It’s 3:27 a.m. in the basement of Van Pelt on a Tuesday night and you wish you could just inject caffeine directly into your bloodstream. You’re drowning in assignments, meetings, midterms—you can’t keep your mind off the deadlines, and your fingers tremble as you type. You’d love to escape the VP basement and the mice, but mostly you need a break from your thoughts.

The Quiet Place is where I escape to. It’s a website that focuses your attention, a virtual place where millions of souls find solace. A place where you can truly get your thoughts out—not to another person or on social media, or even to your parents on the phone. Instead, you’ll be transported to a peaceful site in which your thoughts dispel from your finger–tips and disappear into tiny stars: something beautiful and not so daunting.

The Quiet Place’s original project will make you silence your phone and turn your speakers up. The exercise is pointless otherwise. Once you do that, you’ll be welcomed to the quiet place—a place that will suddenly make you feel like all the weight of Penn is off of your shoulders upon first click. It’s a place with peaceful melodies and no capital letters anywhere on the screen. There’s also no notifications, Canvas alerts, G–Cal reminders, emails, etc. You’ll immediately realize how many things require your attention but you will not have to attend to them. You’re not even allowed to. Then, the quiet place will tell you how it is truly okay to take a break and remind you to stop burdening your mind with meaningless little things. You’ll watch as the big things on your mind seem to shrink. For 30 seconds, you’ll be told to do nothing but listen to the music.

Usually, after the quiet place says goodbye and I feel slightly better, I venture to the thoughts room. In yet another peaceful webpage, you’re allowed to take a break from your notifications and type your worries into a fake status bar. You can pour all of your anxiety, heartaches, concerns, etc. into the bar and nobody is there to view it. As you type and vent, the words will fall off the screen and burst into hundreds of stars—in this moment your worries will start to look happier and your mind will stop racing. You can use it for as long as you want. No one is there to time you or tell you to get back to your eight page paper that you have no intention of writing tonight. 

So next time you’re in the basement of VP and can’t keep your eyes open or your worries in check, go to the quiet place project online. Or better yet, walk home—you’ve been working too hard anyway.


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