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.
HO PLAZA—Cornell Counseling & Psychological Services made waves this week when the psychological services department unveiled their new slogan “What Are You Gonna Do? Cry About It?” The motto change comes as a surprise for many, who for years have known the slogan of CAPS to be “Dang, That Sucks, Good Luck With That Though.”
“Oh yeah, we’re completely revamping,” said CAPS director Alecia Sundsmo. “Scheduling is going to be a breeze for all students who need an appointment with a professional to discuss their mental health. Before the rebrand, we would simply tell them that they’re on a waiting list indefinitely and just kinda hope they’d forget. Now, we just tell them that we have no appointments available and if they ask any questions we look them directly in the face and ask them if they’re going to cry about it like the big baby they are.”
Despite the director’s positivity, CAPS’ rebrand has not been universally adored. “The new policies at the health center are a joke!” exclaimed Lauren Smythe, ‘23. “They used to pretend that they could help me, but now whenever I send a follow-up email about my appointment they send back a video of the staff asking if I also need a diaper change. One of them even called me, started making chicken sounds, and said I was a “little pissbaby.” What does that even mean?”
Ms. Sundsmo declined further comment, but CAPS issued the following press release regarding the policy change: “Aw, did someone’s feelings get hurt? Is someone sad now? Does someone need their mommy? Pop a Lexapro and fuck off, we were never going to help you to begin with.”
HO PLAZA—Cornell administrators announced Wednesday morning that the university will be renewing Cornell Health’s premium subscription to WebMD for next year. The online, publicly available health reference service has been the staff’s primary diagnostic tool for many years, according to university officials.
“Well, we can’t exactly ask the licensed staff members to know every single possible medical condition,” Cornell Health Director Amy Richards noted. “Do you know how hard that would be? It’s way easier to just use a freely accessible search engine that might get it right, like, some of the time.”
Students have really enjoyed the services at Cornell Health ever since they started relying exclusively on staff members’ ability to type symptoms into a search bar.
“I went in to get help with a tick bite,” commented Ajit Patel ‘21. “As it turns out, it wasn’t a tick bite at all! I had absolutely nothing to worry about, since the Google Image results looked only kinda like the thing on my arm. But the nurse practitioner did seem slightly concerned that I might have Eastern Equine Encephalitis because of my recent headaches.”
Cornell’s pre-med population has benefited greatly from Cornell Health’s dependence on WebMD, too. “Yeah, I saw a physician’s assistant for a sore throat the other day,” said Miranda Mercado ‘22. “It was awesome! The PA showed me the search results for ‘sore throat’ and asked me to help him figure out what was wrong with me; I thought whooping cough sounded cool, so we went with that. Such good training for medical school!”
In addition to WebMD, Cornell Health plans on investing in more polio vaccinations, iron lungs, and iodine tablets—all those modern medical marvels for the peskiest of 21st century ailments.
CORNELL HEALTH—On Wednesday, Cornell Health officials released a statement to the university suggesting that students contract flu now to get it out of their system before prelim season.
“We just think that you might as well get that out of your way before the semester really picks up,” says Kathy Grammer, Cornell Health official. “I mean, you could get a flu shot, but honestly you might as well bite the bullet now so we won’t run out again.”
Students across campus, amidst lack of flu vaccines available, have taken steps to breathe into each other’s mouths and share pong cups in order to get the flu in and out before things ramp up. “A couple of my friends got together last weekend and soaked in the freezing rain to really get that virus rolling,” stated Jamie Carlton ‘20.
The statement additionally suggests that students start getting pregnant, as Cornell Health is running low on free condoms.
CORNELL HEALTH—President Martha Pollack officially marked the opening of the new Cornell Health building this week by christening it with a ceremonial STD test.
“By taking this symbolic STD test, I am happy to usher in a new and improved healthcare system here at Cornell,” President Pollack remarked before informing the registered nurse that she did not want her parents to be contacted about the screening.
Avoiding eye contact with those attending the ceremony, the relatable president took a urine cup from the shelf, tacitly wrote her name on the side, and shuffled off to a bathroom to complete the task.
“Regardless of the results, I am proud to lead our campus towards greater sexual health and wellness,” Pollack added, making a futile attempt to hide the sample while asking under her breath where it belonged.
Pollack concluded the christening by wishing the entire university happiness and good health in the years to come, making sure to grab a purple condom on her way out.