Ranking places to cry on campus

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Photo by Lily Werner ([email protected])

Copy Chief Nora McCaughey compiles a list of best crying spots on campus.

My sophomore year at Marquette, my friends and I kept a “cry chart” in my dorm to keep count of how many times throughout the semester we just needed to break down and have ourselves a moment to cry. It wasn’t a competition, but if it was, I would have won: I cried over 35 times in a single semester. But being a crybaby has its perks, one of which is that I know the best and worst places to cry on campus.

O’Donnell Hall – 0/10

Although the residence hall is not in use this semester, the basement of O’Donnell is definitely the absolute worst place to cry. The long walk down what my friends and I coined the “O’Donnell murder hallway” due to its dark and frightening nature does not end somewhere much better. The study room is tiny with no windows, leaving only the harsh fluorescent lights to illuminate the scene. This, combined with the lack of comfortable furniture and inevitable odd resident actually trying to study, is what leads me to criticize my first-year home as the most undesirable for a good cry.

Lalumiere Hall – 3/10

As a student in the College of Arts & Sciences (emphasis on arts, not so much on sciences) I often find myself in Lalumiere Hall, where many history and English classes are held. The fact that this hall does not rank last is a testament to my hatred of crying in O’Donnell because Lalumiere quite literally has nowhere to cry but the bathrooms. Administration should really get on this, maybe create a designated cry closet. I know I’d use it when writing my 20 page papers.

Cudahy Hall – 3.5/10

Already a step up from our big loser, Cudahy Hall, unlike O’Donnell, has a skylight at the top of the roof to let in natural light. Unfortunately, all of this building’s floors are connected by hallway balconies. While this design choice is great for architectural and aesthetic purposes, it is also the downfall of Cudahy’s rating on this list: The openness means everyone can hear you sobbing, which is not ideal.

Raynor Memorial Library – 4/10

This location has a solid amount of both perks and drawbacks, starting, of course, with the books. Being surrounded by books gives me a feeling of comfort and nostalgia, so the library’s extensive selection of books makes it an optimal place to go when I’m feeling down. However, there is one problem; the people. The library is almost always crowded with students, faculty and staff, none of whom want to be disturbed by a weeping adult. 

The lack of comfortable furniture such as chairs and couches on which to cry is another reason the library ranks so low on this list. Most chairs in the library are wooden, and all of the comfortable plush ones are in highly populated areas. While it’s true that one could just go and walk among the stacks of books while letting their feelings out, I find that sitting on the ground in the reading room, which is usually fairly empty, is a better option (although it is slightly embarrassing when people stumble upon you while searching for a book). 

Alumni Memorial Union – 6.5/10

The Alumni Memorial Union has many study and student spaces as opposed to academic or residence ones, which gives it a leg up on most other buildings on this list. The Brooks Lounge’s booths offer a sense of privacy, and the solitary nature of the ballrooms (as long as there are no events going on) are great if you really need to make a scene. Plus, its central location on campus and inclusion of the Brew coffee shop make the AMU a prime crying destination.

Sensenbrenner Hall – 8/10

With both comfortable chairs and hardly any foot traffic, Sensenbrenner is a great place to curl up and let it all out. Mostly home to offices of professors, there’s no need to worry about passing periods letting a mob of students out right as you’re starting to feel the catharsis that comes with shedding some tears. If the Eisenberg Reading Room is open, then you’re really in luck! The Hogwarts-like design of the space truly can make you feel like you’re in a book or period movie instead of right on Wisconsin Avenue. 

Johnston Hall – 10/10

Coming in as the number one spot to cry on campus, Johnston Hall is home to the College of Communication, one of the smaller colleges at Marquette. This means there are very few students milling about in comparison to other academic buildings. J-Pad in particular offers cozy leather couches and chairs, TVs, carpeted floors and a vending machine in case you’re an emotional eater. Walking into this area, one can really tell that the designers took into account frequent bawlers, which I am forever grateful for.

As R.E.M. once said, everybody hurts. And with pain of any kind can come tears, which no one should be ashamed or embarrassed about. As college students we’re constantly under academic and social pressure that are enough to make anyone crack, so next time you feel the tears bubbling up, just let it out.

This story was written by Nora McCaughey. She can be reached at [email protected]