Opinions & Features Workshop (Oct 26th)

Illustration by Megan Koch

Five best places for a breakdown on campus

By Mihret Amdu Yirgeta, October 29 2021—

As we move from midterm-season to preparing-for-finals season with all the assignments and group projects in between, we are all due for a mental breakdown. Quite frankly, if you have made it this far without having one, I am very impressed with you — I’ve had a few already. While there is a general ominous sense of dread and doom associated with them, breakdowns can sneak up on you at the most inopportune times.

Finding a place to comfortably break down and have a good sob before packing up and going to your next class can be difficult. Fortunately, I am here to suggest five of the best places on campus to have a breakdown, in no particular order.

Social Sciences Lounge:

First on this list is the Social Sciences Lounge — you know, that area in the Social Sciences building with all the couches. This place is particularly great if you are in between classes and are suddenly gripped by the urge to flop down and sob. Comfy couches line the hallway and there is a Cinnzeo there for a post-breakdown coffee and cinnamon bun.

It’s not particularly great in terms of privacy — breaking down here would be a very public spectacle. However, you might encounter a concerned Arts student on their break between classes, willing to lend a shoulder to cry on. Whatever happens, you can be sure that you will receive many stares, either from sympathetic students who understand the struggle or the overworked souls who are afraid they will be next.

TFDL Stairwell:

Ah yes, the Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) — the congregation of students doing assignments, online classes or cramming before exams. It must come as no surprise that the next place on my list is in this building. 

The TFDL stairwell is an excellent spot to have a breakdown. It’s right inside your anxiety trigger — the library — and it is very empty most of the time. It’s heavily soundproofed so nobody will know that you are curled up in the fetal position on the floor of the stairwell and the acoustics are so that the sounds of your heavy sobs will reverberate around you. How fun! Just beware of those students who might come in because they don’t have the patience to wait for the elevator. 

TFDL Bathrooms:

Yes, I know, TFDL twice in a row. It is not my fault this building radiates more anxiety than a caffeinated rabbit. It is the place most students go to for schoolwork after all.

Technically, any bathroom on campus could work in a pinch for a sudden breakdown. However, the TFDL bathrooms are elite. They have the same proximity advantage as the stairwell and tend to be empty often enough. Any student who walks into a bathroom in TFDL and sees a breakdown will understand and give you space. They also have the added advantage of having mirrors, giving them a cinematic quality. This means you can have your movie moment right after your breakdown. Just picture it, leaning on the sink with mascara running down your face — real or imagined — and red-rimmed eyes, telling yourself to get it together. You can probably get an award at an indie movie festival for that scene alone — that should cheer you up.

Rozsa Centre:

This one is a bit of a curveball, I know. It’s just that it’s a very nice building and usually not that packed. It also has the added bonus of having a performance hall. If you’re lucky, people will think you are a drama major just finishing up a performance. You can leave with your dignity intact and possibly flattered that people think you could be an actor. That’s an upside, right?

Trees near the C-Train station:

The last place on this list is an interesting one. It’s outdoors so it might not be the most convenient, especially as we are coming closer and closer to winter. We don’t want frozen tear tracks on our faces, do we? However, it can be private for the most part and incredibly convenient for those commuters who just want to have a quick little breakdown before going home. Better to leave the negative energy at its source, after all.

The trees are also great for dramatic purposes — crying in the woods is very Twilight-era, teen movie-esque. Additionally, students passing by will hear your wailing from the trees without seeing you and that adds to the spooky season vibes of October. Definitely make sure you try this spot for your next breakdown.

There you have it, my five best places on campus for a mental breakdown. If you can think of others please, share them with each other. It is very important to have the support of your fellow students during these trying times.

This article is part of our humour section.


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