LORENZEN | How Are You?

Content Warning: This article contains mentions of depression and suicide. 

It seems like everyone you know is “dying.” Not literally in terms of heartbeat and body temperature. No, it’s when you ask them how they’re doing, and they tend to reply, “I’m dying,” “terribly” or with one of those sardonic smiles and tilted heads as they pantomime a noose around their necks. There are people who are genuinely doing well. They’re well adjusted, healthy, probably out running six miles a day, chugging vegan smoothies and holding hands with Martha Pollack somewhere. They do exist … And yet when you talk with any of your peers here and ask them how they’re doing, it seems most of them are unhappy and quick to tell you so.

SMITH | Don’t Forget Your Headphones

A pair of headphones, earbuds or —  dare I say it — AirPods fall into the same level of necessity as backpacks when it comes to college student essentials. There’s nothing quite like the drop in my stomach when I realize that I left my headphones in my dorm, doomed to a day without music to get me through my walks across campus and those awkward interactions I’d rather avoid by jamming out to Frank Ocean. Headphones even got an honorable mention in Martha Pollack’s New Student Convocation last semester for their widespread use around campus. The science regarding music and mental health isn’t fully conclusive, but there is some evidence linking music with positive health outcomes. Anecdotally, I know what I’m listening to deeply impacts (and is impacted by) my mental health.

LORENZEN | Laundry: A Parable for the Ivy League

You go downstairs to get your clothing out of the dryer. You open it up to find that every article of clothing is still soaking wet. You mutter a seven letter word which my editor won’t let me print. You take out all of your clothing and transfer it to another machine which will hopefully work. You swipe your card and pay another dollar whatever to the ghost of Ezra Cornell.

SMITH | Majoring in the End of the World

Floods, famine, power-hungry villains, war . . . all the makings of an apocalypse movie. Except, this isn’t fiction; it’s the narrative that environment and sustainability and other majors can begin to feel is unavoidable when faced with teachings about the dangers of climate change on a near daily basis.

YAO | Revise Advising

My eyes glazed over the platitudes typed on the glossy notecards I was organizing during a guest-led advising seminar session. “Get good sleep.” “Have fun.” “Practice mindfulness.” Sounds like the perfect plan for a productive college career. Just one tiny question: How do I manage all those things with impending prelims and essay deadlines? The question lodged itself in my throat as I glanced at the mental health resources listed on a notecard — the same list I’d seen in every community email. In theory, the College of Arts and Sciences advising seminar is a great idea.

SMITH | The Price of Perfectionism

As Cornell students we have a distinct sense of being groomed for our Perfect Lives. Raised to get perfect scores on standardized tests. Told even our extracurriculars, activities  typically meant to allow us to unwind and explore interests that are not scaled or critiqued like assignments, will come under scrutiny for their ability to improve or say something about us to others. Society has been grooming us since birth to be part of the perfect future workforce and gave us the technology to be constantly working, be it building a personal brand or receiving an email at midnight about class the next day. This push for hyper-optimization makes even leisure time an opportunity for greater productivity.

WAITE | The Cost of Peak Performance at Cornell

Yes, challenges are essential. The purpose of our time at Cornell is to prepare us for our futures — to prepare us for the goals we’ve set for ourselves. So I get why this University is challenging. It is supposed to be. It is meant to drive us and allow us to achieve more and more.

GUEST ROOM | Cornell Health Improves Access to Mental Health Services

As the fall semester begins, we at Cornell Health are excited to introduce a new approach to our delivery of mental health services. Our goal is to support undergraduate, graduate and professional students in thriving at Cornell and achieving their academic and life goals. In order to provide increased access to mental health care for our students, we now offer free, 25-minute, in-person counseling appointments that often can be scheduled as soon as the same day. These appointments focus on meeting the student’s immediate needs, and making a plan for next steps, when needed. Students no longer schedule a brief assessment phone appointment as the first step to receiving care and instead can speak with a counselor in person as the need arises.

GUEST ROOM | Upstream Approaches for Improving Mental Health on Campus

It goes without saying that mental health is a major conversation on campus. Currently, some of the mental health services offered at Cornell include Let’s Talk and CAPS, which are offered at Cornell Health, and EARS, a student-run organization. While all are extremely important services, all are arguably “downstream” mental health services. Since they are “downstream,” they can only be utilized by individuals who are currently having to address their mental health issues. There are very few specific services in place that attempt to dispel systems that can lead to mental health issues.