Last winter, Elizabeth Carlson’s CHARGE: Wake Emerging Leaders group was brainstorming ideas and looking for new ways to positively impact campus. Common themes quickly emerged related to stress management and the time it takes for some students to walk from the library to their dorm rooms for study breaks and naps.
“The idea for a library relaxation station quickly fell into our laps,” said Carlson, a double major in Spanish and health and exercise science from Charlotte, N.C. “I started playing around with phrases to find a clever and catchy way to name the space. Having just returned from studying abroad in Spain – and having fully grown to appreciate the beauty of a siesta – I suggested ‘ziesta,’ playing off the Z. Smith Reynolds (ZSR) Library.”
With an overwhelmingly positive response from the group, the ZieSta Room became a serious proposal.
The ZieSta Room
Research shows that even 15-minute naps can increase retention, focus and productivity. So, students approached Associate Dean Susan Smith about creating a space conducive to mid-study naps.
While falling asleep in the library is hardly new, encouraging it illustrates how ZSR is writing a new chapter on the wellbeing of students living in a 24/7 world.
The ZieSta Room is the most recent example of how ZSR Library encourages optimal student wellbeing during peak times of stress.
“Wellbeing and stress management continue to be priorities on campus,” said Smith. “By listening to students and being open to all ideas like the ZieSta Room, we can help identify what their needs are to achieve their very best throughout the year, not just during exams weeks.”
In September, Wake Forest introduced a new approach to wellbeing called “Thrive: Comprehensive Wellbeing at Wake Forest.” Equal parts education and inspiration, the campus-wide effort aims to give students, faculty and staff the skills, knowledge, resources and perspective to live healthier, balanced lives.
“With the renewed focus on wellbeing and the incorporation of ‘Thrive’ on campus, the ZieSta Room encourages the wellbeing of students by having a specified place within the library that allows students to easily take a break from work,” said Carlson. “The ZieSta Room is an accessible space where students can take a pause from reading, writing and problem solving to recharge before returning to their studies.”