The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily represent the position of ZU Media or APU
This 2020 election season has been the most stressful so far.
Typical stress, like paper deadlines, assigned reading and group projects, is already difficult to deal with for a college student. Keeping up with this election and preparing for the results is just one more thing to worry about.
Because of everything that has occurred this year, like me, many people are stressed because the future looks uncertain.
The American Psychological Association showed recent surveys of people reporting a higher increase of stress due to worrying about who will be the next president of the United States.
Unsurprisingly, the causes behind this year’s build up of stress and tension have primarily been connected to COVID-19. This pandemic has shaken up the world and caused massive amounts of fear and anxiety. Governments around the world shutting down businesses, public spaces and enforcing rules of safety have all been major sources of increased distress, anger and depression.
In our personal lives, we are also experiencing division among friends and even family. The New York Times explained we are more divided than ever before during the counting of the votes and that it almost feels like we’re at war with each other.
The hope that enough people understood the importance of voting is another source of stress. However, compared to the 2016 election, Pew Research saw a 9% increase in people believing that voting truly matters.
This is also the first presidential election many college students, particularly freshmen, can vote in. As Vox News reported, college students have expressed anxiety and pressure over this election since many have not done this before.
It doesn’t help that mental health services are slow to help the increasing demand. The Guardian reported that one in four people with mental health problems have to wait three months to receive help. And as The Wall Street Journal reported, mental health has shown itself to be a growing issue, specifically for college students. Could the election be a mental health trigger? I think so.
But hopefully, when this election comes to a close, it will bring a form of comfort after the drawn out waiting period. While some won’t be pleased with the results, it will at least allow us the space to begin mending our divided country.