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,

Hi.

If you have checked your phone, turned on your TV, been in a grocery store or public place in the last 24 hours you are probably feeling it. What do I mean by “it”? The anxiety, the “what ifs,” the stress of how to talk to your aunt and uncle at Thanksgiving –– it’s in the air regardless of which candidate you voted for.

While we knew that election night would be much more like election week, considering the volume of mail-in ballots and record early voter turnout, I don’t think we processed how not knowing this would actually feel. After all, the last time we had an election like this was in the year 2000 with Bush v. Gore (magnifying glasses, chads were counted and the nation was completely confused). Take a delayed count in states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona, like we are seeing right now, add social media as well as the polarized state of our nation  to the mix and we are in for a melting pot of misinformation

We also can’t forget that in other elections, we had a normal life to return to. We went back to the office, we returned to the classroom and depended on human interaction to cope with the results. But in a 2020 election we have technology and toast to turn to –– that’s about it.

Last night I anchored Annenberg Media’s live election coverage from Annenberg’s media center. After going live for all six minutes, one of the producers came through my earpiece saying “It’s done, it’s done.” My co-anchor and I looked at each other across the desk with fear glazing over both of our eyes – this was not exactly the plan.

While the producers were working hard under their sweaty masks to get us back on the air, Zoe and I had to think on the spot: how could we reach our audience with updates of the night even though our server was down? Minutes later we were on Instagram live, calling states, telling my followers about our technical difficulties and talking about the challenges of being a journalist today.

Before we knew it, we were back on the air. And although our show didn’t exactly go according to plan (think no graphics, no interviews and only two other reporters) Zoe and I rolled with the punches as best we could.

Did I mess up on air? Yep. Was I bummed that I couldn’t interview our incredible experts like mental health expert  Mallika Chopra or Obama’s former Press Secretary Jay Carney? Yep.

But, in a way, because of the spastic nature of the night, I was able to be much more natural and relaxed in my delivery. And Zoe, Nikki, Luke and I had a lot of fun––or at least as much as we could.

I think what happened to our show last night is symbolic of 2020 in a nutshell. As Nikki said (she happens to be the wonderful woman helping me dot my I’s and cross my T’s for you all each week), the only thing certain in life, but especially this year, is uncertainty. Read that again.

We can reject that reality, we can fight it and resist it. But if we accept it, that’s where the magic starts to happen. So let’s embrace the uncertainty and try to challenge ourselves to roll with the punches, even if we have more uncertainty than we are comfortable with until we know who will be sitting in the oval office come January.

And you can keep following the race to 270 here. (Associated Press, always.)

This week I will leave you with this quote:

"This is the time to be slow,

Lie low to the wall

Until the bitter weather passes.

Try, as best you can, not to let

The wire brush of doubt

Scrape from your heart

All sense of yourself

And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,

Time will come good;

And you will find your feet

Again on fresh pastures of promise,

Where the air will be kind

And blushed with beginning." ―John O’Donohue, Benedictus Book Of Blessings

Wishing you all a week full of deep breaths, clarity, and laughter––lots of laughter

-Ella

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!

Story Ideas? Questions? Need a Hug? Write to me here:

ellakatz@usc.edu on EMAIL

@srirachamayoenthusiast on INSTA

@ellakatz20 on TWITTER