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The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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Five chillaxing spots to mellow out on campus

Gaby Velasquez

Few campuses in the U.S. can boast a truly natural landscape, fewer so can claim to be carved into a mountain range. Like it’s architectural model in the Himalayas, the mountains around UTEP can afford its students an escape from advertisements and billboards, and allows much-needed relaxation. With midterms coming up on the horizon, it can be easy to ignore the stress that might be building up in our bodies. Sure, zoning out on Netflix or a cocktail can be relaxing, but there are spots on campus that are tranquil enough to calm the high buzz of daily student life. We aren’t experts on self-guided meditation, but we’ve experienced a bit of peace when we’ve turned the phone off and spent ten minutes in these spots just mellowing out a bit.

Centennial Plaza Fountains

It’s not a surprise that the same place with grass and an authentic Bhutanese prayer temple is a relaxing spot. But lying face down on the concrete ledge of the fountains amplifies the entire aesthetic. The water gurgles and falls in shallow curtains, spilling over the river rocks at the base of the fountain. Take a nap and focus up on that sound and after a few minutes the huge probability of you failing your upcoming exam melts out—at least for a little while.

Fox Fine Arts Breezeway

Another concrete spot completely enclosed by shade. Walking down Dormitory Road, away from the UGLC and parallel to Hudspeth, Worrell and Miners Hall, head underneath the Fox Fine Arts’ ramp to the second floor to find the breezeway. There’s a strange echo from students walking to and from class, and on certain days’ music majors will be practicing their pieces. On occasion, a soft saxophone will be playing while on others a chorus will be practicing. It’s a hit or miss, really, but on the days that good music resounds in the breezeway, it will be worth the extra few minutes it took you to get there.

Cardiac Hill’s lawn

Some students just aren’t comfortable sleeping in the open where people can place Doritos on their face and need some assurance that no one will see them drooling. Tucked away to the side of Cardiac Hill, either on the way up from the Union or downhill toward the Education Building, a sweet spot of grass, shade and a concrete bench is ideal for an outdoor nap. Sure, Centennial Plaza is nice, but it will be years before the twiggy little trees can keep away sunburn. Since this spot is located on the side of Cardiac Hill, students will be too focused on not sweating through their shirt to find a student passed out face down in the grass. The best part is that the grass is gets a little cold from the shade and dry from the heat, so a nap won’t leave you looking like you just peed out of your back when it’s time to go to class.

Chihuahua Desert Gardens

On one side of the Chihuahua Desert Garden’s wall is a stream of students staring at their phones or the people in front of them, their brains steaming from the little screens in front of them or the test ahead of them. On the other side is a drip fountain and a hub of over 600 native plants and flowers. Fleabane daisies, Western Wallflower, Mexican Goldpoppy, Horsemint, Jackass Clovers and Limoncillo are among the many fragrances that cloud the area. Add these with the population of butterflies that feed on the flowers, and students can enjoy the vibe the way any stoner would.

Third Floor of the Geology Building

Maybe the sound of flowing water makes you want to pee and the concrete doesn’t sound too comfortable, that’s fine, then make your way to the Geology Building close by. Well-known by expert nappers on campus, the third floor of the building has some of the comfiest couches on campus. Unlike the library, the Geology Building has three seater couches that, if you are lucky enough, are long enough to become a bed. The building is surprisingly quiet, as the only traffic it gets is the occasional science class and professors headed into their office. Make sure to set an alarm as it’s easy to sink into the REM stage of sleep here.

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Gaby Velasquez, Photo editor
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Five chillaxing spots to mellow out on campus