Bloomsbury has endless shelves stocked with any genre you may be looking to indulge yourself in. Shopping here is all about the experience. There isn’t anything more fulfilling than searching the shelves, finding a book that screams your name, then opening it up for a glance only to close it once reaching the end. Instagram: @bloomsburyashland
  • The Music Coop – Everyone knows music is the key to good vibes, and this place provides those vibes from any era. Their collection of vinyl and CDs goes unmatched, and you’ll never have enough time to go through them. I can promise you that there is something for anyone in any mood there. Instagram: @themusiccoop

Gifts for Any and All

  • Rare Earth – Fair warning, this place is a tad bit on the spendier side of options. However, anything you find there is worth it and unlike anything else you’ve seen. Rare Earth is an Ashland icon having been around since the ’60s. Here you will find hand-crafted furniture and lovely imported decor. Instagram: @rareearthashland
  • Paddington Station – Please do not take this lightly; this is my personal favorite store in Ashland. I simply can’t hype this place up enough. It is one-stop shopping for gifts for the entire family, or a means to treat yourself. They sell everything: toys, kitchen goods, jewelry, home decor, clothes, books, skincare, plus so much more. I have never been bored searching through the store, and I have never been able to leave empty-handed. They always have the most cute, fun, and rare finds. Instagram: @paddingtonstationashland
  • Mountain Provisions – Here is another hot spot for outdoor adventurers. They have the essentials necessary to make the best out of your experiences, including clothing, gear, and equipment. There aren’t many better ways to spend your time in Ashland than exploring all of the surrounding natural beauty, either. Instagram: @ashlandmountainprovisions

Groceries and Treats

  • Artisan Market and Grower’s Market – The markets in Ashland are seasonal; however, they are some of the most quality ones I have ever been to. They’re open in two different locations, one on Tuesdays and one on Saturdays. There’s an amazing assortment of hand-crafted items/art pieces, produce, treats, and food trucks to check out. The best part is that locals hold all the spots, so you’re supporting the community as well. I love how many healthier options for treats they have available! Instagram: @lithiaartisansmarket / @rvgrowersmarket
  • The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – Anything you purchase here has my 100% guarantee to completely satisfy your sweet tooth. Trust me when I say you can never go wrong with any of their caramel-dipped apples. When I was younger, my mom would take me on special dates to share one once a month, so every time I go back, I am filled with heart-warming nostalgia.
  • Ashland Food Co-op – Nothing beats (or beets) Ashland’s local farmers and their produce. It’s fresh, it’s healthy, and it’s hand-picked by the most knowledgeable farmers around. If you want to fill your fridge with nature’s best, the co-op is the place for you! Instagram: @ashlandfoodcoop