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.
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.
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.
With all of the current hullabaloo surrounding student stress and its discussion in our campus community, I figured it was time for me, a happily stress-free student, to let all of you know I am currently doing great.
While many students find it difficult to manage their social lives, academics, and mental wellbeing, It really hasn’t been too much of a problem for me. I’m actually doing quite well in all of my classes and I feel very loved and supported by my many close friends and family members.
One of the main sources of stress for my fellow upperclassmen is the search for a job out of college. A lot of my friends have told me they find themselves spending hours a day, consumed by neuroticism, sifting through job openings on LinkedIn. I can’t relate to them though, and I just tell them I’m not worried. Something will turn up for sure. I’m a smart guy who works decently hard, and my dad can always get me a job at his company.
People may think being unstressed sounds like a dream come true, but it can actually be very tough to deal with. Just the other weekend, my roommates asked if I wanted to go to Olin and pet puppies with them to relieve stress before prelims. Though I did have my first and only prelim the next day which was all multiple-choice, I felt really good about it so there was no reason for me to go with them.
Well that’s basically it from me folks. I hope my perspective as a student without any stress at all will help you become less stressed, just like I am.
WILLARD STRAIGHT HALL – To address student mental health concerns during prelim season, the Entomology Department has begun hosting animal therapy sessions in Willard Straight Hall with gigantic, droning swarms of bees.
Department chair Bryan Danforth cited the short supply of therapy dogs on campus as inspiration for the idea.“We asked ourselves, ‘Why should students huddle around two or three puppies when they could just be swarmed by literally thousands of fuzzy little bees?’”
Students have received the bees with great enthusiasm. “After a few stings, you start to go entirely numb,” noted Jacob O’Rourke ‘19. “Once my throat closed up, my CS 3110 prelim was the least of my concerns!”
Commenting on the program’s success, Intro to Insect Behavior professor Ken Crawley remarked, “In lecture, my students can barely stay awake, but during these sessions, they’re galloping around the room, flailing their arms frantically in excitement.” Several of Professor Crawley’s students missed their Tuesday prelim due to hospitalization, but he commended their exuberance in the presence of insects.
After one of the bee colonies unexpectedly escaped, the department reassured students across campus that if a swarm of bees enters your 8am lecture, just remember they’re only there to calm and support you.
GREATER TRI-STATE AREA — After frantically packing and driving for five hours straight, Sharon Crane ‘18 arrived home for winter break with the leftover anxiety she stored up for finals still buzzing in her head.
“I know that I’m done with exams and all of the stress is behind me, but I can’t shake the feeling that I still have an endless to-do list,” Crane said. “The nightmare of writing an essay on a semester’s worth of God-knows-what won’t leave me.”
Crane was observed scrolling through social media for two hours and then breaking down after chastising herself for wasting all that time, only to not be able to decide what to do next and reopening every closed tab.
“I reminded Sharon to email her grandfather to wish him a ‘Happy Birthday,’ but each time I checked in, she was either on Netflix or napping,” said Mrs. Crane. “She can’t seem to start any new tasks without crumbling and binge-eating raw cookie dough.”
Crane showed signs of recovery after taking a break from reloading the Grades page on Student Center to watch her cat dive into a box, yet sources confirmed that she later lapsed back into uncontrollable tears when her father asked if she had any thoughts on where she’d like to intern this summer.
OKENSHIELDS – Citing multiple instances of muffled sobbing, exasperated gasps, and flat out bawling, Okenshields employees are reportedly unsure how to deal with most patrons crying directly into their make-your-own salads.
“Um, I mean I just kind of refill the spinach when it gets pretty low, but I feel like I should definitely be doing something about all of this very obvious weeping,” said student worker Michaela Deangelo ’18, who pointed out that the apparent sounds of snuffling and the sight of tear-filled eyes was quite concerning but ultimately inconsolable. “Do I say ‘sorry’? Do I just keep standing here? If anybody has any advice, that’d be great.”
Other dining halls on campus were reportedly having similar problems, with cases of loud yelling at the Trillium cashiers and blatant vomiting all over the RPCC grill station.
Hi Professor, quick question: considering yesterday was arguably one of the most nerve-wracking days of my young adult life and I stayed up until 3:00 A.M. watching friendships crumble over the future of our country, is this essay still due?
I know this assignment that’s worth 15% of my final grade in this class has been on the syllabus since Day One, and you reminded us last week that it had to be turned in today, hard-copy, but seeing as I spent all of the past eighteen hours with my terrified eyes glued to the election results coverage, listening to drunken screams and needing to remind myself every eight seconds to breathe, I didn’t have much time to start — let alone even come close to completing — this 10-page report.
Now I know what you’re about to say: why didn’t I start this essay before Election Day? Believe me, I asked myself that too. The thing is, I wasn’t too worried about having enough time to finish; I thought the whole ‘electoral college’ thing would be a lot clearer by around 10:00 p.m, and I would not accept the reality of a nation so divided. That’s all.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was very aware for the majority of last night that maybe during the commercial breaks I should probably get going on this assignment, or at least consider the prompt. But I kept getting distracted by the results streaming in and the chip bowl that kept emptying and the tears that kept clogging my vision because all of a sudden I felt ashamed for wearing sparkly red, white, and blue.
But honestly, let’s be real for a second, Professor — what does this even matter? What’s one assignment in the big scheme of things? Can this one grade guarantee success in my future? Will these ten pages change my life? No, but the election results from last night already have. So how about pushing that deadline back? I’d suggest putting it to a vote, but maybe this time just make the call on your own.
LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA — Dana Harrington, mother of Jackson Whiting ‘18, expressed concern after receiving a call from her worry-free, unstressed son, who sounded completely content with his college experience instead of anxious and full of self-doubt like he’s supposed to be.
“Something was definitely wrong. Jackson sounded happy and fully rested,” said Harrington, who sent her son off to his sophomore year expecting him to be crippled by social and academic pressure. “What worries me the most is he said he ‘had to go get dinner with friends’ before hanging up. I didn’t think he had any friends.”
After the phone call, Harrington alerted Gannett’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), where several advisors have reached out to Jackson’s professors to assign him additional projects in order to stress him a healthy amount.
“I just want Jackson to keep perspective. He has another round of prelims and then final exams ahead of him, so he should be getting depressed really soon.”
Both Jackson’s mother and doctors at Gannett say it is important that, between his classes and extracurriculars, Jackson is spreading himself thinly enough.
EDDY STREET— Already three weeks into her last fall semester at Cornell, Samantha Derraugh ’16 only just acknowledged that she will not be able to give off the appearance of having her shit together for much longer. The senior ILR major explained her trite daily routine does not allow any time to sort out her personal obligations nor plans for the future.
“I haven’t done any internships or research, so it’s amazing that people still think I know what the hell I’m doing” said Derraugh as she aimlessly read over her unpolished resume for the sixth time that day.
Derraugh calculated that about a third of her friends have already secured jobs for after graduation, another third plan on attending graduate or professional schools, and the rest still seem to have some modicum of self-direction for where they want their life to go.
“I guess I could always work for my dad, but I have no interest in what he does at all. Was I supposed to go to the Career Fair?”
At press time, Derraugh was seen giving up.