Stepping Up: An Unofficial Ranking Of CB’s Stairs

As anyone who’s ever experienced the chaotic “Wacky Wednesday” schedule will tell you, CB has a lot of stairs. But between indoor and outdoor, hidden and on-display, not all CB staircases are created equal. So which of CB’s stairwells reigns supreme and which needs to step it up? I’m here to answer that question, with […]

Andrew Arias (’25) poses with his favorite CB stairs

As anyone who’s ever experienced the chaotic “Wacky Wednesday” schedule will tell you, CB has a lot of stairs. But between indoor and outdoor, hidden and on-display, not all CB staircases are created equal. So which of CB’s stairwells reigns supreme and which needs to step it up? I’m here to answer that question, with my definitive ranking of any and all stairs at CB.

#9: The Stairs by the 500s Lockers: Claustrophobic Nightmare

It should come as no surprise that this stairwell comes in last. It has absolutely no redeeming qualities, and anyone who disagrees with this is simply wrong. These stairs are so terrible — I don’t even know where to start. For one, this is by far the tightest stairwell on campus. Even when it isn’t stuffed to the gills with sardines people trying to get to class, — a rare occurrence — I still feel like the walls are closing in on me. Not to mention, these are the steepest stairs at CB. Never once have I taken them and not felt like I was going to face plant in front of dozens of my peers. I only use this stairwell when absolutely necessary, and it’s still too often. 

#8: 300s Stairs: Crowded and Cramped

While these stairs may not be the worst at CB, they aren’t without their shortcomings. As Ian Fung (‘25) explains, “it’s always kind of packed, and… cramped on the edges.” While they may not be as claustrophobic as #9, these stairs are some of the most crowded on campus, constantly jam-packed with students heading to the 300s, 400s, or 700s. Every time I take these stairs (which, fortunately, is not very often), I am shoved multiple times by impatient peers in their rush to class.

#7: 100s Bathroom Stairs: Mirror Mirror on the Wall

In addition to being the ones I take most often to my least favorite class, these stairs have a lot of the same issues as the ones connecting the 300s, 400s, and 700s — they’re constantly packed, and I can’t use them during passing period without being jostled by and pressed against my fellow students. However, these stairs do regain some points for their proximity to one of my favorite bathrooms on campus.

#6: Weight Room Stairs: Working Out While Walking Up

Due to the nature of their location, these stairs are typically deserted — after all, why would anyone want to go to the weight room of their own volition? While the fact that they are certainly some of the steepest stairs on campus loses them a point or 12, I can’t help but respect their commitment to staying on-brand. They are nothing if not consistent, and we love that for them.

#5: Admissions Stairs: Hidden and Hollow

Having discovered these stairs mere days ago, I think it’s safe to say they are far from the most prominent at CB. However, they are even more tucked-away and deserted than the stairs at the front of the school, and the carpet makes for a nice change of pace in this realm of concrete and metal.

#4: 100s Non-Bathroom Stairs: Just Stairs

Admittedly, I have very little to say about these stairs. They rank towards the middle for a reason — they serve their purpose as stairs. Nothing more, nothing less. They aren’t crowded, tight, or steep enough to rank further down on the list, but aside from their location at the front of the school, they also don’t do anything to earn themselves a higher position. They’re stairs! And that’s okay.

#3: 300s Bathroom Stairs: Vibing and Vertical

While they may not be the best stairs at CB, the ones connecting the 300s and 400s near the bathrooms undoubtedly have immaculate vibes. From the bathroom access, to the proximity to the Mary Lawn — arguably CB’s nicest lawn, with its lush grass and artfully placed caution tape — to the relative lack of a crowd most of the time, these stairs have it all. These also happen to be the stairs I take up to Room 407, where I currently sit as I compose this masterpiece of an article — perhaps the best room on campus, home to my favorite teacher (*clears throat* I am completely safe. I am not a hostage. I have not received any monetary compensation which may have skewed the contents of this article). 407/10 stairs.

#2: Hidden 600s Stairs: Ominous and Empty

These stairs, located at the end of the 500s and 600s wings, often seem hidden. I, for one, didn’t even know they existed for my first few months at CB. As a result, they’re nearly always empty– a great attribute for a stairwell to have. Andrew confides that “it’s always quiet and it’s a great place to cry… I mean… to just sit at. Alone.” And, as someone who avoids human contact as much as possible, I would normally put these at #1 solely for that reason. However, I am of the firm belief that these stairs are hiding something. Why is finding out about them months into freshman year practically a rite of passage for CB students? Why are they always empty? Why does Andrew cry there alone? And don’t even get me started on the ominous writing in them (pictured above). While this stairwell still ranks high for being spacious and limiting the necessity of interaction with my peers, I can’t get over the feeling that something is off.

#1: 600s Stairs: The Chicken Little Stairs

Of all the stairs at CB, the ones at the end of the 600s wing, near the side parking lot, undoubtedly come out on top, and anyone who disagrees with that is simply kidding themselves. In the words of Dylan Soltani (‘25), “the ceilings are really high, and it makes me feel safe, even though I know that it could collapse and kill me at any moment.” And Dylan brings up a good point here — why should this stairwell rank so high, when it spent months of last year out of commission, due to its collapse under the weight of our expectations, I mean, the rain? I, personally, choose to believe that the reason we lost the use of these stairs for so long was because we were unworthy of them — we needed to spend a few months doubling back and taking roundabout routes to our math classes in order to truly appreciate them. As Alex Liu (‘25) puts it, “the fact that [they] collapsed makes [them] the most stable thing on campus.”

Not everyone may be the biggest fan of CB’s stairs — Dylan emphatically describes how “We should abolish all stairs, and use escalators, so we can get that WALL-E lifestyle. The future isn’t stairs, I’ll tell you that”. And sometimes they “definitely look terrible,” as pointed out by Jack Lai (‘25). But like it or not, until CB nixes the math and foreign language departments, we’re stuck with them. So we might as well, at the very least, be sure to use the best stairs possible.

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