The Cornell Quaranzine

Supporting Your Well-being - Fall 2020


Dear community,

Although most semesters represent a starting line for the coming academic year, today almost feels more like a finish line after all of those months of uncertainty and anticipation! We find ourselves now with a large portion of our student body back on campus, filled to the brim with thoughts and emotions about what this semester will bring us. To say that today marks a significant day in Cornell’s history would be more than fitting, but despite these grand implications most Cornell students are just trying to figure out how to organize their day and make the most of the current situation.

This newsletter aims to help support students in this day-to-day pursuit. Each week, we will highlight news to support your well-being as well as showcase events and activities on and off campus that can hopefully instill some excitement, peace and fun into this most unusual semester. For this start-of-classes issue, we will highlight ways to promote on-campus health, feel connected at the start of the semester, and methods to take care of mental health. Look out for this newsletter every time you are looking for a simple boost to your week!

Wishing you wellness,

The Skorton Center for Health Initiatives at Cornell Health

* If you would like to continue receiving issues of the newsletter each week, follow this link!

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But First- A Self Check-In

2020 has been nothing like any of us imagined it would be. Though (hopefully) true in good ways for some of us; I imagine also in not so good ways for a lot of us. This year has been marked by grief, trauma, illness, racism and racial injustice, growing inequality, death, uncertainties, a global pandemic, financial hardships, and loneliness. You as an individual can probably add to this list, based on your personal experiences. And now that the school year has officially started, you may find it difficult to be encouraged about the rest of the year.

What we'd like to suggest to you, is to start with where you are right now. Take a moment to check in with yourself: What are you feeling at this moment? What/who are you grateful for? What scares you? What do you need to heal from? What/who do you love?

Now take a minute to pause and acknowledge that through all that you’ve endured this year, you are still here. And you are here for a reason; that reason is purpose.

Purpose (noun): the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. Some of us believe we know our purpose, others are still searching. As college students, this search is an ongoing process. Regardless of how far along or behind you think you are, finding the courage to move forward each day is the key to progressing.

“Purpose is an essential element of you. You would rather find purpose than a job or career. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfill.”

- Chadwick Boseman, Howard University Commencement Speech 2018

If purpose is an essential element of you, it is something that comprises you, i.e. it’s inside of you. And then gets expressed outwardly. It does not ask that you negate taking care of yourself, but rather requires it. And that includes your whole self: the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Purpose also connects you to others.
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As you start your school year: finalizing your schedule, looking for internships and jobs, studying for exams, utilizing your gifts and talents, making connections with peers and faculty, keep in mind your unique purpose. Talk to those around you about what they believe their purpose is. And always remember to encourage each other to move forward one day at a time.

COVID-19 Updates

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COVID-19 & the Cornell University Public Health Campaign

As you read in the Cornell Student Behavioral Compact, our community is working together to reduce the risks of COVID-19. Each member of our returning Cornell community must adopt a culture of shared responsibility for our safety and well-being. We’re all in this together.

Cornell has implemented a public health campaign that requires we all do our part to ensure we can have the on-campus experience we desire as a community. It’s up to all of us to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Live Smarter.

  • Respect Your Friends. Wear a Mask!

  • 20 Second = Clean Hands

  • Stay Apart, Keep In Touch

  • Cover Your Face, Stop the Spread

Visit to learn more!

Yet Another Reason to Wear Masks!

A SUNY biology professor's experiment shows the effectiveness of wearing a mask. SUNY Brockport conducted a short experiment on how wearing a mask can limit the spread of germs — and you can't argue with science.

Do Masks Work? | SUNY Brockport

Highlights of the Botanic Garden - Beebe Lake

Rarely has there been a more suitable time to get out there and explore the nature that Ithaca has to offer. Each week, we will highlight a part of the Cornell Botanic Gardens. Although you have probably walked along Beebe Lake many times as a freshman to get to class, did you know there is a trail that circles around it? It is less than two miles in length and perfect for a pleasant stroll - but don't forget your mask!

Flu Shot Requirement

For those of you studying on the Ithaca campus for the Fall 2020 semester, remember that the flu vaccine is a requirement per the Behavioral Compact! Visit this link in order to learn more and how to make an appointment.

If you have concerns about the mandated nature of the vaccine as a member of a marginalized community, please check out this page.

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Staying Healthy During COVID - Not Just Physically

Governor Cuomo knows that we are all #NewYorkTough, and one of the best ways to stay strong amidst a global crisis is to train our mental health! We like to think of all Cornellians as New Yorkers whether they're currently here or abroad. Headspace is a free educational platform meant to refine our meditation and reduce stress levels. It contains hundreds of free articles as well as “workouts” for the mind.

Thoughts from Andy | A New York state of mind

Stay Apart, Keep in Touch

Although today is the final day of New Student Orientation, there are many more fantastic events to highlight for all members of the Cornell community to enjoy. While we continue to abide by physical distancing guidelines, we can stay connected to each other through these virtual events found on this Cornell website. Check out what’s happening this week and be sure to register!
  • Cornell Chimes New Student Welcome Concert

    • Wed Sept 2, 6-6:30pm

  • Cornell’s Gorgeous Gorges

    • Thur Sept 3, 4:30-5:30pm

  • Spirit of Cornell (Hosted by the Office of Spirituality and Meaning Making, OSMM)

    • Thur Sept 3, 5-7pm

  • “The Half of It”: Beyond the Bechdel* Film Series

    • Thur Sept 3, 7-9:15pm

  • Multicultural Student Leadership and Empowerment Meet and Greet

    • Fri Sept 4, 1-2pm

  • Making Change, Building Community, and Practicing Collective Care: A Balancing Act

    • Fri Sept 4, 2-3:30pm

  • Festival24: A Performing and Media Arts Online Event

    • Sat Sept 5, 7:30-8:30pm

  • International Fair

    • Tues Sept 8, 12-2pm

  • Africana Library’s Black Lives Matter Libguide

    • Tues Sept 8, 5:30-6:30pm

Talk/Text Resources

If you find yourself struggling or in need of someone to talk to, know that you are not alone.

The following resources are here to support you:

Cornell Resources

Ithaca Resources (24/7)

National Talk-Lines (24/7)

  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

  • Trevor Project hotline (LGBTQ+): 866-488-7386

  • LGBT+ National Hotline: 888-843-4564

  • TransLifeline: 877-565-8860

National Text/Chat Services

  • National Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741

  • Steve Fund crisis text line: Text STEVE to 741741 (connects you to a counselor of color)

  • Trevor Project text line (LGBTQ+): Text START to 678678

National Suicide Prevention "Lifeline CHAT" service:

Get in Touch