Elections have been causing anxiety levels to soar for many American voters. With the tension between Democrats and Republicans, the high turnout and the nonstop media coverage, there are many factors that drive voters crazy when deciding officials for our government.
This year, College of the Canyons held a post-election Zoom session to ease the stress and anxiety. Counselors listened to students’ feelings and emotions during these tense days by the hour, allowing students to drop in at any time.
“I think the Zoom sessions really helped students and faculty who participated as they were able to talk among themselves about their reaction to the election in a nonjudgmental space,” said Larry Schallert, assistant director with the student health and wellness program.
According to Schallert, this wasn’t the first time the health and wellness center conducted this type of Zoom session. In the wake of civil unrest, the rising COVID-19 cases and other traumas, the program continued to help those students stay calm in times of turbulence. And it is definitely set to help with any future events.
“We used to do these once a semester. Now we are doing them once a month due to popular demand,” said Schallert. “It really helps as people can ask about anything, and many questions related to having a mental health problem in the COVID-19 era. The sessions have been very well attended and we always seem to run out of time.”
Students seemed to also enjoy the fact that they were able to express their feelings about the election and receive advice from counselors.
“No matter the results, in the end, we are all in this together,” student Kyle Rodgers, who wasn’t able to attend a Zoom session, said. “It doesn’t matter what political party you are a part of, we still need to work together even with our differences.”
With the election being called in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden, and President Donald Trump still contesting the results, voters can take away one important lesson during these tense weeks: Expressing your feelings when stressed is the most important thing to do.
“I think the most important thing was that election stress, both before and after the election, is real,” Schallert said, and no matter what happens, it’s important to talk about how you are feeling about it with people you trust; and that we are all Americans no matter who you voted for, and, we need to find common ground and not judge people by who they vote for.”