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.

Dear Beautiful, Imperfect, Intelligent Humans,

You know when your bed feels like a warm, milky dream and then your alarm goes off and it pains you to even lift a finger? Well that was me this morning. To make matters worse, I had school...in my kitchen! Times are weird and confusing to say the least. But enough with the pessimism, Ella. Welcome back from “spring break.” But in all seriousness, I hope you did something for you and took a minute to breathe and regroup amidst all this craziness. Now let's get into it.

When I outlined topics that I planned to talk about at the beginning of the semester, how to stay inspired during school was one of them. I think this topic is just as important in such unprecedented times. Whether we are in a lecture hall or in the comfort of our homes, school is demanding––especially when we have to be on screens all day. One way that I have found balance and managed my stress is by staying inspired. This could be reaching out to someone who works in a field that you are interested in, following the right people on Instagram, or even asking the right questions in class.

With most of the country following “shelter in place” guidelines, all of us have much more time on our hands. We no longer have rush-hour traffic to blame for our tardiness. All we have is, “Sorry I’m late, I couldn’t pick what sweatshirt and sweatpant combo to wear.” But believe it or not, a less busy world is actually better for you and me. And let me tell you why.

It’s all about accessibility. This 2012 Johns Hopkins study shows a direct correlation between mentoring relationships and leadership development of college students. The study is one of many in the field that suggests mentorship is a critical source of inspiration essential for the success of college students. So how do we find these mentors?

It all starts with a follow.

Social media can tell you a lot about a person. You never know who will respond to you, so it doesn’t hurt to reach out. Direct message someone that inspires you on Instagram or Twitter and give your brief elevator pitch, saying that you would love to do a Skype/Zoom/FaceTime to pick their brain on any advice they may have. More often than not, they will get back to you. These conversations are ones where I have learned some of the most valuable and inspiring lessons and pieces of advice.

Tune in.

Everyone from monks to celebrities to investors are on IG live, sharing their wisdom and experience during this pandemic. Find the people who cater to your interests and hobbies and go crazy. Just try to limit your screen time by doing a tech-free activity later––more ideas to come next week.

Everyday situations.

Believe it or not, but your professors really do have a lot of wisdom to share. Go the extra mile and ask them in an email or zoom session what they are doing to adjust to this new reality or other insightful questions. These questions tend to lead to inspiring answers and another groundbreaking epiphany––we really are so similar.

Don’t be shy.

No matter how intimidating or professional someone may seem, most people are second guessing themselves every single day, no matter their job or age. So put yourself out there and remind yourself that even if you break a sweat as the call is ringing, the conversation may be well worth it.

Well, that’s all I have for this week. Stay healthy, get some fresh air, and stay in touch with friends and family. And during all of this just remind yourself: one day at a time.

Wishing you all a week full of inspiration, mindfulness, and laughter––lots of laughter.

-Ella

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

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

Without even realizing it, we have fixed stories about our personality and presence that we repeatedly tell ourselves, affecting how we function and interact with others. What we forget, however, is that these stories are completely made up. Since we created them, we have the power to recreate them and reverse their narrative. All it takes is an open mind. Re-creating these stories couldn’t be more important in a time when everything we have ever known is changing.

DIGEST OF THE WEEK

As much as I love the news, articles and episodes, let's face it–– with family group chats and the quarantine, we are all most likely consuming an overwhelming amount of media. I want to give you (and myself) a break from the news cycle so for this week’s digest, I bring to you two incredible recipes from Today Show contributor and Washington Post Columnist Elizabeth Mayhew.

I had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth and I can promise you she is as passionate and warm in her personal life as she is in her kitchen. Here are two of her best recipes. Go bananas (no pun intended) and send me your pictures!

You will need:

1 pre-baked 9-inch pie shell

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 cornstarch

1/8 tsp salt

5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

2 cups whole milk (2% works too)

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1/2 vanilla bean, split down the middle lengthwise

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 bananas peeled and sliced into rounds

Fresh whipped cream

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks and both milks. Add the vanilla bean. Cook over medium heat whisking occasionally until the mixture starts to thicken and starts to simmer (about 8-10 mins). Continue to cook, stirring constantly for about 1 more minute. Remove from heat and add butter. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape out the little black seeds and add them to the mixture. Whisk to combine. Pour the cream into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap (you want the plastic to touch the top of the cream so that a skin does not form). Allow to cool for about 20 minutes.

Pour half of the cream mixture into the prepared pie shell. Layer the bananas in concentric circles on top. Top with remaining cream mixture and smooth top. Refrigerate for several hours to set. Remove pie from the refrigerator and pipe or spoon whipped cream on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 💛

You will need:

3.5 cups sifted flour

2 tbsp baking powder

1.25 cups sugar

Pinch of salt

10 tbsp melted butter, cooled

5 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Prep heat oven to 425 F. Sift together flour, baking powder, 1 cup sugar, and salt into a bowl. Add butter, eggs, milk and vanilla and mix until just combined. Fold in blueberries. Do not over mix.

Grease top of muffin tin. Insert paper cups (I did not and had a hard time getting muffins out!). Spoon batter to top of cups. Sprinkle remaining sugar over tops. Reduce oven to 400 F and place muffins on center rack. Bake for 30-35 mins until the tops are golden brown. Remove from tin and cool on racks.

SOMETHING I AM WORKING ON THIS WEEK

I know how important physical activity is to my psyche as well as my mental health. This week I have been making a conscious effort to move my body everyday whether that's an outdoor run (more of a run-walk if I’m being honest), or guided exercise video. Here is a list of my go tos!

Go-To Workouts:

Live Meditations:

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

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:

Twitter: ellakatz20

Instagram: ellaakatz