ITHACA—In a stunning reversal of university policies and practices, Cornell has finally taken action to address the allegations that Cornell students disproportionately experience depression, compared to their peers at other colleges. It’s no secret that many Cornellians are overwhelmed, stressed, and/or depressed, and for decades the student body has appealed to the school to get their mental health needs met, to no avail. Hell, take a look around campus and you’ll see just how bad it’s become. Like four out of every ten kids you see looks like Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh and those are the ones who leave their rooms!
All of these kids are clearly not getting what they want, but on February 13th, all of that will change with the first clear acknowledgement from Cornell that they see their depressed students. On Saturday, Cornell will host a virtual concert, but not with just any artist. Not with an artist whose music requires seamless brain chemistry to enjoy, but with the patron saint of depressed people under the age of 30: Phoebe Bridgers, whose music is most compatible with breakups, mourning, and a Prozac prescription.
Hot on the heels of the Grammy-nominated Punisher, Bridgers is bringing her angelic voice, charming instrumentals, and emotionally-devastating lyrics to the laptop screens of Cornell students. Long before your QAnon-loving uncle was on Facebook posting his outrage at her guitar smashing, Bridgers was making a name for herself in the Indie scene with her poignant musings, providing adolescents with a soul-crushing soundtrack for the lows of young adulthood. As she makes her meteoric rise, Bridgers has an ever expanding discography that while quite popular with many other groups, seems to be loved most fervently by one group: bummed out motherfuckers. Joining the ranks of Buying Houseplants, Not Folding Their Laundry, and Staring At The Ceiling, Listening To Phoebe Bridgers has become one of the favorite activities among depressed people (ousting and replacing Listening To Bon Iver in the process). Across the vast spectrum of Sad Boys, the sharp pain of her music hits in a different way when the listener has hit a low point in life and is unfortunately able to relate to “Motion Sickness”..
Cornell enlisting Bridgers is a unique moment in which an unflinching, faceless monolith gave its mentally ill little tuition-payers something they like for once: an artist all depressed people love. In fact, if Phoebe sings “Chinese Satellite,” it might be the university’s most successful mental health initiative to date. It’s truly historic to think we not only get to witness Cornell acknowledge mental health needs among students in a preemptive way for a change but do so with a customized concert and Q&A with one of the finest artists for the emotionally unstable today.