Tried and tested: The best (and worst) places to cry on UoN’s campus

Top tips on where to host your imminent breakdown this exam season!!

It’s that time of year again: breakdown exam season. If you’re not buried under coursework, you’re probably drowning in revision, whilst the rest of the country’s out at pubs and restaurants drinking in the sun. Despite warmer days on the horizon, the atmosphere on campus remains bleak with deadlines looming overhead. Emotional breakdowns are imminent and all around.

A good crying-session is pretty much a necessity for most of us this month, especially after the year we’ve had with Covid. It’s been claimed by health experts that having a good, soppy cry every once in a while is an ideal form of therapy, as it can help to reduce stress and acts as a release for pent up emotions. I personally recommend crying at least twice a week if you can spare the time, especially throughout exam season.

Luckily for you, not only am I prone to a mental breakdown, but these also regularly occur on campus, so I’ve compiled a list of the best (and worst) places to become an emotional wreck, for when you can’t hold back the tears any longer.

What even is this??

George Green (4/10)

The architecture at George Green Library has always reminded me of a kind of metal space-ship, meaning I found it one of the more strange and hostile environments to cry in. However, it does have the upside of newly added space dividers between each of the desks to protect from Covid, which offer a bit of privacy when coursework gets to be too much and you can’t hold your tears back any longer.

Mooch (5/10 based on your timing)

Depending on the time of day, your crying-session is going to vary massively at Mooch. If you’re early enough to avoid the crowds then it can be quite a pleasurable experience. (As pleasurable as crying in a public space can be, anyway.)

However, after about 5pm you might want to head off home to cry in private, because weeping in the corner of a lively bar filled with people downing pints and knocking back shots is about the worst kind of breakdown a person can have.

Highfields on a nice day = a solid 8/10

Highfields Park (6.5/10)

If the weather looked like it were going to clear up I would definitely rate the UoN campus park higher. But since icy temperatures, gale-force winds, and torrential rain are always a possibility for the UK any month of the year, Highfields has lost a couple of points.

Whilst crying dramatically laid out on a soft section of grass in the sun sounds almost poetic, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to be able to do this – even in June. The weather’s just too unpredictable.

Portland Coffee Co. (9/10)

Crying quietly to yourself with a warm cup of coffee and soft music playing in the background may be the most ideal situation on this list. The only downside to having your breakdown in the Portland cafe is the fact that it’s usually packed with people trying to revise, so you might get shot a few dirty looks if you’re sobbing a bit too loud. Otherwise, this is definitely my personal favourite! Plus the staff are pretty nice; they might even offer you a sympathy discount.

POV: you’re in the study room. Not a human in sight!!

Hallward Library (7/10)

The first floor of Hallward is definitely too open to have a satisfactory meltdown in. Its floor-to-ceiling windows offer very little privacy.

But if you have the self-awareness to predict when your breakdown is roughly going to occur, then pre-booking a study pod is highly recommended. Not only can you then cry in total isolation but your wailing sobs can be as loud and harrowing as you need, which is extremely necessary if you’re having a particularly rough term.

In a lecture (1/10)

By far the worst place on this list to have your breakdown. Of course, if your lecture is just on Teams, crying is an almost satisfying break from the mundanity of staring at a laptop for an hour. The tears kind of moistened my screen-fried eyes. But if your lecture is in person, well, your emotional meltdown is going to be a lot more public.

I would not recommend bursting into tears mid-way through your lecturer’s speech, considering neither they, nor the other students desperately trying to take rushed exam notes, will be very pleased by your distraction.

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