GUEST POST: Chul '15 is something of a minor celebrity on campus for his ability to nap. Anywhere. Anytime. Give him five minutes and any sort of relatively flat surface, and he'll be asleep. It isn't that he's catching up on some serious sleep debt: nope, Chul is just that committed to snoozing away on every nappable spot at Oberlin and then ranking them in order of comfort and ambience. It's all for posterity. To better help you find your favorite shut-eye corner, Chul teamed up with Sarah '15 to present the definitive list of premium Oberlin napping spots. Zzzzz away!
By early May in Oberlin, magnolia trees are in bloom, students are sipping iced beverages, and all of us are ready to stretch out in the sun, to feel the grass tickling our shoulder blades as we get creative with our study locations. But in between studying for exams and writing papers (and the occasional a cappella concert), finals period is also prime time for napping. You might find yourself shaving a few unnecessary hours off your nightly sleep schedule to put the finishing touches on that ten-page research paper on the history of the bicycle in the late nineteenth century, or setting your alarm extra early to cram for a cell and molecular biology final. Sometimes making up missed sleep requires getting creative and taking naps in unconventional places. Pairing Chul's extraordinary on-the-ground knowledge of superior napping techniques with Sarah's photography skills and fascination with all things Oberlin, we've compiled a list of the top places to nap in Oberlin, complete with descriptions and a ranking from least-nappable to most.
Adam Joseph Lewis Center (AJLC)
Environmental Friendliness: 10/10
The first stop on our tour is the AJLC, home to the Environmental Studies department and the Living Machine. The soothing sound of the trickling fountain water and the blanket of warmth from the building's natural lighting create a relaxing ambience for both studying and napping. The only downfall is that the seats don't have an appropriate headrest -- but bring your own pillow, and you're ready to go!
Welcome to the Love Lounge, located in the Chemistry wing of the Science Center. The lounge's whiteboards are often covered with organic chemistry reaction mechanisms, which have a tendency to sneak into your dreams if you stare at them too long. A great place for chemistry lovers, but the couches can sometimes leave a weird kink in your neck... (By the way, there's also natural lighting here on nice days!)
More natural lighting! Surrounded by a plethora of books, musical scores, and sound recordings, the musical presence of the library is sure to make you feel at peace with the world and/or finals period.
Mudd Library, Second Floor
The second floor of our library is amazing. Before coming to Oberlin, I had never seen so many couches concentrated in one area (Ikea doesn't count). In contrast to the main level, our library's second floor is a quiet zone, so you'll have no trouble concentrating on your Linguistic Anthropology reading, or your 2 p.m. nap. Let's not overlook the natural sunlight shining down on you from the fourth floor -- I'm all about that natural sunlight. Oh, and don't forget the womb chairs!
Perhaps the library is too public a space for you. I agree, sometimes it's hard to snatch some Zs when someone else is around. The Astronomy Lounge is a hidden gem for all who want solitude without taking that long five-minute walk home.
The quietest place on campus! A wonderful place to study, especially if you need to be away from all distractions. Even quieter than the second floor of Mudd, this library is fully equipped with a computer lab, copy room, and an extensive scientific journal archive. During your breaks between using these resources, remember that there are nice couches all around the library where you may take some silent Zs.
Language Lab Hammock
We've finally reached it: my favorite place on campus. Comfortably located on the third floor of Peters Hall is a language lab inhabited by headset-equipped computers, a swinging hammock, and free-roaming parakeets. Wait, what? Parakeets flying around freely? Yes, it surprised me at first, too, but there's a reason! Background sound is conducive to learning foreign languages, which is one of the reasons why they allow these cute birds to flutter near your lab station while you finish your French homework. (They're also just really, really, reeeally cute.) Naps aren't even a priority to me anymore once I see these lovely birds!
With that, we wish you many splendid hours of studying and napping at Oberlin! Enjoying a space at this college can take countless forms, and we'd argue that one of the most restful includes settling into a comfortable chair, closing your eyes, and dreaming of all the wonderful things you'll do once you wake up.