Crying is something that’s still considered pretty taboo within public spaces. People who cry in public settings — particularly women — are often regarded as irrational, weak and unprofessional. We don’t know what to do when we see someone cry — it makes us uncomfortable.
Personally, I have reached a level of comfort with public crying that no one should really aspire to. I’ve cried just about everywhere on campus, from the middle of a lecture on American government to the storage room below Saskatchewan Hall. My declared major is English, but it should really be public displays of emotional distress.
Taking into account my high level of professional expertise, I’ve compiled what I believe are the best places to cry on the U of S campus. This is just a starter guide and by no means comprehensive. Crying is a very particular activity — you need to feel it out and find the space that suits your own personal taste.
A bathroom is by far one of the best locations on campus for a good cry. Washrooms are abundant, so you’ll be able to find one no matter where you’re having your breakdown. They can also assure some level of privacy and are well-stocked with tissues to wipe your tears and mirrors in which to gaze at your red-faced reflection.
Outstanding crying bathrooms that have been indicated to me include: the women’s room on the second floor of the Arts Tower by the political studies department, the bathrooms in the basement of the Physics Building, the stalls in the sixth floor of the Murray Library and the gender neutral washrooms in the Memorial Union Building. Each crier has their own preference.
If you’re at all involved in extracurricular activities, you’ve probably cried in an office or club room of some kind. Being an active member of the university community is both a very rewarding and a very taxing pursuit — of course there’s going to be emotions. Both the Sheaf office and the Arts and Science Students’ Union office have seen a fair number of my tears — and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you haven’t had a breakdown in a professor’s office at least once, did you even go to university? Crying in front of your instructors isn’t necessarily the most dignified thing, but it will make everyone very uncomfortable and might even score you an extension on your term paper.
For those of you that like to combine emotional stress with the beauty of nature, try the riverbank behind the Diefenbaker Canada Centre. Sit on a bench overlooking the frigid waters of the Saskatchewan River, contemplate and let the tears roll.
Tired of staying on campus? Why not hop on the bus and cry while riding on public transit! Put on some sad boy indie rock and stare out the window while pretending you’re in a movie. Most of the bus routes even loop back to the university, so you can come back for round two.
In all seriousness, if you are struggling to cope with stress or other overwhelming emotions, one of the absolute best places to cry is Student Counselling. Mental health is extremely important, and there are professional counsellors available to help you find ways to deal. Sure, I usually sob dramatically in my therapist’s office, but I always leave with support and solutions.
Crying is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a natural way of processing emotions and a part of life. Anyone who tells you otherwise kind of sucks and shouldn’t be in your life.
The more we can normalize the expression of all kind of emotions, the more we can create a campus that is inclusive and empathetic. And that’s something to cry — happy — tears about.
Image: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor