Picture this: it’s fourth week; you are having your third existential crisis of the day; you need to call your mother and sob, but your roommate is in the room! When this happens, where can you go to cry? Luckily, there are various options around campus with incredible scenery, so you can truly embrace the John Muir angst and weep out all of those toxins.
As someone that has a playlist made specifically for my mopey days, I believe getting in one’s feelings is a true art form. So, here is the official ranking, from worst to best, of all the places I have sobbed on campus.
Residence Halls: Terrible! Even if you are lucky enough to find a gender-neutral restroom, there is no hiding the puffy eyes or tear-stained cheeks when you come out. The silver lining is that absolutely no one remembers a single second of their freshman year so even if you make a scene, who cares? It’s a scientific fact that first-years have the memory of a goldfish, so it will be like your breakdown never even happened.
Academic Buildings: A step-up from the dormitories, but you still run the risk of running into the professor that caused you to cry in the first place. The benefits of this location include immediate access to chocolate (thanks political science department), and if done during the right hours, large amounts of solitude. Along with this, when crying in the hallowed Palmer Hall, I view my tears as substantially more intellectual and serious than if I were to be sobbing in my room, so that’s kind of fun.
Tiger Trail Overlook: For those that are truly committed to crying in peace, the Tiger Trail is the way to go. If you walk north for about five minutes, there is an overlook with a bench that gives a pleasant view of Monument Creek. The main drawback with this location is that it takes some cry-planning to work out the right timing, so it’s usually not a first-choice pick. However, the walk to and from is lovely, and maybe you could go for a run or something and release some endorphins. You might look a little unhinged running and sobbing, but hey, whatever works, right?
The Block Past Wooglin’s: If you enjoy pacing while weeping, lapping the block south of Wooglin’s is excellent. Specifically, during the early fall and late spring, the foliage is abundant and flowers bloom, and you are still close to various off-campus options for snacks and drinks to refuel the lost electrolytes. If it’s a really bad day, there is also the option of getting a quesadilla and margarita at La’au’s, and thus drowning your sorrows in tequila and cheese.
The Bench by Loomis: OK, so if you are going down to the Preserve and take the stairs with the useless handrail, at the very top there is a single bench overlooking the Bemis loop. A perfect view of Pikes, relatively low foot traffic, consistent gentle breezes, and some overly-friendly squirrels make this one of the best places to shed some tears. Pair this with a set of headphones and some iced coffee, and you can actually feel refreshed post-breakdown.
The Shower: The G.O.A.T. of crying locations, a hot shower soothes the soul in ways I will never fully understand. If you are going through that whole “I have no idea what I want to do with my life” mega-breakdown, the shower is by far the best option. Some lavender soaps, a hair mask, full-body exfoliation, and maybe even a shower-beer will leave you exiting the shower looking and feeling much better than when you went in. Especially if you use one of the handicap stalls with a little bench, you can spend up to an hour in there angsting away. Sure, not great for the environment, but damn good for the psyche.
Overall, where you let your emotions show is a personal choice. Along with these options, there are endless locations both on and off-campus to shed some tears. Just know there is no shame in crying, and according to some studies you may actually live longer by doing so regularly. So, tigers, get to weeping.
Disclaimer: This is for those who enjoy being alone while in their feelings. For those of you who would prefer some support, I recommend the Wellness Resource Center, a friend’s room, or perhaps a frat-house bathroom between the hours of 12–1 a.m. on a Saturday night.