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 (remote) 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,

Happy middle of the week! With Zoom midterms upon us I hope that you are catching up on some much needed sleep and sunshine. I don’t know about you, but the weather this week has been my daily dose of happiness that I always forget I need.

As I’m sure many of you know by now, over the weekend we lost the feminist icon and social justice trailblazer, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (aka the Notorious RBG). You can read more on her legacy here, but RBG was the second woman to ever sit on the highest court in America. Her impressive and pivotal judicial legacy centered around hot button issues like abortion rights, affirmative action, gay rights and equal pay.

RBG not only manifested a life and career worth living but a legacy that shaped the discourse and political climate of our country. Ginsburg always ignored the status quo, fighting for equality both on and off the bench. And as the second woman to ever wear her robe, she was doing the work with odds that were not exactly in her favor. But RBG never backed down and is someone that we will teach our kids and grandchildren and their grandchildren about.

So in the spirit of her powerful legacy, I want to talk about manifestation, specifically during a global pandemic. Now I know that the idea of “manifesting,” especially right now, seems daunting. And it’s probably because creating a life you want to live from your bedroom or kitchen seems nearly impossible. I get it –– I’m right there with you. But there is still a part of me that thinks that we can always manifest, that no matter how strenuous or demanding the circumstances may seem, cultivating growth and opening new doors is always a possibility. But thinking these thoughts isn’t enough. So I went to look for some outside guidance and perspective.

This week I “sat down” with entrepreneur, digital creator and “accidental influencer” Liv Schreiber. When she was a 21-year-old student at the University of Wisconsin Madison, Liv took a chance on herself by graduating in 2.5 years and moving to the Big Apple to start her life where she didn’t know a soul. But she trusted her gut and for her, that was encouragement enough to take the risk.

“It all starts with frustration,” says Schreiber. After making a leap toward a life she thought she wanted, Schreiber found herself lost in Manhattan with nowhere to go and no one to turn to. “It took feeling alone and sad to really propel myself to find something that brought me happiness. And what brought me happiness was a little thing under my desk where I was scrolling on Instagram and saving quotes to get inspired.”

Schreiber would post these quotes for her own spirit during which she started gaining a following as she started to post other parts of her life, as well. Today, Liv is the co-founder of Brand Caffeine, a digital marketing agency and continues to hold a large following on her personal Instagram handle where she continues to post unfiltered and optimistic content. So if anyone knows manifesting and the misconception that come with it, it’s Liv.

“I think manifest is the wrong word. Because manifestation is actually when you wish for something. And then the more you say to yourself, I’m fine without it, the more the universe will pick up on it and bring it into your life. And I definitely believe that. But it’s really about making effort sexy and being curious,” says Liv.

“So I think that manifestation works, but you need to work also.” Liv honed in on the reality that the idea of waiting for the right person or place or thing in order to kickstart the life you want is a big misconception, especially among college students. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that manifesting is creating a life that welcomes opportunity. Which it is, but that doesn’t happen without working your you-know-what off.

Liv emphasized that people tend to romanticize the idea of manifestation, like it is this big destination, epiphany or end-goal. But Liv encourages her friends and family not to “wait for anything. Like if you want to do something, do it today,” as people, myself included, tend to forget the power of the present moment.

We do, however, face a double standard when it comes to creating the life we want. Professors and parents alike encourage us to do what we love and follow our hearts, but society still instills in us the values of optics and income as well as the precedent of the cookie-cutter career path. But anyone who has made anything of significance or manifested the life or career that they desire has followed an out-of-the-box path, like Liv. And now all of us are unknowingly following suit with the backdrop of a global pandemic. Schreiber believes that in a time as uncertain as today, “instead of focusing on what you’ve lost, focus on what you’ve gained,” which, she says, will make manifestation a much more tangible possibility.

Liv also notes that the real, genuine manifestation doesn’t happen in the places that people expect it to. People don’t know that they can still manifest without tunnel vision, an end goal or an organized google doc. But this is yet another misconception when it comes to manifesting.

“It’s just about being a nice person.” Liv believes and lives her life with the mentality that her energy and personality is her only brand. Because when you think about it, it is –– in this day and age, no cover letter or internship will make up for you being a bad person. More so, Liv believes that what you get out of any experience is completely up to you. “You make it for yourself. You try to have fun even when you’re at a job that sucks because at the end of the day it’s about connecting with awesome people.”

But even once you start manifesting and opening new doors, life can still be stressful. Opportunities can still be hard to find and people can still feel lost, especially when in an entry level position or internship trying to figure out where to take the next turn.

But in any situation that you have manifested, “you have a choice. You can either make everything a really big stressful deal for yourself. Or you can just take it with a grain of salt and make it light. It’s about following your curiosities and not stressing so much on that one thing,” because who knows how long something will last, says Liv. Take a very common situation where you realize as a second semester senior that your major has nothing to do with where you want to go in life. First off, that’s more normal than you would think. Second of all, a degree is a degree and will serve you well in life, no matter where the journey takes you. Because you will get to where you want in life, just not in the way that you imagined it.

Liv also encourages all college students and bagelers, regardless of where they are in their studies, to work on their interpersonal skills, as the entrepreneurial landscape is completely shifting to become more people-centered and less robotic and resume-focused.

Liv left me with a final piece of advice, what she calls “the secret to manifesting” and making it happen, despite the circumstances. I will leave you this week with those same words.

“The secret is this: You spend your time on you. Because if you’re happy with yourself, and what you’re doing, you’re saving your time. So bring in the people you love and put them on your calendar. And if you know your value and your worth, you are unstoppable.”

Wishing you all a week full of manifesting, good energy, and laughter –– lots of laughter

-Ella

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

Quote of the Week:

“How you make people feel is your personal brand.” – Liv Schreiber.

Quote Analysis

They say “kill em with kindness,” or at least Selena Gomez does, but it usually just sounds cheesy and annoying. But have you ever tried it? Because it works. Really well. When Liv gave me this piece of advice during our Zinterview (Zoom interview, get it?) it made me think about our potential as human beings in a new light. Every single day we have a choice. A choice to lift others up and exude kindness to every single person we interact with. And that will make you feel good. Like really good. As my mom used to say, you may forget what people did or what they said but you will never forget how they made you feel. So be that person, that somebody that makes someone feel something –– something good. How cool to know that you could even be the highlight of their day!

(PS, If you want advice/coaching/a sound board you can message @livschreiber on Instagram!)


Digest of the Week

While I have never previously linked an album for my digest of the week, Ceremonials by Florence + The Machine has recently been my therapy, nostalgia, cry session and happy place all in one. Especially this week. Florence has a way with her words that allows me to access emotions that I never knew were there in the first place. If you are extra dramatic like me, I recommend listening while looking out the window of a moving vehicle. If that’s not your vibe, I get it. Listen on a run, listen while you get your groceries or just listen while you dance around in your room in between Zooms. It’s the feelings you didn’t know you needed to feel. Trust me. I usually like Cardi B and T.I, so choosing a Florence album from 2011 is saying something.

Something I am working on this week:

While it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am an outwardly emotional person who is very in touch with her feelings, I have recently been struggling with some of my unwanted and unexpected feelings rising to the surface. While I am not going to get into detail for my own privacy (I have an introverted side, too, believe it or not) these feelings involve the future of my career, my interpersonal relationships and life trajectory. But with the presence of these uncomfortable feelings I have also learned to accept them for what they are, not fight them. Because resisting the feelings sometimes takes more effort than just feeling them. So feel whatever it is you need to feel. Cry, laugh, question and think. But don’t let the feeling consume you. Feel them, whatever they are and move on. Or at least that’s what I am trying to do. It sounds scary, but it’s incredibly liberating.

Question of the Week:

Every week, I welcome any questions or concerns you may have that could spark discussion/ bring awareness to our community. I will respond to the best of my ability, consulting outside scientific resources to answer them to the best of my ability. Just click here to ask your question! And just remember: No question is a dumb one. If you have it, I’m sure many members of our community have the same one!

Write to me here:

IG: @srirachamayoenthusiast

TWITTER: @ellakatz20