The 9 Perfect Places to Nap at UC Berkeley

The 9 Perfect Places to Nap at UC Berkeley

Catch some zzz's
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I love my bed. It’s a pure haven for relaxation and winding down after a long day. It’s amazing, really. I wish I could be in it for an entire day, but we all know as college students that doing so would probably mean hours and hours of staying up later than we already are to catch up on the heavy course work. Also, going back to my dorm to nap seems like a waste of time. I mean, I have to walk for approximately 15 minutes to get back to my dorm. By the time I’m there, my hour of nap time is reduced to 45, and further reduced to 30 minutes after counting the time it takes for me to walk back to the campus for another class.

Being the resourceful student that I am, I have explored the UC Berkeley campus in search for viable napping locations. Here are a few:

1. Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library

My go-to nap/study spot, probably because it’s not as busy as Doe Library, so there are more chances you’ll get a closed-off desk that you can lay your head on and nap. Those desks are great if you don’t want anyone to look at your nap face. 60% of the time, you’ll find me here either napping or eating (shhhh) or studying.

2. Academic Center

I am referring to your housing’s personal Academic Center -- a perfectly spacious, air-conditioned room with computers available for students’ use. Nap in one of the couches or do what I do: take a computer desk, lay a book as a pillow, and disguise a I-fell-asleep-while-reading situation -- no one’s going to judge because they totally understand!

3. Music Rooms

Private music rooms. They usually have these either in the basement of your dorms or in the music building. Great private spot.

4. Memorial Glade

Bring a padded backpack or a hoodie/jacket as something to put on top of the grass, and literally just nap under a tree. No one’s judging you because there are 40+ more people doing the exact same thing during mid-day.

5. Doe’s Couches

When you’re in the middle of campus and you’re feeling tired, where do you go? Those four couches at Doe Library facing out the window when you enter from the Campanile side of the building. No one’s going to see your nap face because the side cushions are covering your face, and it’s honestly SO comfortable. Just cross your fingers and hope those four couches aren’t occupied when you’re there.

6. VLSB Library

It’s buried deep inside the huge VLSB building. If you’re tired after your ESPM class, just find the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (also located inside VLSB) and you’ll soon find yourself in the library. Find a closed-off desk to nap on. Not the most comfortable, but definitely convenient.

7. Those Picnic Tables in between Campbell Hall and LeConte Hall.

This is the area you pass by unknowingly on your way to your PHYS 7A or CHEM 1A lectures at Pimentel. There’s an open area for people to study there, and for the most part, the area isn’t very occupied.

8. Invest in a Hammock like this nap expert.

Have you ever had those days when you’re really wiped out and you just want to take a nap right then and there at the spot? Maybe it’s time to invest a hammock like this guy, that way you can literally nap anywhere because UC Berkeley’s campus is full of trees. Heck, there’s a woody area near behind VLSB’s Annex that you can literally tie your hammock and take a nap in, if you really want alone time.

9. Nap Pods. I repeat: NAP PODS.

Cal knows that its students love to nap, so much so that they have invested in building rooms specifically for napping -- REST zones, as they call it. YES, THIS IS A THING. Many of them have special pods reserved for people who truly want to nap privately. The pods close you off from the outside environment and if you want, it also provides lighting that induces sleep, as well as sleepy, relaxing music. Oh, and the pods also have timers built in them. Honestly, it’s perfection. You can find these at Eschlemann Hall, Wurster Hall, Tang Center, and many more buildings.

Cover Image Credit: via Pexels

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Sorry I'm A Size 00

But I'm not really sorry.
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My whole life I’ve been thin—which is kind of an understatement. Every time I go to the doctor I get the same “you’re underweight” lecture that I’ve heard every year since I was able to form memories. I’ve never really felt insecure about my weight, I love being able to eat everything and not gain a single pound. Since my freshman year of high school I’ve probably only gained 8 pounds and I’m now a sophomore in college. Of course, in school, there were rumors that I was anorexic or bulimic, but everyone who knew me knew that was far from the truth. I’m now 19, 5’2, and I still have yet to break 100 pounds on the scale. It seems that there is a lot of skinny shaming going around and to me, one of the main contributors to that is the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this because skinny girls get all the praise and other body types are neglected. That’s really not true, though. While loving other body types, you are tearing down skinny girls. Why is it okay to do that to skinny girls but not to other body types? Why is it okay to say “only dogs like bones” or say “every body type is beautiful” until you see a model's abs, or ribs, or thigh gap and then tear them down because they’re “unnaturally” skinny?



The point I’m trying to make is that, as a naturally skinny girl, I have never shamed anyone for their body type, yet I go every day and get at least two comments about my weight. I’m always the skinny girl, the toothpick, but I’m not Jessica. Yeah, I’m a size 00. Get over it. If you have an issue with my body and feel like my body is disgusting to you, don’t look at it. I know that I’m healthy and I don’t need your input when my body just naturally burns calories fast. I don’t have an eating disorder and never have. I am real beauty though, and I know that because I’m comfortable in my own skin. So maybe the real issue is that we as a society have been shoving certain body types down our daughters’ throats so they begin to romanticize models that have certain standards that they have to meet, who work hard for the bodies that they have, and are making a hell of a lot more money than most of the people discussing why they look emaciated while what they’re actually looking at is the photoshopped product.

I’m not going to apologize for being skinny when that is just how my body is, I can’t help it. So please, stop tearing my body down while trying to bring your body up. You can praise your body without shaming skinny girls. Shaming me for being thin does not make you better than the man that shamed your body, just as me shaming you for being curvy does not make me better than the man that shamed my body. As women, we need to love each other because we are the only ones who truly understand each other.


Cover Image Credit: Victoria's Secret Untouched

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Please Know That Being Diagnosed With PCOS Is Not The Same As Living With It

I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2018, but it wasn't until months later that I realized what it’s actually like living with it everyday.

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In October 2017, tired of counting calories and never seeing the scale move, I decided to try the latest fad diet: Keto.

It worked.

I lost almost 40 pounds in half the time it had taken to lose 20. I had lost nearly 10 inches from waist and hips. I went from a size 18 to a size 12.

Getting into ketosis was hard, but once I was there, I felt incredible: better mental clarity and focus, astronomical amounts of energy, regular body functions. Don't get me wrong, this diet is hard. No carbs, no colorful vegetables, no pasta. The struggle was real. But what it was doing for my body was worth it.

Except for one little thing: my periods had lost their minds. I'm talking bleeding for three weeks straight, no break. Coming and going in particular pattern, sometimes twice a month. Side note: this is not normal. In the world of Keto, it's supposed to help exponentially with fertility and hormone balances; people use this diet as a way to reverse hormone imbalances, PCOS, and infertility. This was virtually unheard of in all of my support groups.

Months and months go by with no relief. My doctor can't figure out why everything is so wonky. She takes me off the pill and things get better - slightly. Any improvement at this point was a victory.

She finally gets my ultrasounds back and she says "Well that's a surprise!" Cue my questioning look of confusion. "Umm care to share?" "Your ovaries have the characteristic look of PCOS. But you don't have any of the usual symptoms. I'm guessing the Keto diet was helping in it's own way. I recommend staying on the diet, let nature re-regulate your natural hormones, and we will re-evaluate in a few months."

I was frustrated, but this was totally do-able. I had been living this lifestyle for months, so I didn't foresee it as an issue. But then my kidneys starting reacting to the diet, and that doctor recommended I come off it. Obviously I wasn't going to jeopardize my health, so I started a low carb version of the Mediterranean diet.

I went in fully expecting to gain some weight back, because I was reintroducing carbs when I had gone largely without them for over a year. I knew that this would happen, and I didn't let myself get discouraged when the scale started going forward.

What I did not expect was to have my PCOS start running lose with my entire life and sanity.

Don't get me wrong — my periods were normal again, but everything else went AWOL. My hormones were going up and down of their own volition, we are talking sobbing hysterically over a butterfly commercial one minute and then fuming with anger over a car ad the next.

I started experiencing pelvic pain that feels like cramps only not all the time and without rhyme or reason.

My hair became uncontrollably oily to the point where I had to wash it everyday like clockwork; it started to thin and fall out.

I also started getting darker hair everywhere. I'm naturally an incredibly fair-skinned person so having black hair anywhere stands out like a sore thumb.

I felt like I wasn't in control of anything going on with my body. I felt like a hairy, unattractive monster. Everything that made me feel attractive and desirable was slowly being taken away from me piece by piece.

I had been living with PCOS for nearly six months, but I hadn't realized what it was like to actually live with it. I thought it was just irregular periods, but it is so much more than just a weird period.

I went back to the doctor, and she explained to me again how PCOS works, and how she didn't think traditional treatment options were the best thing for me. "Go back on the Keto diet. You were having incredible success with managing your symptoms. Go back to that."

Going back has not been easy. When I first started Keto, it wasn't easy, but I got into it quickly. I've been trying since January 12th to get back into it, and it hasn't worked.

I'm now in a place where I need to do it — for my health, for my sanity, for my self-esteem — and I physically can't. I do exactly everything the same as before, and it's not working. I'm trying to move away from the mentality of doing it for weight loss, and move toward positive thinking about how it's what's best for my body and my health.

My PCOS has forced me to have militant control over everything I eat. I can't simply enjoy food anymore. Everything that I chose to eat directly relates back to my PCOS and what that particular food can do for me. I think about everything that I put into my body, and the potential it has for either healing my body or harming it.

I see a piece of cake and I smell it, and picture in my mind what it tastes like. But I know that if I eat that piece of cake, I will bloat, get a stomach ache, and have to start back from square one the next day.

I cut out the carbs. I say no to cake. No potatoes. No pasta. I eat only green vegetables. I drink coffee that has nothing but heavy cream. I try to do intermittent fasting for 15 hours a day.

And I hope that it works. I hope that today will be the day I can get my life back on track. That today will be the day Keto works its magic.

I hope.

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