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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Best Nap Spot: Arboretum

Every student has their own reason for choosing to snooze in the Arboretum

Taking a nap in the arboretum takes some effort. Walking 20 minutes to the far west end of the arboretum where patches of grass are shaded by Oak Grove is not always convenient. Biking down past the students taking pictures of ducklings to the redwood forest takes a bit of time. However, sometimes a bit of extra effort pays off.

The Arboretum is perhaps the most unique part of the UC Davis. Most of the campus is comprised of uniform concrete buildings and sterile modern structures that can be found at most American universities. The slow-moving waterway sits in refreshing opposition. The Arboretum is a quirky combination of different types of parks. Some parts of it are beautifully landscaped with native plants, reminiscent of the zero-scaped, drought-tolerant modern parks common in California. The Arboretum’s man-made lakes and large lawns are more reminiscent of the urban parks in the center of big American cities like Echo Park in Los Angeles and Boston Common.

All throughout the Arboretum you can find people sleeping on benches, in hammocks and on the grass. Students chose the waterway for all the obvious reasons. Senior Austin Decker said he liked to nap there because of the serenity.

Anjuli Kapila, a third year music major, chose the Arboretum for its temperature.

“It’s warm and there are nice sounds” Kapila said.

There are plenty of more convenient places to take a nap. The back row of a calculus class or the comfortable chairs in the Memorial Union will do just fine. Often students at UC Davis take the sleep they can get. Walking to the Arboretum seems like an exorbitant waste of time for something you can do almost anywhere, but is that really the best way to think about a quality sleep session?

At the beginning of this year, I was sleeping in the basement of Shields Library in between math problems when a tour group walked by. I woke up and realized that parents were excitedly taking pictures of me sleeping, seemingly celebrating sleep deprivation. After all, it is usually representative of productivity and hard work, an expectation in college.

Walking to the Arboretum for a nap is a small rejection of this idea. It is a deliberate action to increase the quality of sleep. Yes, it might lead to a shortened nap, but it will be a better nap. Somedays the grass in the central quad is just a little too close to Wellman Hall; the aroma of education, of integrals and prepositions is a bit too strong. Taking a short walk, laying down in the grass, listening to the ducklings and watching the clouds pass by overhead as you drift off to sleep is a luxury that many college students don’t take advantage of enough. Yet those who are able to take a nap in the arboretum know the great benefits it provides. That is why the Arboretum is the winner of the best nap spot Best of Davis 2019.

Written by: Peter Smith— science@theaggie.org


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