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Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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Where to chill during these chilly days

SalmaPaola Baca
Vegetation and campus gardens create a serene atmosphere for college students to unwind.

Amidst a bustling schedule, it can be overwhelming for students to navigate the demands of their academic and personal lives, while even having to maintain their well being. Prioritizing self-care, social connections, quality of campus life, adequate time for rest, breaks and enjoyable activities are just a few things on the laundry list of fostering overall mental and physical health.  

Since UTEP is a commuter school, many students go every day prepared to stay for hours between classes and find suitable spots around campus to ensure a productive utilization of their time.  

During breaks between classes, students have many options to optimize their free time.  Exploring the Bhuthanese-inspired architecture on campus, delving into hobbies, attending campus activities and finalizing school assignments, are many of the opportunities students have while on campus.  

Utilizing on-campus facilities including the library, the Student Recreation Center or the Union Complex’s food court, offers students a time to socialize, study, exercise or have a meal. While recognizing the stress associated with studying for upcoming classes, it is vital for students to dedicate a time to pursue their studies while  prioritizing self-care to mitigate the risk of burnout. 

While these are not the only spots at UTEP that offer relaxation time, plenty of student favorites can be found across campus.  

Senior Kyle Odom, persevering a five-hour gap in his mechanical engineering schedule, has found his preferred downtime spots on campus. He advises fellow students and colleagues to pursue productivity-filled environments. 

“(The) Computer Science building, it’s probably my favorite, the Union, and the library,”  Odom said. “Try to find little corners, seats wherever you’re alone, pretty much. ”  

Senior Emily, majoring in rehabilitation sciences, has a few quiet and comfortable spots around campus that assist in unwinding from the stresses of college while partaking in her hobby of reading.  

“I think that this building (the Interdisciplinary Research Building) is probably the most quiet because I’ve been to the (UGLC), and it’s not good for studying,” Emily said.  

Whether dedicating time to studying, job duties  or enjoying leisure moments with family and friends, the key lies in aligning activities with personal goals. A well-structured schedule is significant, offering a clear plan of action for each day to enhance efficiency and reduce unnecessary stress. By doing so, students at UTEP can optimize their academic experience, ensuring a more balanced and fulfilling college life while actively preparing for future challenges after college.    

The best downtime spots on UTEP’s campus ultimately depend on each student’s preferences and priorities. It’s a personal journey of discovering and making the most of the available spots around campus. UTEP offers plenty of lounges, cafes and study rooms for students to utilize, but they must shape their downtime based on what brings them joy and relaxation. Students create a customized college experience that enhances their well-being and overall satisfaction by understanding their needs and making intentional choices. 

SalmaPaola Baca is a staff photographer and may be reached at [email protected]. 


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About the Contributor
SalmaPaola Baca
SalmaPaola Baca, Contributor/Photographer
SalmaPaola Baca is a senior at UTEP majoring in engineering innovation and leadership with a concentration and minor in civil engineering and an emphasis in computer science. Her passion for photography enables her to be photographer at The Prospector. While a full-time student, she freelances while planning to grow her platform through travel photography. After graduating, she wants to pursue a master’s degree in architecture while working on her photography simultaneously.
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