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Rest up: the top 5 places to nap on campus

Here are the best places to catch some shut-eye on campus — other than Coffman.

ItâÄôs been a long year, but the end is finally upon us. Though the recent weather has been no indicator, summer is quickly approaching âÄî I can almost smell the beach. ThereâÄôs only one more obstacle to clear before us students are able to fully embrace the sun and the sand: finals.

Naturally, with finals comes days with little to no sleep, Red Bull binges, hours spent in the library staring at your laptop and typing until your fingers are numb. Read: total exhaustion.

The idea that a student might get a full eight hours of sleep per night during finals week is what I would call a cruel joke. This time of year, itâÄôs more feasible to catch a few ZâÄôs on the University of Minnesota campus between study binges.

Fellow students, as an avid, borderline-professional nap-taker, I am here to help you make the most of your campus catnaps. IâÄôve spent my breaks between classes this semester napping in as many different places as I could in order to determine where you, dear reader, will be able to sneak in the best siestas finals week will allow. I present you with my top five campus nap spots. Read on and rest well.

5. Recreation Center

Forget the sweaty bodies and noisy cardio machines. There is an area on the second floor of the Rec Center that is the polar opposite of the iron-pumping going on in the rest of the building. Straight up the stairs from the entrance is an area complete with tables and chairs for studying, a café for fuel, a big screen TV when you need a break and, most importantly, sofas and chairs to sleep on. A student could actually live here if need be. Think about it: You can study at the tables, grab some food at the café, move a few feet for a nap on the sofa and shower downstairs if you really start to stink. Ideal as it is, the center comes in at number five on my list because the sofas are a little small, so you will find yourself cramped. But hey, this is college, get used to it.

4. Wilson Library

West Bank was a tough one. There are so many great places to fall asleep there that it was difficult to narrow it down to just one. When it comes down to it, though, I choose Wilson Library as the best of the West Bank and the best of the University Libraries. While there are lots of random places to camp out all over Wilson, I highly recommend the chairs in the basement. If you head down to the basement from the main entrance and take a left, there will be two library index computers next to a row of regular ones. Behind the index computers is a short wall, and behind this wall are the two most comfortable chairs in the library. You have to walk around the wall in order to see them, but students be warned. I feel like these two gems are becoming less and less of a secret every day: Snatching one can be a chore, but well worth it if you can pull it off.

3. The Campus Connector

Admittedly, I wanted to place the Campus Connector at number one. However, after many intense nap-focused discussions with my peers, it seems that sleep on the connector is really a hit or miss: People love it or they hate it. I personally am on the “love it” side. Snatch a window seat if you can (your best bet is boarding at the St. Paul Student Center), throw on some sunglasses and cozy up to the window. This works particularly well if you can throw a sweatshirt or a jacket between you and the window. The connector is so great for naps because youâÄôre going in circles âÄî you never miss a stop or get lost âÄî and generally you can time each completed route to be 25 to 35 minutes long, depending on traffic. I will admit, IâÄôve completed dozens of circles on the connector and caught plenty of shut-eye, but bus sleeping just isnâÄôt for everybody. ItâÄôs noisy, at times there is a lot of pushing and shoving, and sometimes the route between Minneapolis and St. Paul is incredibly bumpy. But trust me: If you like sleeping in cars, the connector is the place for you.

2. St. Paul Student Center

The St. Paul Student Center is a great place on campus, period. There is a Subway, a bowling alley and, unbeknownst to most, an excellent nap area in the basement. Between the bowling alley and the Bookstore is a small area filled with comfortable chairs and sofas. Did I mention that there is also a really nice flat-screen TV down there? Surprisingly, I have never found this place to be very crowded, and the TV has never been too loud. Be careful, though, this place is so good, itâÄôs easy to oversleep.

1. Science Teaching and Student Services building

I never thought I would find a spot on campus that would put me to sleep faster than a 45-minute ethics lecture, but alas, it has been done. The new STSS building offers an abundance of places to nap that are unparalleled across campus. My favorites are the black, armless chairs that can be found on all levels alongside the windows. If you can snatch one of these and move it into the sunlight, you are golden. When I first tested these chairs, I was out for a solid 45 minutes of pure, power-napping greatness âÄî you really canâÄôt go wrong in this building.

So there you have it, Gophers: Study hard, but donâÄôt forget to sneak in a little snooze here and there. Before you know it, summer will be upon us. Until then, sleep well.


Ashley Bray welcomes comments at [email protected].

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