Welcome to Everything But The Bagel, a weekly space to make you feel a little less stressed, and a little more grounded, just with writing instead of cream cheese. By diving deeper into the reality of life as a Trojan, Everything But The Bagel will help you get through the ups and downs of your college experience. Through relatable anecdotes, interviews, and my curated edit of recommendations, this newsletter will remind you that you are at this school for a reason, further helping you make the most of your time at ‘SC. Now let’s get started.

Dear Beautiful, Imperfect, Intelligent Humans,

Welcome to Everything But The Bagel. I am so excited that you’re here.

I should probably start by telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Ella Katz; I am from Chicago, IL (like actual Chicago not Wisconsin, Chicago). I’m a sophomore here at ‘SC studying journalism. I like to think of myself as a multi-passionate-human, interested in people, storytelling, writing, reading, and of course, all things sriracha mayo.

I have found that one of the only constants in every realm of my life is human connection. Whether we like to admit it or not, we crave it and we have trouble functioning without it–– especially during a college career.

Being a part of the Trojan family already gives us a shared community through which we can relate to one another. However an abundance of Netflix and screen time makes it all too easy for us to be caught up in our own lives–– so much so that we are missing endless opportunities to connect with those around us. While we may think we are connecting to one another through likes, swipes and comments, we are more alone than ever before. 2020 is a time that leaves little space for authentic, genuine human connection. Instead of playing victim to this dooming reality, we have the choice to make that connection.

Through carefully curated thoughts, tips, and media I want this letter to be your outlet. A staple in your morning routine, the highlight of your day, or sometimes what gets you through the week. Your weekly reminder that it is ok to be a work in progress, that you are not weird if you eat outside Seeds alone, and that everything you do, you’ll do better with a good night’s sleep. I know that when my inbox vibrates with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global newsletter each morning or when I start my day with Headspace Meditation, my day is automatically set up to be more successful, productive and positive. I want to create the same opportunities to thrive for each and every one of you.

So by no means am I going to get this perfect. But I am definitely going to give it my all. I am excited for the journey ahead, and even more excited that you have chosen to come along for the ride. Wishing you all a week full of purpose, passion, and laughter––lots of laughter.

- Ella

Now here’s some of my favorite things from this week:


“Finding yourself" is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. “Finding yourself” is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.” -Dani R., Soul Cycle Downtown LA


This week I finished the amazing book, “Everything is Figureoutable” by entrepreneur and life coach Marie Forleo. Forleo’s approach to moving through life is, you guessed it, everything is figureoutable! With relatable and heart-wrenching anecdotes, Forleo applies this mantra to any and all situations in life, proving it true. This book is definitely a page turner and I have already started applying its lessons to my everyday life.

Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo
Everything Is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo

This week I have been actively trying to be present and live in the moment. I know this has become one of the most cliche lessons––but hear me out. I always find that wherever I am–– in a class, with friends, at a party, in the library––I am constantly excited or anxious about the next big thing. Anticipatory planning like this is normal, but I end up looking up to just realize that I did not fully experience where I was in that given moment. Our short attention spans and social media addiction without a doubt makes it harder to be present. I challenge you to join me in making an effort to live in the moment. Be conscious of your anticipatory thoughts and try putting your phone down for just thirty minutes this week. Or when you feel tempted to check your phone in what we call “linger period,” pull out a book instead. This may feel weird at first, but it works wonders.


Every week, I welcome any questions or concerns you may have that could spark discussion/ bring awareness to our community. Just remember: No question is a dumb one.

Write to me here:

Email: ellakatz@usc.edu

Twitter: ellakatz20

Instagram: ellaakatz