I’m sure most of you have heard of the new REST (Relaxation Enhancing Study and Tranquility) zones on campus. At the moment there are four: massage chairs in the Tang Center, resting chair in Wurster Hall and the Bechtel Engineering library, and the meditation room holding the infamous Nap Pods in the basement of Eshleman Hall. So far I’ve heard much controversy as to whether or not these nap areas were worth funding, especially at a time when the school is contemplating closing one of the most impacted colleges on campus. Last week I decided to go and check them out, and develop my own opinion.
In total, I have visited three out of the four REST zones this semester. Considering SHEP meets in the Tang center on the second floor (right in front of the REST zone) I had the opportunity to try out the massage chairs a few weeks ago and they were definitely enjoyable. Last week I decided to visit the zones in Bechtel and Eshleman since I happened to be studying there. While in Bechtel I went on a mission to find the zone where I napped for about 15 minutes. I would have slept for a bit longer, but it there were people furiously typing on their MacBook (the REST zones are actually supposed to be technology free) so I was unable to. The next day I was studying in Eshleman and recalled the Nap Pods, I thought to myself that I could at least sit in one to check it out… The meditation room was intriguing HOWEVER, I went twice and they were busy both times… Then I recalled that the massage chairs were often busy and that Bechtel was also at capacity when I left. Sadly, I was unable to go to Wurster due to my busy schedule.
Ultimately, I came to my own conclusion about the REST zones. I think it is definitely a good resource now that they have been implemented. If you have time or if you happen to be in the building, go and check them out! However, not everyone has time to go take a nap in the middle of the day, and in fact, many people are still unaware of where the rest zones are located. Not everyone has time to go around and look for them. Additionally, there are only four zones, at one time all four combined can hold about 20 people, while there are almost 40,000 people who are enrolled at Cal. According to an article by the Daily Californian, it cost approximately $100,000 to set up the REST zones that will ultimately benefit a small group of people who will be willing to use them. In the end, I honestly don’t believe they were worth the cost. The university could have spent the wellness funds on something that benefitted a larger portion of Cal students. Either way, they’re already on campus… so might as well not hate on them and go out to enjoy them!