The best places on ASU's Tempe campus to relax and unwind

With midterms upon us, and finals soon to come, pick one of these quiet spots to take a deep breath and reflect on life

Midterms, registering for classes and the wonderful chaos of college can bring unwanted stress. I know these past few weeks have been particularly stressful for many of us, including myself. Here are the places I like to spend time when I need a break and a fresh perspective.

 1. The seventh floor of the Life Sciences Center

This one is a personal favorite. The first time I visited this spot, I stumbled upon it rather accidentally. I was meeting with a TA for my biology lab and took the elevator up to the fifth floor of the tower, and after fruitlessly searching the building for his office, I noticed the clear, almost transcendent views the lookout offered only from the fifth floor. Immediately engrossed in the beautifully arresting scene, I dashed up the stairs to the top floor to get the best view possible. I was not disappointed.

The sixth floor of the Life Sciences Tower overlooking 'A' Mountain at ASU's Tempe campus, on​ Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

From the top, you can easily see as close as Hayden Lawn right below and as far as downtown Phoenix. From such a vantage point, the trees and greenery across the Valley are easily seen but not so as to obscure the cultural buildings found throughout Tempe and Phoenix. Finding a better lookout point would be tremendously difficult, if not near impossible.

2. The courtyard next to the Student Services Building

Set next to the student resources center, this beautiful courtyard is a precious, underappreciated gem on campus. In terms of the beauty of the natural greenery, there truly is no other place on the Tempe campus (except for possibly inside the Life Sciences Center) that holds to this pleasant little nook.  

An ASU seating area by the Student Resources Center on ASU's Tempe campus in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

Most of the perimeter is lined with perfectly trimmed, luscious green hedges and tall leafy trees, providing not only wonderful scenery but additionally a comforting buffer from the hot weather — upon entering the courtyard, one can immediately feel a slight drop in temperature. This location is perfect for a fall picnic or relaxing with a good book.

3. The Tempe campus Secret Garden

Though quite well known, it would be unfair to leave this unique location off the list. The greatest allure of the Secret Garden is its secluded setup; it’s nestled right in the center of West Hall and only accessible by a few doors and the underground tunnels from the sides of the building. 

ASU's Secret Garden inside the West Hall on ASU's Tempe campus in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

The garden provides a large, welcoming green space that has an ineffable stillness to it — while in the secret garden it feels as though time has come to a complete stop, and that’s the most wonderful part of it. I could spend hours here simply admiring the clouds above or lying on the soft grass. 

READ MORE: The 10 best places to cry on ASU's campuses

4. The roof of Lattie F. Coor Hall

A wonderful location if you’re looking for a cool and secluded spot, the roof of Coor Hall seems as though it was designed for taking a breath and reflecting on life. Enter through the elevators found on the ground level of Coor Hall and head to the sixth floor, and you’ll find a quaint seating perfect for appreciating the gorgeous views. 

The roof of the ASU's Coor building on ASU's Tempe campus in Tempe, Arizona, on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

Due to its height, the viewpoint creates the perfect optical illusion throughout the valley — you can really only see the tops of the tall trees throughout the area, creating a picturesque sweeping view bearing resemblance to a tropical rain forest.

5. Reflection Room in Hayden Library

Though not equipped with any special views, the allure of this location is obvious — a calming and tranquil environment designed for students and faculty alike to meditate peacefully. As someone who meditates regularly, I find it difficult meditating in public due to what I call the “what-the-hell-is-that-person-doing-factor.”

The Reflection Room in the Hayden Library in Tempe, AZ on ASU's Tempe, Campus, ​on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.

Especially among college students, meditation is a rare hobby, and having a devoted space to the practice and prayer and other forms of religious mediation provides a much-needed safe space free of judgment. 

6. Silent study room in Noble

The silent study space in Noble Library is a wonderful avenue for setting your academic goals in order. During my study sessions across campus, I frequently become distracted by the ambient noise, from students talking to music blasting near Memorial Union. I particularly love this space because of how much it helps me focus on the task at hand. 

ASU students work in the Silent Study Room in the Noble Library on ASU's Tempe campus on Sund​ay, Oct. 20, 2019.

Talking and noise of any kind are completely disallowed, and I’d be lying if I said that alone didn’t make it one of the best places on campus. Pull out your laptop on one of the comfy couches lining the edges of the room and take a few moments to get your life back in order — both academic and elsewhere. 

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