We reviewed the best (and worst) places to cry on campus
The irony is now we’re crying at home at the very prospect of never being able to cry on campus again
The benefits of a good cry are manifold: it detoxifies the body, helps self-sooth, dulls pain, helps restore emotional balance and acts a pretty clear signifier to pals and strangers alike that you need a kind word or hug.
So having established the cathartic utility of a good cry – where are the best places to cry on campus?
For the sake of this article and future generations of UCL students, this list is not restricted to the places currently open during lockdown, because that would be woefully limited *cry*, but details the twenty best and worst places for a little cry on campus.
Not the worst but it’s so heckin’ cold that your tears will freeze as they fall and not in a cool pop song kind of way but a genuinely uncomfortable, ‘does Satan control the thermostat’ kind of way. However, there are also sofas which provide convenient comfort and the opportunity to imitate the Homer in the hedge meme as you hide from people and responsibilities in comfortable cushions. Also this place is a legit maze so if you do want to find a super secluded place where no one will see your tears it’s a safe bet.
Phineas Bar toilets 10/10 (bonus 5 if it’s the Strawberry toilet)
Honestly, the single best place to cry on campus. In the day time quiet and peaceful, and on a night out not only will you find at least a dozen people to comfort you but you will probably become best friends with at least one of the other crying people there. Tried and tested – promise. Bonus points if you get the strawberry toilet because you will hopefully remember how lucky you are to get to cry in such an exclusive and elite location and it may even cheer you up (plus photo op!).
Main Library First Floor toilets 1/10
Straight up not the one. There is always a queue and absolutely no soundproofing. It’s not great if you want any privacy and having a big cry sesh here is also not the most considerate for all those queuing people who just came here to scroll and pee.
Student Centre 9/10
The obvious bonus of this one is the (usually) 24/7 crying friendly facilities. Did you arrive at 09:06 and all the seats were already gone, go ahead cry. Get a bad assessment mark back at 18:00, cry away. Realise that you procrastinating the essay until last minute when you would be ‘older and therefore wiser’ was actually a horrible idea at 04:00 during an all-nighter, don’t worry the Student centre’s there for you. There’s the additional win of the variety of places you can cry within the student centre – if you want: privacy – toilets, comfort – sofas, snacks – café, views – floor four terrace, efficiency – cry on while at your desk.
Also, there is something pretty freeing in a proper sob in public, a kind of revelry in the shamelessness of just not caring, and the student centre’s open-plan interior really lends itself to this publicity. Lost one point, because if you’re a private crier the toilet lines are invariably way too long and you will have to hold in your tears uncomfortably as people take a literal age doing lord only knows what.
Main Quad 5/10
Half marks for this iconic location, because if it’s quiet and rainy and you’re in the right outfit, you can 100per cent live out your main character dreams pacing dramatically away/towards the illustrious portico, with your dramatic, sad music blasting in your headphones and not giving a single care to what anyone else thinks. But equally, if it’s crowded, hot, you’re intensely sleep-deprived or hungover and feeling self-conscious, the two hundred spectators eating lunch on the steps just really aren’t optimal crying vibes.
Outside of Mulley’s 8/10
Crying outside a bar is super cathartic, especially if you’ve just escaped from the loud and busy atmosphere within. A cry here guarantees a good cool down as well as lots of sweet reassurances from commuters hurriedly coming to and from Euston Square station. Try having a cheeky cry here to have your faith restored by those stony-faced, but secretly darling, Londoners. Loses 2 points because again this is London, and the street corner is a tad too cold for comfort.
Main Library proper 7/10
Not very private. But the people here are either there to study hard, or scout some content for their next UCLove post, so the former will simply ignore you, while for the later you’re a meme come true.
Equally, with a quick cry in the library itself, you can self soothe and emote without even needing to stop working, a time-saving miracle. Equally, while entirely public, the entrance hall to the library is an utterly aesthetic place for a dramatic cry.
Archaeology Library 5/10
This is a downright sexy study space, pot plants abound and it’s nice and small so chances of being overwhelmed are lower than other places on campus, for such reasons the chance of you crying here are pretty low. If you do there is the added bonus that there are screens separating each study space so at least you’ll feel like you have some privacy. However, the rules here are strict. Expect no sympathy if your sobbing is loud, silence is a must and don’t even think about rehydrating, drinks are strictly prohibited.
Energybase Swimming Pool 10/10
If you cry underwater, no one can see you tears. Big win.
Refectory Toilets 9/10
Highly recommend, never very busy so all the privacy you need. Also, the people that do go here are nice and will comfort you as you regroup.
Print Room 2/10
Bad – reminiscent of a 90s school cafeteria breakdown scene. Actually too many people even for a nice public cry, and in the wrong headspace the music will make you feel like you’re living in your own waking bad place. Only redeeming feature is that at least you’re close to coffee and comforting snacks, as well as only being a quick dash away from the toilets by the vending machines – a way better crying spot.
Toilets near Print Room 7/10
Does anyone know what these are actually called? Probably not, anyway they’re a safe place to cry. So many cubicles that if you want privacy then no one will be able to trace the sound of your sobs and if you want a helping hand someone friendly is sure to offer a kind word at the sinks. Also there are so many mirrors, so you’ll be well equipped to make sure you’re quite recovered before venturing back to Print Room to get that coffee.
ULU café 5/10
Again, like Print Room it’s a bit too public. But there is the exciting addition of beanbags so you can really cry in comfort and resort to a nap or foetal position if you need. Also, if you catch the café at a quiet point, those beanbags are actually a great place to emote, so just pick your time carefully.
Science library study pods 7/10
Actually perfect for a cheeky secret cry, so long as you’re quiet. The pods have high walls so no one can see you, so you can really just crack on with work and cry away at the same time you multitasking legend. However, if you’re loud, just know that everyone will know because these babies are absolutely not soundproofed.
Gordon Square 8/10
Squirrels? Check. Trees? Check. Sunshine? Once every blue moon. Pret? Close. This is a pretty great location to have a good cry, there are benches for your comfort or a bed of grass if you really feel the need to embrace nature and harmonise those emotions.
Loses two points because the random businessmen and professors on their lunch break are high-key in a rush to relax and recuperate themselves, and don’t really have time to sympathise right now. But you’re once street closer to Pret to rehydrate afterwards so that a bonus!
History Department Toilets 8/10
Great place to cry if you actually need some support. This is the perfect place to have a quick solo weep in the toilet and then emerge to be greeted by lots of kindly and concerned faces asking if you’re ok and if you need a hand. Also lots of great mirrors to make sure you look relatively recovered before strolling back to the world. Lost two points because the attentiveness isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
Bentham House Ground floor toilets 8/10
An exclusive law student experience reserved exclusively for those suffering the effects of trying to conquer property law. They’re spacious, modern and apparently, there are always lots of nice people around to help you out. It seems departmental toilets are the place to be for some support – take note.
Similar to the student centre, there’s a perfect cry space for everyone. Plenty of busy spaces for the non-shy criers, quiet rooms for private weepers, secluded toilets so that even the medics with the biggest egos can cry safely undiscovered once they realise no one’s really that sympathetic about how difficult their degree is. Additionally, the coffee lady is a babe and will definitely cheer you up with kind words and cakes when you’re down. Also, chances are if you’re crying here you’ll feel reassured that most of the pretentious humanities students who annoy you dare not step foot inside.
Lots of nooks and crannies to cry in in peace, and beautiful light on the upper floors in the evenings to romanticise an academically inspired weep. Loses points however for the fact that the café is a bit of a trek from the library and snacks are prohibited in most of the building.
In class ?/10
Honestly, maverick play. The contextual factors for this one are simply too great to try and summarise. Obviously crying in remote classes this year is expected and understandable, but pre- and post- pandemic, during in person classes this is a power move. If you have given it a go, let us know and tell us how it went via the Tab London Instagram.