To prioritize student well-being and foster a culture of rest and reflection on campus, the William & Mary Student Assembly has funded the purchase of two state-of-the-art Metronap Pods. These futuristic relaxation pods, seen at tech giants like Google and Facebook, have found a new home in Swem Library.
Last fall, Student Assembly Senator Sean Nguyen ’24 proposed a bill for the energy pods, which passed in the spring. Less than a year later, the pods arrived at Swem.
“These pods, a proven model in universities across the country, are designed to offer a relaxing environment for students to rest and recharge,” said Nguyen. “My idea reflects a commitment to adapt to our students’ evolving needs, particularly for those without immediate access to a bed on campus.”
Designed for optimal comfort and efficiency, Metronap Pods have gained popularity for their ability to facilitate short periods of rest and relaxation, enhancing productivity and mental well-being. The pods are equipped with features such as controllable lighting, soothing sounds, and a reclining chair that offers the perfect position for a moment of mindfulness.
Nguyen brought the idea to bring energy pods to Swem to the library’s Associate Dean of Research and Public Services Lisa Nickel, who enthusiastically supported the plan.
“We recognize the importance of taking time to relax, reset, and recharge,” said Nickel. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with the Student Assembly to make this idea come to life, and we hope the pods will help students with their health, wellness and academic success.”
Swem Library is not only a hub of academic resources but also a central location where students spend a significant amount of time. By integrating these pods into the library setting, the university aims to create an oasis of tranquility amidst the stacks of books and the hum of study groups.
Research consistently demonstrates the positive impact of short breaks and power naps on cognitive function, memory retention, and overall well-being. The pods provide students with a dedicated space to recharge, offering a unique opportunity for restorative rest that goes beyond the typical library study break.
“The William & Mary Student Assembly’s decision to fund these relaxation pods is a commendable step towards creating a campus culture that values not only academic achievement but also the health and happiness of its students,” said Nickel.
The pods are located on the first and second floors of Swem Library, and are on a first come, first served basis for 20-minute sessions.
“Just a week after their installation, I have been reassured by the numerous positive responses from students,” said Nguyen. “The twenty-minute naps they facilitate are being likened to a ‘reset button,’ providing much-needed rejuvenation, especially during our finals week. Every visit I have made to these consistently occupied pod spaces reinforces their vital contribution to the suite of wellness initiatives at William & Mary.”