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Crying can be very fun! Especially when you do it in public! 

College can be an extremely overwhelming experience and every once in a while you may feel like you need to let it all out. Everyone has different crying preferences. You may like to violently sob in the Brooks Hall shower while someone else may prefer to silently weep outside of John Jay…

With Mercury retrograde and midterms, it seems as if everyone’s lives have been so chaotic recently. So, like the good person I am, I’ve compiled a list of the best places to cry on campus with the help of my friends and our experiences. I created a Google Form so you, the people of Columbia University, can share your wisdom in the art of public crying as well.  

Here is a list of the top 10 best places to cry:

  1. Ferris Dining Hall (15%)

I’m not going to lie. I’m a little surprised that Ferris came in first place, but I can totally see why. Who hasn’t felt completely overwhelmed while waiting for your pesto pasta or salad in those incredibly long lines? No one! Though Ferris has very good food, or as I like to say, scrumptions and delectable meals, the physical space is not very big which can definitely make your Ferris experience intense, to the point of needing a good cry.

  1. Residence Hall lounge (13.6%)

My friend Jharna suggested this wonderful option. Apparently, if you cry in the Sulz 3 lounge, people will ask you what’s wrong and offer you tea. I mean, who doesn’t crave a little attention (and free tea) sometimes? In her words: “The lounge gives me privacy from my roommate or anyone who directly knows me but still prevents me from being isolated when I’m sad, since it’s a highly trafficked area. Every time I cry in there, people undoubtedly walk in and offer comfort and hot tea, and even though it’s a little awkward, I really like the feeling of mostly anonymous connection that it affords.”

  1. Butler (9.3%)

I really don’t get this one. Yes, if you’re working in Butler it’s probably because you seriously need to finish your work and depend on that intense working atmosphere. I see how the environment at Butler can make one want to burst into tears. Been there, done that. However, is it really your favorite place to cry? Having people give you death stares because you’re interrupting their grinding? Sobbing in that completely silent room? Maybe it’s just not for me…

  1. Low Steps (9.3%)

This is my personal favorite. There is nothing better than breaking down crying on the steps, overlooking Butler and feeling like the main character. I mean, yes, you’re crying, which probably means you’re not having a great time. But you’re crying in arguably one of Columbia University’s most iconic spots and it reminds you of the fact that you’re living in New York City. Catharsis in its purest form, in my humble opinion. 

  1. Milstein Green chairs (9.3%)

My roommate, Grace Welte, actually came up with this suggestion. So I’ll let her explain why it’s such a great place to cry in her own words: “It’s comfy and although it is in the middle of the library, it feels private. If I am silently crying and my hood is up and my mask is on (Covid-safe queen), no one will ever know”.

  1. Law Bridge (7.9%)

I’m not going to lie, the Law Bridge intimidates me for reasons I simply cannot explain, so I don’t think I’d be comfortable enough to break down in it. However, it is home to the city skyline view which absolutely every single Columbia student ever has taken a picture in front of. You know exactly what I’m talking about. I don’t know, someone please let me know why the Law Bridge is the 6th best place to cry on campus!

  1. The Tunnels (4.3%)

Columbia tunnels? I thought they were closed…

Barnard tunnels? So, you basically mean you enjoy crying in a class building hallway. Interesting… I guess there’s something for everyone. 

  1. Steps of Barnard Hall (2.9%)

Crying on the Barnard Hall steps is so therapeutic but also very uncomfortable. It’s nice because people usually don’t pay attention to what you do, so even though you’re in public, no one will interrupt your crying session. However, the steps are very uncomfortable and will most definitely make your butt hurt if you sit there for too long… they’re perfect for a short crying session. 

      9.   Kent Hall Lawn (2.9%)

I haven’t heard of anyone crying here before. Maybe that means it’s always going to be empty, which is perfect if you’re a shy crier? 

     10. Steps in front of the Diana Center (2.9%)

I’ve personally never cried here before. However, the idea of laying down on a patch of grass does seem very appealing if one is looking for inner peace. 

Some Honorary mentions for the write-in responses!

These two win the award for most oddly specific places to cry:

  • “Milstein basement gender neutral bathroom specifically”
  • “My bed while my led lights are on in blue and listening to sad Hispanic indie music”

No judgement here but are you both doing okay?

Three people voted for my dorm… allow me to explain. My lovely roommate, Grace, brought with her this huge rug. Sometimes, people come to our dorm to just simply cry on our floor. It’s very therapeutic apparently. So there’s a running joke amongst our friends that our door is simply the place to cry at Barnard. I’m glad to know you enjoy crying surrounded by Harry Styles and Taylor Swift posters as well as a picture of Abby Lee who seems to meet your eyes no matter where you’re standing!

Some other honorable responses include: 

  • Office Hours.
  • Elevators in Hamilton.
  • Stairwell to basement.
  • At Alma’s feet.
  • In the quad in front of a tour group.
  • “I have not cried yet. I’m just built differently.” (Can we please have a round of applause for this person?)

And the best answer:

  • All of the above.

Happy crying, folks!

Pia Velázquez is a freshman at Barnard College who plans to study Human Rights. She spends her time swing dancing with her roommate and hanging out by the philosophy building at Columbia.
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