I spent my entire summer working, watching television, and, most importantly to me, reading. I made it my summer goal to catch up on all the new novels and graphic novels that I had on my “To-Read” list. Unfortunately, I managed to get through around five books, which is way under the couple hundred titles that I have staring at me from my Goodreads account and guilt-tripping me for re-watching Schitt’s Creek instead. So, my summer reading list has now become my “try to read during the quarter even though I am suffocating” list, and over the past week I plopped myself down for a few5 to 30 minutes to try and enjoy reading again. Here are the best places I have found to read on campus:
The most idyllic place to relax and read is in one of the new hammocks in-between Library Walk and the Price Center. The problem is that there are only four of them and there are nearly 30,000 undergraduate students. But, if you luck out and find an empty hammock, you will experience the most peaceful free time of your life in the midst of campus chaos. My advice: camp out! Just wait and eventually, that hammock will be yours, and if you sleep there you can gently swing all night and save on rent. I spent an amazing 30 minutes reading in one of the hammocks and it truly eased all the impending doom of fFall qQuarter, at least for a little bit.
If you are down on your luck and cannot snag a hammock, my next favorite spot includesis the colorful blue and green chairs located at the corner of Library Walk behind the arcade. If you walk up the ramp behind Price Center Theater, you will see them! They are super comfy to sit or lay down on and their built-in umbrellas create nice shade.
These two amazing options pose one problem: it is so incredibly easy to fall asleep there. So, the third- best place to read is a concrete bench of your choosing. UC San Diego seems to love sitting areas made of concrete. I actually like to read on the spacious concrete platforms located on Library Walk, or the benches in front of Warren Lecture Hall. They are perfect for stopping to read when you are a few minutes early to class and are just uncomfortable enough to keep you awake so that you still get points for attendance.
If you have just fully and completely accepted that nothing is going to stop you from probably falling asleep at some point, then try the chairs facing the windows on the eighth floor of Geisel Library. I have heard a few students say that they have never even gone up to the eighth floor for fear of it being too busy, but in my experience, I usually find at least a few chairs open and the best part is the view. The chairs facing outward towards the windows have high backs, and they swivel gently. If you suddenly realize that you are afraid of heights, you can close the blinds in front of you and relax in the dim quiet. One of the best parts of the eighth floor is that it truly is silent, it feels like you have been transported to another world, high above campus. If I need to be inside and focused for a long amount of time, it is definitely my favorite place to be.
I wanted to try and get back into reading for pleasure just because it really helps the world slow down for me. I love to read for fun, but I understand that it may not relax everyone. So use these nice places on campus for whatever you may need at each moment! After relaxing at these few places on campus I have the resolve to continue working hard during the quarter. Do whatever makes you happy and comfortable! No matter how stressed out I get during the quarter, I have realized that a huge amount of stress and anxiety can be relieved by just making myself comfortable. The power to change my surroundings — being in the shade, moving to the sun when I get too cold, escaping to my own, personal literary world while in the midst of all the other happenings on campus — really makes a difference. Having such a large campus can seem daunting, but I have also been at my most peaceful on campus during my small amounts of off time. To all the new students starting fFall qQuarter, and to all the returning students; have a great quarter, explore campus, and find some places to read and relax that are perfect for you!