Napping at Yale is a strategic business, one that the Academic Strategies Program should cover in an upcoming workshop. If you’re a first year, you probably don’t want to walk all the way from Science Hill to your room in Vanderbilt for a midday power nap. Lucky for you, nap spots at Yale are as abundant as the number of white people on the Dramat E-board.
If you’re around Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall or Schwarzman, your best bet is the Silliman sandbox. It’s open during the afternoons, and you’re far less likely to bump into people you know than in the Good Life Center, so you’ll never have to justify why you’re skipping MATH120 office hours. As the name implies, it has a literal sandbox where you can pretend you’re on the beaches of New London. In addition to its fantastic air conditioning, it is also smaller in comparison to the Good Life Center, and has a sufficient number of cushions and pillows. Its only drawback is that it isn’t open in the evenings, in which case I recommend switching to its neighbor, the Acorn.
At the back of the Acorn, you’ll find a bean-bag chair big enough for two people to comfortably dream away (but not comfortable enough for anything beyond that). Sometimes you’ll have to deal with people who never got shushed in middle school—and they might wake you up while you’re dreaming about that cutie you saw at Sig Chi—but hopefully you’ll be deep in slumber before that happens.
If you can’t make it to the Acorn because you’re stuck at Humanities Quadrangle or William L. Harkness Hall and simply don’t want to walk, I don’t blame you. WLH is ultimately a lower-tier napping spot because of its lack of air circulation. This is also why Linsly-Chittenden Hall is not even on the list—people on the north side of campus will never walk that far and even if they are there, they will not enjoy naps because of how suffocating the rooms can be.
Humanities Quadrangle is higher up on the list due to its better air conditioning and significantly more comfortable chairs. If you’re up to exploring, try finding rooms that aren’t necessarily classrooms.
The unluckiest folks are usually those who are stuck somewhere on Science Hill and are forced to sleep in the TEAL room at 17 Hillhouse during CS office hours. If you find any suitable spots around Science Hill where you can frequently take naps, please let me know (the universe knows I need it).
I chose to keep the final boss of napping spots at the very end, simply because it is an icon in its own right. No bean bag in the Good Life Center, and no couches in residential college libraries match the zen of a Bass Cafe couch. Its counterpart, the Bass Individual Room, must also be mentioned. There is no other place that will shelter you, absorb your tears, and make you feel alone, yet seen. No significant other will hug you the way those couch arms hug you when your calculus problem set chooses violence.
As with most things in life (and Yale), I’m sure plenty of nap spots exist, undiscovered by most, unperturbed by the careless. If you find any, send me the location, and I’ll treat you to some boba from Whale Tea.