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Monday, June 17, 2024

Have you ever wept in Weaver, cried near Criser, mourned in the MUB?

We all get sad, and sometimes that emotion shows itself on campus.

Embarrassing as it may seem, there's a certain comfort in knowing you're not alone in feeling down.

The website allows UF students to share their experiences being depressed on or around the UF campus.

The site was created by five UF students who wish only to be known as Worthless Gators or, five guys who self-identify as "stunningly handsome for such a morose bunch" and love "Cathy" comic strips.

Worthless Gators launched the site to show UF students it's all right to feel less than enthusiastic about joining The Gator Nation. The name pays homage to all the other school organizations that use UF's mascot.

"We all were considering the idea of clubs on campus, and we weren't 100 percent behind how they were run," they said. "We felt like everyone expects happiness to be the normal state of being."

Instead, the site gives students an opportunity to share sad stories, photos or music playlists. Although the Worthless Gators run the site, they don't edit user content unless it's spam.

"We wanted the site to be whatever people wanted it to be - we don't edit out sad or funny posts. People are sad in different ways and we want to reflect that."

Recent posts include a photo of Mr. Pickles from "Rugrats" curled in the fetal position on the kitchen floor, evidently in some state of despair, a cartoon strip titled "Three Depressing Stories about Turkeys," and one anonymous student's tale about a breakdown on the Route 118 bus.

The group recently held an event on Turlington Plaza during which 80 students placed pins on a UF map to indicate where they've cried. Students also added songs to a playlist of sad tunes to be featured on the site.

"We wanted people to see it's OK to be sad and to somewhat combat the stigma accompanied with sadness," they said.

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From 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. today, Worthless Gators will be hosting the Despairathon on Turlington Plaza. They'll be giving out CDs of sad songs and suggested walking routes of good crying spots on campus.


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