Finding spots of calm on campus: Students discuss places to decompress when stressed

Jessica Schwabach/Staff

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In the midst of midterms, club meetings, problem sets and more, UC Berkeley students sometimes struggle to find a moment to relax. Even just identifying a quiet place among bustling crowds can prove to be a challenge. But some students have discovered a variety of tranquil spots around campus to recline and recharge. Here are a few suggestions for the next time you need a break.


Wurster Hall Courtyard

This courtyard at the back of Wurster Hall is a quiet place for students to take refuge during a busy day. With a square of grass to lounge on and several comfortable benches, students find it a calming and unpopulated place.

Diego Romero Evans, a master’s degree candidate in landscape architecture, relaxes on these benches almost every morning to appreciate the serenity of the courtyard. “The presence of the grass, the trees, the pines it’s very relaxing,” Romero Evans said.


Strawberry Creek

A short step away from the chaos of Sproul Plaza, the sounds of Strawberry Creek are a babbling reminder of the natural beauty Berkeley has to offer. Under the shaded back porch of Anthony Hall, students can find tables and chairs to relax in.

Beside the banks of Strawberry Creek, junior Micheal Hilton, after recently transferring, said he finally found a relaxing place on campus. “I always come here,” Hilton said. “I prefer having fresh air and hearing the water in the background.”


Memorial Pool

At the corner of Memorial Glade, this reflecting pool honors the memory of the UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff who lost their lives in World War II. Though many students rush through, swept up in the hubbub of a busy day, those that take a moment to stop will find a calming place at the center of campus.

Student Georgi Putra finds that this area allows him to “keep a level head” during hard times. Besides relaxing alone, he also finds it a perfect and convenient place for phone conversations.


Hearst Mining Circle

Just uphill from Evans Hall, it’s easy to take a moment to relax at Hearst Mining Circle — even in the middle of a stressful day. A large, concrete bench shaded by trees looks out over the reflecting pool and green grass. Despite the frequent cars and buses circling Hearst Mining Circle throughout the day, this is still a delightful place to unwind.


Ishi Courtyard

Ishi Courtyard lies at the center of the maze-like corridors of Dwinelle Hall. Surrounded by charming red walls, trees and benches, the court is another less-known place to take a break.

Student Nikita Mohapatra is drawn to Ishi Courtyard for its peaceful atmosphere and convenient location next to her classes. She says that all students should be able to find a place to relax with the size of the campus. “There’s always some place that works for you,” Mohapatra said.


Whether your relaxing space is a favorite coffee shop, your living room or one of the spaces listed above, remember that taking a breather is important. Explore and see what spaces you can find!

Contact Ella Tyler at [email protected] .