8 things you can do instead of taking a nap in Olin Library

Kya Vaughn | Contributing Writer

School is stressful, no doubt about it. Sometimes late-night study sessions require a bit of rejuvenation; hence I occasionally doze off. This is fair and understandable even; fatigue is a natural consequence of work. However, I can say with great confidence that I have grown far too accustomed to seeing the fatigued faces of students with their fleece blankets in tow, anxiously searching for open chairs or booths to take that perfect mid-day nap. You may find yourself asking the question: Why is this important? Who does this affect? The answer is simply this: For those who find solace in studying in public places, it can be challenging to discover that a good amount of spots are occupied with nappers; it simply takes away the point of a study room in the first place. Thus, it’s time to put an end to this phenomenon that is intentionally napping in Olin rather than going back to, say, a bed or at the very least a dorm common room. Here’s eight things to do instead:


With the workload that naturally comes with attending a rigorous university, it’s easy to forget the importance of the little things (i.e. taking care of yourself). Sign up for a spinning or yoga class at the Athletic Complex or take a study break to jog with friends. Working out will give your brain the break it deserves and your body the energy it needs to crank out those assignments.

Tour the city:

The Wash. U. bubble is alive and well, but it’s nice to pop it every once in a while and better get to know your surroundings, the world outside of college. For those into science, check out Amazon Adventure at the Omnimax Theater at the Science Center or learn more about St. Louis history by taking a trip to the Scott Joplin house. Discover a new restaurant or see the graffiti wall; you may just find your new favorite spot.

Talk to an old friend:

It can be hard to maintain close friendships, especially when trying to balance work and extracurriculars. So, instead of taking a nap in Olin, use that time to reach out to a friend who you haven’t spoken to in a while; it just might give you that boost of encouragement that you need to finish those assignments.

Create a goals list:

As cliche as it may sound (and truly, it is), listing goals can be essential to reaching those short and long-term accomplishments. When put on paper, it can be easier to see what you want and help assist you on formulating a plan to achieve it. So, maybe skip the nap in the basement and use the time to decide what’s important to you and how to most feasibly attain it.

Check out what’s happening on campus:

This campus is overflowing with activities to do, and so much so that it can be overwhelming at times. Instead of sleeping in Olin, take a walk through the Underpass or check out the Washington University Group Organizer website to see the upcoming events on campus. With an activity to fit almost every niche and interest, it’s easy to find fun and cheap ways to take a break on campus.

Pick up a hobby:

Sometimes, you just need a mental break, a time to do something you genuinely enjoy that doesn’t involve computations or problem sets (unless you’re into that, in which case, proceed). It may benefit you to reflect on what makes you happy outside of school and to work more on those activities. Not only will this add some balance to your life, but it will also allow for a bit of destressing from time to time.

Do your work:

Most of us go into Olin with the intention of doing work. Why not actually do it? With three different floors (the lower level being primarily occupied with the aforementioned nappers), there’s multiple spots to study in the way that best suits you. Especially with the re-opening of Whispers Cafe, Olin has become an even sweeter spot to work proficiently, with an easily accessible supply of caffeine.

Sleep (in your own room):

If you’re sleeping in OIin, you’ve probably reached a state where productivity is no longer an option, even if you try. Sometimes it can be counterproductive to force yourself into working when you’re tired; the brain’s capabilities can only go so far, and that distance is very short when there’s a lack of sleep. So, it may be best to throw in the towel for the day and take a much-deserved nap (but, preferably, in your room).

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