Wikipedia defines the sophomore slump as “an instance in which a second, or sophomore, effort fails to live up to the relatively high standards of the first effort.” Freshman year of college is a fun time– everything is new and exciting and the world is wide open for perhaps the first time. This isn’t to say sophomore year isn’t also fun, but the in-between time can sometimes feel like a bit of a slog. A nationwide (and maybe even global) phenomenon, second-year students have a reputation for experiencing a bit of a slump.
Maybe it was residual pandemic exhaustion and maybe 13+ years of formal school wear on the brain, but I was tired all the time in my sophomore spring. I was enjoying my classes and extracurriculars and I am so lucky to have wonderful friends, but I was still just flat-out tired. I have long held rest very high on my list of priorities and I decided to really lean into this as Swarthmore College began the slow ascent into spring.
This revelation began when I realized I wasn’t super productive when I tried to study while tired. I decided to take the rest when it came to me and not fight the sleep. So, without further ado, I present to you the spaces I napped in my sophomore spring (ranked in order of worst to best, for sleep quality and overall ambiance).
#10: My bed
My bed in my Mertz double was so comfortable. With a mattress topper, a comforter, and two fuzzy blankets, I slept very well most nights. However, napping in my bed was just expected. It was where I slept all the time. It wasn’t subversive in any way to nap in my bed, so this falls at the bottom of the list.
#9: Foundations of Sociology
I don’t actually have a photo here because it is a little embarrassing. I nodded off when we watched a movie on a rainy day in SOCI 001 (it was in the basement and it was so dark and so quiet). It’s the only class I’ve ever fallen asleep in and I still feel bad about it. I’m sorry, Professor.
#8: Shane Lounge
Shane Lounge in Parrish Hall serves as a student gathering space, so although this piece of furniture is lovely and squishy, it was a little too busy for me. Every time I started to close my eyes, someone would walk through and I’d jolt upwards. Maybe I’ll try again someday.
#7: Theresa Lang Fragrance Garden
This garden is located in the Courtyard by the Old Intercultural Center and is just so peaceful. Falling asleep here was a total accident; I was flat on my back, reading a book for class, and I shut my eyes for a second because the sun was bright. Suddenly, the sun moved out of my eyes… turns out it had been an hour. Great way to spend a Saturday.
#6: Kohlberg 2nd East
I am a huge fan of the U-shaped setup of Kohlberg. At the end of the hallways, there are these big red chairs that you can just sink into. I think I have slept on the end of every hallway, and even though the seats are the same, they are not created equal. This particular spot is a tad embarrassing because it’s where the professors in my department have their offices. These professors are fantastic but sometimes it’s a little awkward to be waved at as I fall asleep.
#5: Kohlberg 3rd West
Yet another comfortable Kohlberg chair! This one faces West so the afternoon sun is warming. However, it’s a popular spot (next to the Modern Languages department) so it is sometimes occupied and often a little noisy.
#4: Underhill 1st
Underhill naps have always hit different. Something about the soft chair, the view of the woods, and the slight sounds of birds put me right to sleep. I can no longer go there to study because every time I try, I am lost to the sun.
#3: McCabe 3rd
I describe McCabe as having four floors of wonders. The fourth floor is one of my all-time favorite nap spots. The sun coming through in the afternoon brings out my inner cat as I seek the nicest patch to lounge in. My first McCabe 3rd nap experience was when I was supposed to be writing a paper, so naturally the sleep came easily. It did get a little too hot, sitting right in the sun, but it was otherwise idyllic. I am not the only one who sleeps here so sometimes a parallel nap is in order.
#2: Cornell 2nd
Cornell 2nd is the quiet floor to end all quiet floors. It’s the second floor of the Natural Sciences library and it’s where people go to grind. The environment is very focused and spans ranges of early essay-starters to last-minute submissions. When I slept in the corner of Cornell 2nd, I had actual dreams. It was so quiet and so calm and I woke up with lines on my arms.
#1: Singer 3rd
This study room on Singer 3rd was my first ~gonna just let myself sleep~ nap and it has never been topped. It’s bright enough to signal day but faces north so there’s no direct light. It’s quiet enough to be able to fall asleep in but has enough chatter to not be disorienting. The couch allows for every sleeping position (unlike an armchair where one has to curl up) and can be turned around for privacy. I have woken up with imprints of the couch pattern on my face every time and I would like to own one of these couches for my future place of residence.
Thank you so much for reading about my silly sophomore spring endeavors. More naps to come soon.