The Definitive Guide to Crying on Campus

Art by Rose Dixon-Campbell


Everyone needs a cry once in a while. And whether you’ve failed your supplementary exam, your ex has started dating someone else in your pod, you’re drunk and Kebaba is closed, or you’ve once again forgotten to check the prices at Harry Hartog’s before reaching the register, there’s plenty of reasons to cry on campus. So, we’ve teamed-up to provide you with our hard-won knowledge, rating places to cry on campus. While the first two criteria, ‘privacy’ and ‘cleanliness,’ are self-explanatory, the third – ‘vibe’ – is about the je ne sais quoi of a spot. An inexplicable warmth or cozy comfort; the feeling you could be watching yourself cry in a movie; that you’re somehow suddenly connected to a hidden beating heart of campus; or that you’ve become a character in a Donna Tartt novel about to experience an eerie, irrevocable epiphany…


ANU Sport


It’s been a bad week. Uber eats and energy drinks have done little to stave off crushing feelings of emptiness. Hot girl summer seems a million miles away. With great (and admirable) mental fortitude, you wrestle on a sports bra and source a pair of questionably clean leggings. You head to the gym in a monstrous mood, trying to sell yourself on that whole ‘happy workout endorphins’ thing. You shuffle a playlist and pray for the runner’s high to take the pain away. And then, because you couldn’t change the song in time, you find your eyes streaming, running at 13 speed to Death Cab For Cutie. On the upside, if you go hard enough, people will just think you’re like, really sweaty.


Privacy: 1/5

Cleanliness: 2.5/5

Vibe: 3/5

Marie Raey Gender Neutral Bathrooms 


While (in)famous for their use for sexual activity, the Gender Neutral Bathrooms are incredibly flexible due to their privacy and equal accessibility. Indeed, you could say they are well-suited and flexible for excreting all kinds of bodily fluids.


Privacy: 5/5

Cleanliness: 2.5/5

Vibe: 0.5/5



An Undisclosed Abandoned Building at an Undisclosed Location on Campus


It’s the third day I’ve slept less than three hours. The sun is starting to peak over the horizon. It’s been another all-nighter. Two science students are hunched over desks in a shabby, musty-smelling classroom of a building constructed in the 70s—an architectural dark age. You wouldn’t even notice it even if you walked straight past. The hideous building is a haven for a tiny group of poor students working at cursed hours of the morning with alarming regularity. The blue glare of a computer screen lights up my gaunt, mascara-smeared face. My thesis remains unwritten. It is due in three hours. Another tear rolls down a well-worn path on my cheek. 


Privacy: 5/5

Cleanliness: 3/5

Vibe: 5/5



Sullivan’s Creek Table


Monday Week Eleven. A shit weekend with your not-boyfriend is followed by an even shitter day full of text message arguments and watery eyes. You agree to meet up, to talk things through. Between listening to him (“I don’t like when you tell me that I hurt your feelings”) and speaking yourself (“but this is how you made me feel”), walking becomes too great a challenge. You sit down at a table, one of those generic forest green ones found in all public parks.


He finally says he’s sorry for trying to ditch you to go meet his mates at the pub immediately after you have sex. He’s sorry he made you cry after he’d been away for two weeks and he’s sorry that after meeting your father for the first time he sought to use your home and bed (and body) as a hotel room. Then he says he knows now why he did these things. He has no feelings for you: he never has and he never will.


At the table with attached wooden chairs you tuck your knees up to your chest and stare at your feet. He tells you that it’s not your fault, that you’ve been perfect to him and you are perfect, but that he just doesn’t feel anything. You cry. Then, two hours later, you attend a study session for your exam tomorrow. Then, after that, you finish writing a paper. Then you go home and cry again.


Privacy: 0.5/5

Cleanliness: 4/5

Vibe: 3.5/5

Chifley Library 


No matter the floor, Chifley Library should be avoided by crying aficionados. While at first glance promising, the bookable study rooms are too fishbowl-ey for proper privacy. And the bathrooms are too dirty for comfort. Their only positive feature is the motion-sensored lights which allow you to cry to your heart’s content, perched in a dark cubicle, warning you to muffle yourself with a wad of toilet paper when the lights flicker on as another patron enters. (But you haven’t known pain until you’ve left the bathroom and run into the cleaning staff who’ve patiently been waiting for you to finish your teary sesh.)


Privacy: 1/5

Cleanliness: 0.5/5

Vibe: 0/5



Australian Centre on China in the World Gardens


The courtyard of this building is so lovely. So peaceful. So tranquil. It’s the perfect place to sob while listening to Sufjan Stevens. It’s far enough from Daley Rd that if your friends see you on snapmaps they’ll be concerned, but not concerned enough where they feel the need to start checking up on you. At night there is just the right amount of lighting, enough that you feel safe but still dim to hide how tragic you look when you inevitably cave and post a crying selfie on your private story. Refreshments are provided by the sprinklers that are running 24/7. The mindfully designed feng shui puts your mind at ease. On the walk home you’ll be so distracted by passels of possums that by the time you get to your res hall, you’ll have forgotten about why you were crying in the first place.


Privacy: 4.5/5 (sometimes couples come here to make out)

Cleanliness 5/5

Vibe: 4/5

Uni Ave 


Nothing beats a full blown tanty in the middle of Kambri. Lose the inhibitions and let the people know you’re crying. Dress the part by letting your mascara run down your face! You’re in the middle of all the hustle and bustle and you get to enjoy Telstra Tower and the mountains in the background—what could be more fun!? Anyway, no one will notice anyway because they’re busy running to their next class or paying for a $6 coffee.


Privacy: 0/5 or 5/5 depending on your showmanship

Cleanliness: 5/5

Vibe: 4/5

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