Zoe Yang / Sun Staff Photographer

While the presidential election is up in the air, students continue to attend class and go about their days with some added stress.

November 5, 2020

Cornell, Campus Orgs Provide Resources to Alleviate Stress, Anxiety as Election Remains Undecided

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Nov. 3 became another source of anxiety for many students: As of Wednesday night, the outcome of the nail-biting 2020 presidential election is still undecided. 

Anticipating a potentially extended period of political uncertainty, students have begun searching for opportunities to stay mentally and physically grounded. However, this has proven difficult as the election has stretched into its second day without a conclusive result

“I feel kind of helpless, in a way,” said Samuel Reveiz ’24, “and I don’t think it’s just the election. I think it’s all these combined forces that have been building up throughout the year.” 

But this helplessness, Reveiz said, was inescapable.

“If it’s a homework assignment I can’t do or an issue with a personal relationship, then I can solve it by going on a run, talking to a friend, stuff like that,” he said. “But I feel like the American political landscape has left an imprint on our generation that can’t be solved that quickly.” 

In preparation for this escalating anxiety, a myriad of Cornell organizations have publicized some resources with the hope that students will be able freely express their feelings. 

“We’re here to provide support by listening,” said Elita Gāo ’22, Cornell Empathy, Assistance and Referral Service marketing coordinator. “We like to help people with possible solutions and paths they can go down.”

Cornell EARS is a peer counseling organization working to promote mental wellness among students during this tumultuous election period, offering counseling services via phone seven days a week.

“There’s always counselors on shift who can answer the phone and talk to you about any worries about the election,” Gāo said. 

 Furthermore, Cornell’s Counseling and Psychological Sources offers 24-hour mental health hotline (607-255-5155) as well as appointment-based counseling, which is open to all students. 

Cornell’s Public Service Center website outlines a list of opportunities for students to de-stress, including a series of post-election reflections by faculty, meditation events and open office hours. CAPS wrote in a statement to The Sun that it encourages students seeking to quell election anxieties to attend these campus-wide events advertised on the Public Service Center website. 

Knowing that the election can possibly cause some sleepless nights, Gāo suggested students try a Cornell’s Health program Refresh, which offers students methods on how to improve their sleeping habits.

However, students still had concerns about election’s the wide-ranging implications for the nation.

“I find hope in that maybe we don’t need to rely on our institutions in order to create our future and make our world our own,” Reveiz said. “We can fight back this helplessness by banding together instead of looking towards an outside institution to come save us.” 

Gāo also offered some advice for students who may be currently struggling with election anxiety.

“Get off your phone for a bit and take a walk outside. Breathe the fresh air, because I know the weather in Ithaca is really nice,” she said. “I know the news is very overwhelming and social media is flooded with people’s thoughts about the election, which are sometimes helpful, but it does help to take a break.”