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College students are often told to choose between getting good grades, enough sleep or having a social life. There is not enough time in the day to have all three. Unfortunately, many times sleep is the one that is short changed, and it is the most essential.
According to the APA, lack of sleep can cause accidents, fatigue, poor decision-making and difficulty learning. Because sleep is so important, and because us college students do not get enough of it, the Health and Medical Center at Colorado State University has found it necessary to remedy this issue with ‘relaxation pods.’
It is important to live a healthy, mindful, balanced lifestyle, but it is not the University’s place or responsibility to fund such a project. The relaxation pods in the new Health Center are an issue because they dismiss the reputation of a University being a place of pursuing knowledge and education. Also, although naps can be beneficial, they are a temporary solution to a more daunting lifestyle issue.
Naps are not just for children. According to the Mayo Clinic, relaxation can cause adults to be in a better mood, more relaxed and alert. Naps also improve memory and reduce fatigue. Although naps are great, they cannot replace a good night sleep, and too often we use them as a crutch. Especially as college students, we thrive on caffeine and catnaps to get through the hectic weeks.
It is not the University’s job to mold and create better lifestyles, it is up to us. However, if the Health Center really wanted to “strengthen students’ ability to be successful and deal with developmental and life challenges,” like their website entails, they would attack the bottom line of our constant fatigue, our unhealthy sleep habits. Instead, they’ve chosen to provide a Band-Aid solution. Although nobody can force better sleep habits, knowledge, resources and guidance for how to better manage our sleep patterns in ways that are healthy and balanced will lead us to be more academically and personally successful.
According to my colleague’s researched article, these relaxation rooms have an assortment of items such as coloring pages, squishy chairs, and blankets. The purpose of these items is to provide further resources for one to relax and de-stress, but I think they give the impression that it is okay to act younger than our age. It is okay for us college students to escape from responsibilities and partake in activities that we should have outgrown by now. A college campus is not the same as a kindergarten classroom.
I fully support taking time for yourself to relax and feed your soul and get back to center, but there is a time and a place. A university campus is not one of those places. A college campus is a place of intellect and knowledge. It is a place where one goes in raw pursuit of dreams and goals. Having it also be a place that houses relaxation pods relays the idea that Colorado State does not prioritize pursuit of the extraordinary at any costs.
Tianna Zachariah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or online at @