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The Quad: Examining the growing trend of hammock use at UCLA

Hammocks on the grass near the Janss steps are an increasingly common sight this spring quarter.
(Alyssa Dorn/Daily Bruin staff)

By Brenda Chan

May 16, 2017 5:29 pm

As summer approaches and the weather starts to get warmer and sunnier, students are bringing out their hammocks to relax on campus, especially on the grass by Janss steps. Whenever I pass by the vicinity during the day, I see many students hanging out on the grass. Some of the students are on hammocks and some of them are even playing a game of frisbee.

Related: [Students able to hang out on campus with hammock, blanket rentals]

Now that students are able to rent inflatable hammocks from the Ackerman Student Union A-Level, the number of students using hammocks around Janss Steps have increased. The hammock culture at UCLA is a relatively new trend, and I had not seen many people on hammocks during previous quarters. Lately, though, I’ve seen people set up their hammocks in other campus locations other than the grass by Janss steps. Once I even spotted a hammocker outside of Moore Hall.

Sergio Alvarez, a second-year psychobiology student, has experience with renting the inflatable hammocks from UCLA. Alvarez had initially struggled with getting his hammock to inflate, having to run around on the grass to inflate it. Despite this, Alvarez found the hammock to be very comfortable and relaxing once he had gotten it to inflate.

While inflatable hammocks are available for rental at UCLA, many students decide to bring their own hammocks instead.

Nicholas Yonker, a first-year pre-business economics student enjoys relaxing on a hammock and he typically does so twice a week. Yonker said that he was inspired when he saw other students relaxing on hammocks during the first few weeks of school. In contrast to Alvarez’s experience with setting up the hammock, Yonker thinks it is not much of a hassle to set up or carry around his hammock.

Hector Rosete, a fourth-year international development studies student thinks that hammocking suits his personality since it is a great way to relax. Rosete is new to the hammock culture, and hadn’t used a hammock before.

Sitting on a hammock in between classes can be a social event, and most students in hammocks are seen hanging out with friends. With students of different majors and identities congregating in the same area, it is a fun way for community building. Rosete said that his friends had invited him to come hammocking with them and that he had a fun experience.

Hammocks are also extremely portable, especially if you buy your own. Students can set up their hammocks anywhere around campus just like the student outside of Moore Hall – you’re not limited to just the area around Janss Steps, which can actually get fairly crowded on a nice day.

Related: [Best nap spots on campus]

Additionally, hammocking is an alternative way for students to catch up on sleep after a late night of studying. It gives students the opportunity to feel well-rested before heading to their next class of the day.

The hammock trend is not just unique to UCLA. It is also a trend at other college campuses. Ball State University, in Indiana, also provides hammock rentals for students.

Not all colleges are blessed with SoCal weather, but this does not deter students at Brigham Young University in Utah. Two students at BYU have invented an insulator for hammocks so that hammockers can still enjoy the outdoors during cold weather.

What makes hammocking a fun activity is its versatility as well as convenience. It is relatively easy to set up a hammock and it gives students an instant napping spot on lazy days. It is also an alternative way to pass the time in between classes and get some vitamin D.

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Brenda Chan
Brenda Chan is a Quad contributor. She likes writing about fitness, nutrition, lifestyle and education.
Brenda Chan is a Quad contributor. She likes writing about fitness, nutrition, lifestyle and education.
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