THURSTON AVENUE—In light of accusations that Cornell discriminates against students who disclose mental health struggles in their college applications, students and administrators were excited to finally have a parsimonious explanation for the school’s well-known gaiety.
“Friends at other schools always ask me why students at Cornell seem so happy and satisfied with life, and I’ve never been able to provide a satisfactory explanation—the previous best idea I’d had was the decent hockey team,” said Ramona Ortiz ‘22. “Now I know that all it takes to keep everyone bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is turning away any applicants who are open about their struggles with mental health!”
Cornell, widely considered a joyous and healthy university with no need for novel safety measures specifically designed to mitigate mental health breakdowns, has denied allegations of discrimination. Instead, the school has suggested its bevy of mental health resources are responsible for its positive national reputation vis-à-vis student wellbeing.
“While we cannot speak to the specifics of our admissions processes, Cornell’s psychiatrists—yes, that’s definitely plural—are committed to assisting the student body through any challenges they may face,” said President Martha Pollack in a prepared statement. “Cornell’s mental health care network, in which students always feel their needs have been met and complaints of unreasonable wait times are few and far between, is our crowning achievement in reducing depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues on campus. What other rationale could there be for the university’s low incidences of burn-out and despair?”
At press time, President Pollack suggested perhaps Ithaca’s warm and inviting climate could also contribute to Cornelians’ cheeriness.
CORNELL HEALTH—In a surprising display of thoughtfulness from Cornell’s mental health services, CAPS has begun to suggest that overwhelmed students take a year off in between every lecture.
“We see so many kids needlessly stressing out about their grades, and the pandemic, and literally everything else,” says counselor Matthew Greene. “It’s a good idea for them to take some time to clear their heads, and get a bit of real-world experience before learning the next half of that one derivation. Also, it gives me less work to do.”
Noelle Lovin ’TBD credits her “totally chill vibes” to the massive number of gap years she has taken. “I’ve been here since 1974,” she says, evading any questions about why she still looks 20 and what the suspicious red liquid in her water bottle is. “It’s so nice to take all these super tough classes at my own pace. The financial aid office won’t give me any more money, and one time they tried to kill me with a wooden stake, but like, it’s all good, man. I mean, I’m still here.”
“Of course, not every student has the immortality or stacks of cash necessary to take that many gap years,” says Greene, when asked about program alternatives. “But we here at CAPS are dedicated to improving all mental health on campus, including those who can’t pay my salary for thirty years. Have you considered downloading a meditation app instead?”
At press time, Lovin could be found skimming through a worn copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, to prepare for her next essay due in seven years’ time.
WEST CAMPUS—After feeling ill at ease for close to a week, area student Maya Yuan ‘23 realized with a start that the unfamiliar emotions she was experiencing may be attributable to hope.
“Things have been weird lately,” said Yuan, her eyes darting restlessly around the room. “The weather is getting nicer, all my friends and relatives are getting vaccinated, I’m in the home stretch of my classes, I got an internship lined up for the summer… something’s got to give, right? No way things can be this, like, normal.”
With the Covid-19 pandemic in its waning days, there are many signs that campus life and society at large may soon pivot back to what once was before the world ground to a halt in March 2020. This has left many students feeling optimistic for the future, a foreign sentiment for over a year. Yuan, like many of her peers, says that she’ll believe it when she sees it.
“It’s like that moment thirty minutes before the end of a movie when it looks like the good guys solved the problem and destroyed the villain,” said Yuan as she suddenly jumped up and began pacing around the room. “It’s looking good, but you know that they wouldn’t put an extra thirty minutes in if nothing else was going to happen. Maybe it’s the new variants, maybe it’s anti-vaxxers, I don’t know. There just, there has to be something.”
At press time, Yuan was seen reading an email from the Cornell administration about campus returning to Code Green and proceeding to bite her fingernails nervously.
BECKER HOUSE—Once again approaching the midpoint of the semester, students are faced with the question: How am I actually doing? The answer for most undergrads, all too stubborn to admit to their innate and undeniable blemishes, proves to be simply “really good,” despite the fact that several recently consumed lubricant out of curiosity.
When approached for a comment on the situation at hand, Joshua Goto ‘23 responded “Y’know, it’s really not as bad as you think. In fact, if you partake in sampling it in a group setting, it’s almost a puff-puff-pass situation, just without any sort of intoxicating element.”
As sobering as savoring personal lubricant may be, Goto’s actions spoke for themselves as he lathered up and gobbled down an oily club cracker, accomplishment and vigor in his eyes. The scene was almost something fresh out of a nature doc, akin to that of a bear consuming freshly caught prey.
Phil Gleason ‘23, Goto’s roommate and sous-chef felt similarly. “At first I was concerned with Joshua’s vehement need to try this lube, but now it’s almost become a house staple,” Gleason noted. “We actually threw out our peanut butter, there’s just no need anymore!”
At press time, the two were seen loitering and vomiting outside of Cornell Health, awaiting a well-oiled recovery.
COLLEGETOWN— Recently, I noticed that Cornell was shutting down the Empathy, Assistance, and Referral Services Peer Counseling Program, on the basis that they could not afford the insurance. And I get it, because I too cannot afford health insurance. But please, I’m begging you, reinstate the peer counseling program, because if my friends come to me now, I will absolutely not be able to keep the secrets they tell me.
Look, it’s not like I don’t respect my friends’ privacy—I absolutely do. And it is precisely because of this that I believe they would be better off venting to a trained volunteer than to me, a blabbermouth drama addict with lips loose enough to sink the Titanic. Do you really want all that gossip, drama and insecurity flowing unfettered through campus? As someone who went to a public middle school, trust me: you do not.
I haven’t even mentioned the absolutely horrendous advice I give to anyone who asks me about their problems. My mind is a series of Trisha Paytas YouTube clips and conspiracy theories. I am not qualified to give life advice to anyone. And yet, the only thing standing between this school and dozens of my friends trying to improve their relationships by following my advice and ghosting their significant others is EARS peer counselling. So let those extremely empathetic, qualified students volunteer their off hours and make campus a better place, because who knows what campus would be like without them?
Now, you may still not be convinced. You may be thinking, wait, there’s no way most people on campus could be as dumb and irresponsible as this guy. I promise you, they are. We’re literally in the middle of a global pandemic, and most of Cornell’s frats held in-person rush. Have you been inside a public bathroom on campus? Did you notice the study rooms in Klarman that got shut down because kids were shooting spitballs everywhere? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
If this article and the petition haven’t convinced you, I have one final offer. Let me sit down and vent to President Pollack for half an hour about my Econ study group dating scandals. I promise, after the first 5 minutes, she’ll do anything to pass me off to those saints at EARS.
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.”
RALEIGH, NC – After four semesters at Cornell, sophomore Rodney Phillip ’23 has at last attained the perfect balance between his academics and personal life by leaving the school altogether and taking a leave of absence.
“It definitely took a few semesters of trial and error to find the best equilibrium,” explained Phillip, while sipping a White Claw from his childhood bedroom. “But now, I think I’ve cracked it, and I’m finally able to put me and my health first.”
The unemployed former student’s new daily routine is filled with luxuries he was unable to accommodate in his schedule as a student, such as waking up at 4 PM, playing League of Legends for six hours, and even showering.
“At school I tried eating healthy, but I barely had time to plan for meals and go grocery shopping,” he added. “Now my food preparation routine is way easier: my Mom leaves lunch and dinner outside my room every day.”
Phillips’ new-and-improved lifestyle was rounded out each day by falling asleep in front of his computer after crashing from three cans of Redbull.
At a place like Cornell, it’s important to stay in touch with yourself and make sure you’re taking care of you; self-care can take many forms, each valid and each healthy. So if you find yourself alone at a table in the back of a Collegetown sushi restaurant, fists poised, making full eye contact a sake bomb, you are okay. This is absolutely acceptable behavior, if it’s self-care.
It’s hard to refocus on yourself if you’re used to taking care of others first. Explain to your friends that you’re cultivating your own well-being; if they don’t understand, they’re probably toxic and you should cut them out of your life. What friend would stand in the way of you going on mindful walks? Or resting and watching Netflix instead of partying? Or going out alone, shouting ‘bomb bomb bomb,’ and drinking 22 ounces of beer and a buttload of sake?
As you bang on the table, just make sure to show any strangers around you that you have a sake bomb Pinterest board. Then they’ll understand: you do this for you. And if anyone’s getting you down about this super fun hobby, it doesn’t matter. You know that the frothy combination of two pee flavors that you’re guzzling is basically the same thing as a refreshing glass of cucumber water if you say you’re treating yourself.
And just keep in mind that cleansing yourself is part of the process—so if you happen to vomit on the street afterward, that is a-ok. You’re taking care of you.