5. The Unused Top or Bottom of a Stairwell
Pros: Privacy, aesthetics
Cons: Drafty, echoey, not accessible
Maybe your prof told you there’s no extension for your assignment. Maybe your card was declined even though all you wanted were some pizza buns. Whatever the scenario, a safe and private place to have a quick frustrated cry is just an extra turn around the staircase! Trent’s architecture affords a lot of quirky disused corners. The downsides of crying in a stairwell are many: dust, the hard concrete, the cold seeping in through cracks around the doors. Also, if you haven’t mastered the art of the Silent Cry, people might start thinking that staircase is haunted.
4. A Bathroom Stall
Pros: Sense of security
Cons: Some of the unsavoury things that live in said bathrooms
You’re going about your merry way when a rumble of trouble stops you in your tracks. A claw of hot dread grips your guts, and you run to the place where you feel safe: the bathroom. Whether it’s a burrito hurricane or an actual hurricane, the bathroom is a safe shelter for our scared, shaking animal selves. The bathroom has an almost magical way of making us feel safe. The toilet has seen us at our worst and continues to support us. Best of all, there’s an unspoken code of honour among people sharing a public bathroom. No one’s going to judge, because we’ve all been there. If you haven’t cried in a bathroom, it’s probably because you’ve ruthlessly suppressed your feelings until you’re emotionally numb. Bonus: the Student Center has multi-stall gender neutral bathrooms, so you no longer need feel guilty about taking a single-room stall from a trans student who just needs to pee!
3. Down by the River
Pros: Peaceful, Pretty
Cons: Pretty COLD in winter
Maybe you had a rough shift at work, maybe the financial aid office is giving you the hassles, and you just need to let the stress leak out through your eyes. Sit by the banks of the Otonabee and feel its flow wash away your troubles. Maybe an Otonabee frog will reveal themselves as a progressive prince, no beastality required, which will be the start of a beautiful relationship, and the power of love will magically make all your problems disappear! Fantasy aside, Trent is smack dab in the middle of some beautiful nature, a fact you might not appreciate in winter as you trudge the slippery bricks on the same old route to class. So go ahead, cry by the river while the weather is still nice. There’s research to support that time in nature is good for our mental health. Trees are very sympathetic listeners.
2. Wrapped in a blanket burrito, watching your favourite movie/ TV show
Pros: the Coziest™
Cons: Roommates might get sick of listening to showtunes
Les Misérables makes me très miserable, but in the most uplifting way. I’ve probably contributed over 50 views to the 20th Anniversary Concert edition on YouTube. There’s nothing like wrapping a blanket around yourself to simulate a hug and engrossing yourself in the lives of fictional people. We all get lonely sometimes. It can be especially rough if it’s your first time away from home. The temptation to hide from the world and hibernate until spring can be strong. This is the ideal way to escape from the stressful, scary world of essays and group projects. Just don’t shut out the real world too much. The characters of Friends are nice, but they’re not really your friends.
1. On a Counsellor’s Couch
I’m not being paid to say this (God, I wish). This is just a recommendation, based on my personal experience. If you find yourself crying a lot, and your grades and/ or friendships and/or ability to shower are deteriorating, then it might be time to get help. Crying in front of a counsellor SUCKS. You have to book a session weeks in advance, and then when the time comes you can’t explain what’s the matter because you’re busy crying.
According to the Counselling Services website, they’ve changed the way they run services, and now take walk-ins for your first appointment (between 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.). This is great! There’s also helplines like Good2Talk or Four County Crisis because mental health crises have no respect for office hours.
Don’t expect to get deep into your childhood troubles with your mother with Trent counselling. For one, Freudian psychoanalysis is no longer the fashion. Also, Trent doesn’t have enough counsellors to be able to do that with all the students who need help. Instead, expect some small, achievable steps to recovery. Whether that’s getting a doctor’s appointment to get prescribed medication, working with Student Accessibility Services to get accommodations on your course work, looking at helpful online resources like anxietybc.com or the I.M. Well app, or joining a peer support group. They can help you find solutions that meet your specifics needs.
Everyone cries. Did I cry while writing this? You heckin’ bet I did, because I was reminded that no matter how alone you feel, we’re all in this together. People care. Times get better. Emotions are okay!