The art of the on-campus nap

Dené Dryden at the K-State Union in Manhattan, Kansas on July 20, 2017. (Justin Wright | The Collegian)

College can be stressful and full of sleep deprivation for upper- and underclassmen alike. Whether you are looking to quickly recharge before a Biology 198 quiz or lagging from an all-nighter before your calculus II exam, napping is a perennial favorite (and necessary) pastime for tired students of every age and major. But what to do when you have no time to rush back to your dorm or apartment to catch some much-needed, mid-afternoon zzz’s before your next lecture? Why, you nap on campus, of course.

Napping etiquette and safety

If you choose to nap on campus, you must keep in mind both your personal safety (and the safety of your possessions) as well as the comfort of those around you.

For example, if you tend to snore when you nod off for even short periods of time, you may want to avoid trying to nap in the quiet zone on the third floor of Hale Library where others are trying to concentrate on their studies. Instead stick to more high-traffic areas.

If you cannot avoid a high-traffic area, sound-cancelling headphones, or even just a pair of well-fitting ear buds, can help drown out the background noise of your favorite nap spot and help you recharge faster.

Keep a pair of sunglasses with you for naps in spots where sun exposure is high, or use a hoodie so you can pull the hood over your eyes for decreased light and increased privacy.

Whenever you nap on campus, make sure you are well-attached to your things — literally. If you purchase a backpack that has a well-padded laptop protection sleeve, it can easily double as a pillow, and more easily alert you to anyone who tries to mess with your stuff while you are off in dream land. If using your bag as a pillow sounds too uncomfortable, then be sure to wrap a strap of your bag around your arm or ankle to make it more difficult for anyone to make off with your belongings without your notice.

The best nap spots

After the recent renovation of the Kansas State Student Union, there are now more comfy nap spots than ever on campus.

The second floor of the Union features high-backed swivel chairs in front of a fireplace that are perfect for a power nap. The high backs provide both privacy and comfort, and the proximity to the fireplace will be a bonus when the weather begins to grow cold.

Also on the second floor of the Union are some comfy padded stadium-style bench seats, conveniently located in front of Radina’s for your post-nap, pick-me-up espresso needs. The bench seating allows you to stretch out and relax if napping in a chair is not quite your style, and the high traffic area could be a bonus if you are someone who sleeps best with noise in the background.

If you need a quieter environment to enjoy a nap, the quiet zone on the third floor of Hale Library is your best bet. The balcony overlooking the second floor entrance has several comfortable low-backed chairs that are perfect for napping, plus convenient tables nearby that can be pulled up to use as a foot rest. But if you plan to nap there, plan ahead, as it is also a popular study spot that others like to call dibs on.

The couches on the first floor of the new business building are also a great spot to stretch out and relax for a nap. There is plenty of seating. Plus, the couches have no arm rests, so no matter how tall you are, you do not have to give yourself a neck cramp trying to cram yourself into a small space just to catch some shut-eye. The couches are large enough that there would still be enough room for several of your sleep-deprived friends. Bring them along and make it a nap party.

Power naps are an art form, and after a few semesters at K-State, you too can become an on-campus napping expert. Just do not forget to set your alarm. “The business building’s couches were too comfy, and I overslept” is not a fun thing to have to tell your professor after you are late to lecture … again.

Iris LoCoco is a sophomore in computer science and 2015 K-State graduate in art history. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to

Iris LoCoco is a sophomore in computer science and 2015 K-State graduate in art history.