Top 5 Places to Cry on Campus

We’ve all been there. You tried to do your reading of over 200+ pages in one night, you didn’t comprehend a single word with all of the academic showmanship, you feel like an imposter who doesn’t belong at this school, and you’re on the verge of a breakdown but you don’t want to disturb your roommate or next-door neighbors. COVID has also made it especially difficult to actually get out and do things, so here’s a list of the best places to cry on campus for when you need to get out of your dorm room and sob in relative peace.

  1. The Crum Woods
The Crum Woods, photo courtesy of Grace Griego.

This spot is simply the peak location on all of campus to have a breakdown. You feel far away from campus and the dirt and plants smell really good. You can also look at a squirrel dash past you as you sob openly. Plus, the woods are HUGE so you can definitely find a place for breaking down in private, you can chuck a rock into the river to feel extra dramatic, and when the SEPTA goes past you can scream openly without disturbing the woodland creatures around you. The vibes of these woods are immaculate and simply unbeatable. 10/10.

  1. A BEP Bathroom
Maxine Frank Singer '52 Hall Construction Highlights :: Facilities  Management :: Swarthmore College
Singer Hall, photo courtesy of Grace Griego.

I feel like not that many people have access to BEP (known to underclassmen as Singer Hall) right now so you can definitely find the privacy you’re searching for. Not only does BEP have the best public bathrooms I have ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on, but it also doubles as the perfect place to cry. I love that the stalls go all the way down and there are no gaps for anyone to make eye contact with you. They have really nice soap, and it’s really just like crying in a tiny room that also has a toilet. This also gives a nostalgia factor that reminds me of crying in the bathroom stalls at my high school, which did NOT have nice public bathrooms. Overall 8/10.

  1. On Top of Parrish Hall
View from Parrish, photo courtesy of Grace Griego

I like being tall. I am 5 ft nothing and I really like being in high places. For those who are scared of heights, this may actually also help your breakdown along. The fear may help push out the tears you desperately need to expel from your system. While the wind blows on your face and you can feel the coolness of your tears dripping down your cheeks, you can also look down on everyone and see them as tiny ants. Being up here makes me feel like a deity. Or like the girl from Sky High who can control plants and grows a tree to sit on a roof. Definitely verging more on the public side of things, but still offers enough sanctuary so that you feel comfortable to cry. 7.5/10.

  1. Parrish Porch
View from Parrish Porch, photo courtesy of Grace Griego

This choice is best for those who desire a public show of their breakdown and would like to make those around them both feel uncomfortable and pity them at the same time. As fellow students walk to go and retrieve their mail or packages, you can rock in one of the rocking chairs and be reminded of your childhood. You miss that sense of security and comfort that you’ve lost as an adult, and suddenly you’re openly sobbing in the rocking chair in a fetal position. People may stop and ask if you’re okay, and if you’re craving attention, that’s great. I’m definitely more of a private crier though so for me this is a 6.7/10.

  1. Sharples
Architect Selected for Sharples Dining Hall and Community Commons Project  :: News & Events :: Swarthmore College
Sharples Dining Hall. Photo courtesy of Grace Griego.

Now, this one may be controversial, but it deserves to be on this list. It’s definitely a public place, but the energy this place exudes is insane. When I enter this eating establishment I feel unhinged. I feel unwell. It is the peak crying condition. One time I cried in line here so hard that I coughed like a toddler does when they drink too fast. The next day, Katie, a wonderful woman with a huge heart who works at Sharples as a server, gave me a bag of cough drops and told me to take better care of myself. I love her so much. Definitely one of my best cries on campus. 6.5/10.

Swatties cry a lot and sometimes we need spaces to do that that aren’t our rooms. I hope you give these places a try! Or not — I hope you don’t have to cry in the near future. But if you do, you have a variety of options to choose from now.  


  1. Crum woods is indeed the best, particularly the holly grove. Or the amphitheater! One of my favorites when I was a student. Final best place: my room, wherever I happened to live that year.
    Just thinking of the many decades of Swarthmore tears gives me nostalgia!

  2. Love this. Is the Women’s Resource Center still active? When I was a student the second floor lounge in there was definitely a great space to cry.

  3. grace u are once again the most insightful journalist out there, writing the hard hitting news that everyone is afraid to touch

  4. How do you get on top of Parrish these days? Back in 1978, it was an adventure to sneak up and out along the roof to the widow’s walk up there …..

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