A bridge in Nitobe Garden at UBC.
March 22, 2019
2 mins read

Quiet places to decompress on campus

The Introvert's Guide

After a stressful exam or a long day, or for those times when you need to take a deep breath and a short break, it can be refreshing to find a quiet space for yourself.

Whether you want to sit with a book, listen to some music or a podcast, or anything else (catnap, anyone?), here’s a list of some of the best places on campus to decompress—because you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) spend all your time at the library, in your dorm room, or in class.

Rose Garden

A classic—and for a reason. My favourite spot is above the Rose Garden because you get a fantastic view of the mountains (clouds notwithstanding), and there’s always a slight and refreshing breeze.

A photograph of the Rose Garden at UBC Point Grey campus.

Wreck Beach

It’s a bit of a walk to get there, but it’s worth it if you have the time to spare. It’s also large enough that you will have no trouble finding a space to yourself, and (as long as you dress warmly) it’s a beautiful place to visit year round.

A UBC student walking along Wreck Beach.

Behind the Leon and Thea Koerner University Centre

There’s a pond in the back area of the University Centre with some nice seating, and it’s in a quiet part of campus so you don’t have to worry about too many disruptions.

UBC students studying outside the Leon and Thea Koerner University Centre.

Pharmaceutical Sciences Building

Hear me out…this building is one of the newest and most beautiful on campus, and it has tons of seating and quiet corners. If you visit a bit later in the day (when it’s less busy), it’s a great place to get comfy and relax.

The UBC Pharm Sci building at sunset.

Nitobe Memorial Garden

Another classic. As a student, you get in for free, so take advantage and make a point to visit Nitobe early in the year. It may just become your favourite place on campus.

A photograph of a pond in Nitobe Gardens.

Around the Reconciliation Pole

The Reconciliation Pole was installed in 2017 in a traditional Haida manner. Around the pole you’ll find plenty of grass and benches to sit on—it’s a great place to relax and take a moment of quiet thoughtfulness with yourself. There’s a lot to take in and ponder around the pole, or you can just sit under the sun in one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas of campus.

Seating under the Reconciliation Pole at UBC Point Grey campus.

Any coffee shop

Explore a bit, try a few different places, and find one that works for you to study, eat, or just take a break. My personal favorites are JJ Bean and Great Dane. Some cafes don’t love it if you spend too much time there, but go during quieter hours (I recommend after 5:00 pm if you really want some quiet), buy something cheap, and you can stay for a while.

A coffee and cinnamon roll on a wooden table.

It’s healthy to spend time alone sometimes, and it’s always a good idea to listen to your body’s needs.

What is life except for a constant search for places to chill and snack, abbreviated by work and classes?