Ten places to cry on the UMW campus, ranked (a retrospective on freshman year)

Disclaimer: contrary to this list’s tone, I am a generally emotionally stable person.

  1. The women’s bathroom on the third floor of Combs Hall. This one is a calm, comforting, more-or-less clean space. The real draw, though, is that it allows young English majors to take refuge in the imagined idea that at least they’re crying in their field of studies. “I’m surrounded by literary studies in my time of woe,” they can think pretentiously. 
  2. The bushes behind Campus Walk, directly to the right of Lee Hall. Yeah, this one was improvised, which is why I’m giving it points for creativity. It was the last day of freshman Welcome Week, I felt embarrassed about crying in public, so I hid back there and called Gene, opening the call with “Hi, I’m crying in the bushes.” Not my proudest moment. Not a bad story, either.
  3. Your academic advisor’s office. On one hand: Dr. Scanlon is one of the most eloquent and encouraging people I’ve ever met, and her office is well-decorated and comfortable. On the other, here’s a scene. I say: “I’m getting up at eight tomorrow to go to office hours.” My suitemates, simultaneously, reply: “Are you going to cry this time?” The moral of the story: don’t be like me.
  4. The staircase leading from the gym to Arrington. This happened because my Lingustics 101 professor told me immersion-based language education was screwed up. In a Canvas comment. As #3 covertly establishes, sometimes I cry when authority figures are nice to me! The sun was shining and it was pleasantly cold. Frankly a good and cleansing time; a positive on-campus crying experience.
  5. The little benches behind Combs, by the broken sundial. It’s kind of like crying in the bathroom of Combs but more picturesque. More poetic. It makes you feel as if you’re a character in a Victorian novel and your fiancé has just thrown you over. 
  6. Your dorm room. Points off for originality, but nobody can claim this is not a reasonable and comforting place to cry. I can make tea whenever I want and make bad decisions involving snacks. Why do I leave this place again? 
  7. A hall-style shower. A pretty boring choice, but the level of anonymity and midrange privacy it provides, especially towards the middle of the night, makes it a practical one. Last year, the one time I stooped to this was made slightly cursed by the fact that 1. All the Russell showers feel a little bit like someone’s been murdered in them, and 2. A fire alarm went off shortly after. 
  8. The parking lot behind Dupont. There’s a very easy way to avoid this one: when you end a relationship, don’t do it right outside the HCC. Was freshman year me okay?
  9. The steps of Combs. I don’t actually remember why this happened. But I wonder if I’ll have covered every base of Combs by graduation.
  10. The women’s bathroom on the top floor of the University Center. This one’s just kind of boring. Boo hoo, who hasn’t cried before, after or during, a meal. Nobody cares. Also they’re nowhere as nice as Combs.

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