Oh, the woes of a Harvard student. After four years of slaving away, trying to complete required coursework, they leave the ivy-laden halls only to be shunned for attending the University in the first place. They’re scared to drop the “H-bomb” in fear they’ll be met with wide-eyed, mocking judgement. Comedian Conan O’Brien said it himself:
As you leave these gates and re-enter society, one thing is certain: Everyone out there is going to hate you. Never tell anyone in a roadside diner that you went to Harvard.
The pressure is suffocating; so stressful, it’s something not even a grande soy caramel macchiato with whipped cream can fix. And after weeks of tossing and turning every single school night, only 21 percent of undergraduates will eventually tell you they feel well-rested on a typical day.
So, a campus nap room seems like a logical solution, right?
Nearly 200 students seem to think so.
What I think, however, is that Harvard students are complaining about merely being college students.
As one senior told WHDH, “I see, every so often, people fall asleep in the library, and it’s sort of inconvenient. And if you live far away from the yard, you live far away from places where your classes might be to go back in the middle of the day.”
Yes, because heaven forbid you need to walk the 10 or 15 minutes just to grab a little shut eye. There’s a reason why Harvard Professor David Edwards created inhalable caffeine: to heal the school’s time-strapped students. (Alright, those are our words, not his.)
Harvard sophomore Yuqi Hou started this nap room petition–one of three petitions that gained formal consideration by Harvard College Dean Evelynn Hammonds. She’s following in the fatigued footsteps of the University of Colorado-Boulder, which created a nap center in 2009 called “Siesta,” as well as the University of Texas and the University of California-Davis, who have both designed nap maps plotting the prime places to nod off on campus.
Let’s take into account this sage advice from a Harvard freshman who turned to WHDH, though: “I feel like it would be kind of weird if people were just kind of napping in the same room. That would just weird me out.”
Don’t worry, girl, it would weird me out, too; solidarity sister.
I couldn’t even nap in preschool, which, yes, I remember quite vividly. These mini gymnastic floor mats would be rolled out into some flower formation around noon, and our heads would all meet in the middle (just like the puppies above). We would whisper to each other when the teacher strolled away, and I’d watch my friends Ian and Luke eat Elmers Glue. I’d never actually fall asleep. The one time I did, the aforementioned boys stole my teddy bear, which they proceeded to play air hockey with, and rip, later on during the day. I then had to go home sulking, and no parent wants to deal with a teary-eyed toddler.
Point is: communal nap time was weird then, and it’s weird now. Not to mention, no one ever took Febreze to those nap mats, crusted over at the edges in Elmers Glue.
Naps help boost productivity, I get it. But that’s what your dorm room, or the corner of the library or the back of your Modern Greek Studies class is for. You’re a college student now, and life is supposed to be full of late-night study sessions and last-minute all-nighters. You don’t need a nap room, you just need to do what every other twenty-something does: drink another cup of coffee and adapt.
Plus, do you really want your college crush to walk in and see you looking like this?