Ranking places I’ve cried on Queen’s campus

What’s the best spot to have a breakdown?

From Cogro to upper year seminars.
Photo: 
For the past few weeks, I’ve felt the existential dread of graduation creeping up my spine. 
 
I’m an overachiever who has never not had a plan—and for the first time in my life, I feel completely and utterly lost. My newfound anxiety had led me to a few embarrassing breakdowns on Queen’s campus. And, because I won’t stop listening to “20 Something” by SZA and “Nothing New” by Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers, I know more tears are coming. 
 
Here's my comprehensive list, from best to worst, of places I’ve cried on campus. 
 
1. Cogro 
 
Since second year, Cogro has been my go-to coffee shop to work—and cry—at. As a former cash employee, I’m a little biased, but Cogro’s energy has always been incredibly relaxed. 
 
Because Cogro obviously passes the vibe check, it was undoubtedly the best place for me to have my first breakdown of the year. The people working around me were the perfect combination of well-dressed and non-judgmental. I only shed a few tears, but the two girls who did see immediately looked away and started talking about which seasonal drink they were going to order.  
 
Another plus of having a breakdown at Cogro is that there’s a cheddar top secret waiting for you when you’re done. 
 
2. Stauffer Library 
 
Crying at Stauffer is dehumanizing, but because it’s so normalized, you won’t feel out of place. I had a little anxiety attack a few weeks ago that culminated in tears that would not stop flowing for 10 minutes, regardless of the fact I was on the third floor of the library during one of the busiest study sessions I’ve seen all year.  
 
I strangely felt that it was my rite of passage to cry at the library before graduating from Queen’s—so I can check that off my bucket list and hopefully never experience it again. 
 
My saving grace was the fact that everyone was too consumed by their own stress to pay any attention to me. I was invisible in the best way possible, making the breakdown embarrassing, but not too embarrassing to laugh off the next day. 
 
3. Goodes Hall Starbucks
 
If there is one place I feel judged on campus, it’s the Starbucks in Goodes Hall. The line is always out the door—regardless of whether you want a coffee at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. 
 
I’m not going to feed into the stereotypes of Commerce kids, but seeing a flood of business students in suits come down those dreaded stairs as you’re trying to hold in a sob is slightly terrifying. 
 
Other than judgmental glances and too many briefcases to count, the biggest downfall of crying at Goodes is that you won’t get your coffee order quickly, and you’ll have to interact with other students as you try to decipher whose vanilla latte is whose. 
 
4. Upper Year Seminar
  
The absolute worst place to have a breakdown, surpassing even the toxic energy from the Goodes Starbucks, is in an upper-year seminar.
 
I want my peers and professors to see me as the intelligent, academically driven young woman that I am. To me, even one tear shed in the back of a seminar undermines the nuanced points I’ve made in every other class. 
 
Because arts seminars in fourth year are usually around 15 people, there’s no escaping the constant perception of others. The fact that I was masked and my only visible features were my big eyes, welling with tears, only made my vulnerability more pronounced. 
 
If you’re on the cusp of showing emotion and have a seminar approaching, my advice is to skip the class and wait it out in the comfort of your own home—with a pit stop to Cogro for a much-needed slice of cake first.  

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