November 2, 2020

Fun Election Day Activities that Won’t Stress You Out

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by Dylan McIntyre 

Let’s face it: the world’s in a really bad place right now. America has never been so divided, and with the upcoming election, all of this country’s divisiveness will come to a head. It’s a lot to think about, and many of us Cornellians are reasonably angry and afraid for our future. However, too much stress is never a good thing, especially because it can impact your body mentally and physically. So, if you find yourself becoming extremely stressed out on Election Day, here are some fun activities you can do that are election-related but won’t stress you out!

Become President and Win the White House

Are you frustrated with the current presidential candidates? Have you ever wished you could give them a run for their money? Well, now you can by running your own presidential campaign! You’ll be able to choose your party and your platform, and you’ll first have to win the nomination of your chosen party. After this, you’ll get to choose where you campaign and how you’ll do it, and whether you want to bolster your own campaign or tear down your opponent’s, all over the course of a ten-week campaign cycle. Will you be able to win over the hearts of the people and the electoral college? Or will your efforts end in defeat? Perhaps you’ll do a better job than our current candidates, but only time will tell. Give this little game a try if you want a fun activity that still explores relevant political topics.

Have a Good Laugh with SNL Skits

Sometimes we need a break from all of the seriousness and political correctness that permeates our current political climate. What could be better to lighten the mood with some satirical political commentary? Saturday Night Live’s skits are a perfect way to sit back and just laugh at the messed-up state of the world. It also helps that there’s a lot of good election-related material; you can watch their most recent skit that features Alec Baldwin (as President Trump) and Jim Carrey (as former Vice-President Biden) duking it out in the final presidential debate. However you might feel about this crazy election season, SNL is a great way to unwind and make fun of the people in power.

SNL airs on NBC on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. EST. They also have many of their skits on their YouTube channel.

Bring Back Nostalgia with Schoolhouse Rock

Schoolhouse Rock was one of my favorite educational programming series as a kid. If you’ve never seen any episodes (I’m sorry if you haven’t), they’re about three minutes long, and they each center around a topic related to history, government, grammar, math and the environment. You can learn quite a bit about these topics with their catchy songs “I’m Just a Bill” and “Conjunction Junction” are the most memorable for me. These videos are also organized into albums of sorts, with “America Rock” featuring songs about the electoral college, voting, women’s suffrage, and immigration. This might not be the most stimulating activity to partake in, but if you just want a nostalgia break from the chaos unfolding around you, give Schoolhouse Rock a try.

Schoolhouse Rock videos are available to watch on YouTube. You can also find them on streaming services like Disney+ and Amazon Prime.

Celebrate with an Election Day Cake

No, not that kind of cake.

As if you needed yet another excuse for more food, you can try making this delicious cake meant to celebrate performing your civic duty! This is actually an American tradition dating back to the late 1700s. Colonial women would bake these cakes to celebrate their husbands casting their votes, and they would share them with other colonial families as well. Back then, Election Day was a treasured festivity where everyone visited each other and celebrated together, so perhaps reviving this colonial tradition might encourage greater voter turnout (even if it’s only for the food).

The cake itself is a fruitcake that is molded in the shape of a bundt cake. It has traditional fruitcake ingredients like raisins and spices, but some recipes call for brandy as well. Yep, this cake’s got alcohol. (It’s optional, of course.) You also have the option of adding a milk-based glaze to your cake, which can also include brandy or rum (you might be sensing a theme here). Whichever recipe you end up choosing, you’ll have a great time celebrating going out to vote with your friends (and eating your cake, too).

Hopefully you can use this list to find some enjoyment for yourself on a stressful Election Day or even use it to come up with ideas of your own! Either way, just like all of you, I hope Election Day goes smoothly. Good luck with the rest of your semester, and, of course, remember to vote!

Dylan McIntyre can be reached at [email protected].