If you have a teen gearing up to go to college, odds are you’re already stressed enough as a family. But once the semester starts, your teen might start feeling some serious pressure from academics, sports, extracurriculars, jobs, homesickness and beyond. With this in mind, stressed students may want to add relaxation installations to their checklist of what to ask about on campus visits.
Great Value Colleges just released its list of the 50 US schools with the best relaxation facilities. Criteria ran the gamut from dedicated wellness areas and mindfulness classes to ambiance and therapy offerings. In terms of methodology, Great Value Colleges consulted a range of sources and considered evidence that the schools’ relaxation efforts actually worked for the student population.
The top 10 schools are as follows:
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: 17 reflection spaces, a Wellness Zone with massage chairs, meditation, light therapy and more, six 24/7 napping stations, destress events in the planetarium
- University of Maryland, College Park: Wellness Hut, well-equipped health center dedicated to stress management, relaxation training, therapy dogs, Wind Down Wednesdays
- Davidson College, North Carolina: Four meditation and reflection spaces that have everything from yoga mats to a relaxation garden to a sunroom, a Lake Campus dedicated to relaxing activities and fun
- Stanford University, California: Windhover Center for meditative thought that has a bamboo grove, labyrinth and reflection pond, Center for Integrative Medicine that offers acupuncture and treatment for everything from anxiety to fatigue
- Emory University, Georgia: 10 quiet spaces across campus, four-week stress clinic offerings that use biofeedback to create individualized stress management plans, fall retreat
- Duke University, North Carolina: Five relaxing spaces and three wellness spaces including the Duke Cancer Center Quiet Room that runs tai chi and meditation, Murphy-Nimocks Meditation Garden, Oasis Perkins room complete with puzzled, coloring books, essential oils and yoga equipment
- Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts: Seven contemplative areas including The Japanese Teahouse & Meditation Garden and The Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary, which has a labyrinth, plus two relaxation rooms called the Moasis
- James Madison University, Virginia: Two self-care spaces that have everything from biofeedback tools to massage chairs to noise canceling headphones, a meditation room and a Nap Nook
- University of Missouri: Tiger Grotto with an adjacent wellness library, cozy chairs and a jungle, a spa with massages, yoga and Pilates and a points-to-cash initiative offered to students who participate in mindfulness activities
- Saint Leo University, Florida: A residence hall with nap pods, an aquarium and arcade (open to all students), tons of green space and a relaxing lakefront where students can kayak, fish and more
Stressed students exist on every college campus. But if you check out the full list, you’ll notice none of the Garden State’s schools made the cut. As for schools in the NJ area, there’s one school in upstate New York (Hamilton College in Clinton), two Connecticut schools (Wesleyan University in Middletown and Yale University in New Haven) and three Pennsylvania schools (University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia).