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Katherine Gerberich / Senior Staff Photographer

Nearly three million books line the shelves of Butler.

Whether you’re drowning in problem sets or overtaken by paper deadlines, caught up in friend drama or missing home, there always seems to be a reason to cry. And with roommates ever present, breaking down in your dorm room is not always the best option. Spectrum has you covered with the best places to retreat to when the overwhelming emotions hit.

Butler bathroom—If you feel like crying, odds are you’re already in Butler. Butler bathrooms are already unpleasant, so you might as well maximize the misery and sob it out in a stall. This option is definitely the most practical one—you’ll get your studying and crying done in one convenient location!

Stacks—If you need more privacy (or the dingy Butler bathrooms aren’t quite sophisticated enough for you), we recommend the stacks. It’s quiet and dark—your own personal sensory void just steps away from your favorite desk.

JJ’s—We admit that this is definitely a more public option. However, stop by JJ’s late on a weekend night, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by similarly sad (and not-so-sober) students. There is comfort to be found in the solidarity of sorrow.

Pulitzer—With the presence of Joe’s Coffee and the friendly, collaborative nature of journalism grad students, this building offers cheery vibes. Sometimes, a crying session in a positive environment (and a dark chocolate donut from Joe’s) is exactly what you need to lift your spirits.

Milstein—Although the glass-doored rooms and spaciously set spinny chairs help foster a collaborative learning environment, they don’t make for great crying spots. Albeit a little claustrophobic, the third-floor study rooms in Milstein offer the ideal privacy for crying. Likewise, the Milstein basement classrooms are usually vacant and unlocked in the evenings.

Lola Lafia

Outdoors—Thanks to daylight savings, darkness hits our campus just in time for your monthly (weekly? daily?) crying session. Let your tears flow downward with the sun. You might think it’s too cold to be crying outside, but the brisk fall air is exactly what offers you privacy—no one else will be braving the steps. Between Low Steps, the consistently empty lawn in front of the math building, and Riverside Park, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to combining nature with despair.

6th floor of Diana—Take the Diana elevators up to the 6th floor. This seldom-occupied room offers floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing Broadway and a massive colorful mural—stunning views to fight the blues.

Shapiro basement—Located on 115th Street and Broadway is your new favorite sorrow station. Head down the stairs to the basement—amongst the practice rooms and lockers, there are many corners to choose from. There’s nothing quite like crying next to piano protégés. And if you’re feeling artistic, feel free to sob along to the rhythm of Columbia Musical Theatre Society’s upcoming performances.

Elevators & stairs—Your discussion section might be annoyingly located on the 10th floor, but at least the nearby stairwells are always vacant. And if you need to let out a speed sob and find yourself isolated in an elevator, take advantage! It’s a little risky but sometimes a fleeting moment of solitude is really all you need.

Philosophy Hall sixth-floor bathroom—We’re getting oddly specific here but this bathroom is consistently empty and has unusually pleasant lighting. There’s always a cheerful amount of sunlight, and the sounds of the city outside the perpetually cracked window offer a much-needed resonant perspective.

Gym—Cardio and crying? A winning combination. Nothing quite masks tears the way sweat does. And if anyone notices your less-than-sunny disposition, they’ll be too intimidated by your evident commitment to fitness to even comment.

Shower—A classic choice. No need to wash your tear-stained face when you’re already in the shower. Bonus points for efficiency—you might be sad but at least you’re multitasking!

Tearful breakdowns are nothing to be ashamed of. We’ve all been there, and we’re all going to be there again. So grab your tissues, find a place, and cry it out!

If solitary sob sessions are becoming overly persistent or overwhelming, remember that you are never truly alone. Please don’t be afraid to reach out, be it to friends, family, or campus resources. Human beings are social, codependent creatures, and we are here to hold each other up. With love, Spectrum.

Barnard Columbia Crying spot
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