Of all the things they told me I would learn at Columbia, I was not expecting to perfect my nap-taking skills. I’ve been to college before, and so, as an undergrad, I had excellent nap-taking skills. But what I didn’t learn was the ability to nap anywhere. Columbia College Chicago has some spectacular napping locations for the Creative Writing grad student just looking to catch a few z’s.
One of the unique things about the grad school experience is that your schedule tends to be very spread out. Classes are one day a week and last about three hours. If you’re a GSI (a Graduate Student Instructor) like me, you also teach twice a week. Last semester, I taught a nine am class. I ended teaching at 10:20, and then I had a class at 12:30. The two hour gap isn’t worth going all the way home, just to come back. I could review what I read for class, but I spent the previous evening reading, absorbing, and prepping for class. So really, the only logical thing for me to do is to take a nap.
You may be thinking, Bethany, didn’t you just say that you wouldn’t go home? Where are you going to take a nap then? Well, dear reader, I’ll tell a secret. When you’ve perfected the grad school zombie look (the one that says, I stayed up until four writing this morning, I read from the moment I ended class until the moment I started writing, and tonight looks just as bleak and/or wonderful), you learn to lose napping shame.
The grad lounge. Located on the 8th floor of 624 S. Michigan, this lounge is housed in the Office of English and Creative Writing. This room boasts a large headrest (table) along with a semi-decent couch. Local nappers recommend bringing a jacket or sweater for pillow use, as the surface itself is…well…mildly questionable. (Plus, a good headrest is essential for good napping. That extra spinal support ensures that you’ll wake up feeling refreshed with only a slight pain in your neck.) As the room is frequented by fellow creative writers both asleep and awake, the adventurous napper may find that under the counters provides extra shade and privacy for that extra push for sweet, sweet sleep.
33 Lounge. This lounge is housed, as its title hints at, on the fourth floor of the 33 E. Congress building. This room boasts the cushiest couches a napper could ask for on Columbia College Chicago property. Two full couches and several chairs make this room a hidden gem of napping. Relatively untouched due to its keyed entry and secret code, this room maintains a quiet atmosphere and dim-able lights. Perfect for a long nap that might as well pass for a full night’s sleep.
600 S. Michigan, 8th floor. So obscure, this napping locale isn’t even known to most locals. This room features breathtaking vistas of Lake Michigan to ignore while fully immersed in a quiet napping experience. The room features two couches, many tables, a fridge, a microwave, and a water cooler. Perfect for the grad student who really wants to get away. While occasional meetings and events are hosted here, it is frequently vacant during normal undergrad school hours. Get some time away from that grad-school hustle bustle and get swept off to dreamland.
So there you have it, my top three napping locations. It’s a skill that I am immensely proud of gaining during my time at Columbia. Many might say, but what about the poetry you’ve written, or, what about the books that you’ve read, or, what about the friends that you’ve made? And I’d agree, but I’d also argue, plenty of rest make all of the above so much sweeter.