9 Ways to Deal with the Existential Dread of Returning “Back to Normal”

Hello friends! I’ve missed you, well I haven’t met many of you, but that still counts. Welcome back! In the midst of the utter despair, loss, and fear of the past year we’ve survived (go us!), and some of us have even thrived! We have taken naps during the day, we’ve stopped buying $6 Grande MochaChocolatta ya ya’s from Starbucks, we’ve finally united as a country around the shared belief that yoga pants are high fashion, and we’ve learned that some meetings really could have been emails. And now, after a year of pandemic, masks, uncertainty, and social distancing, we’re finally back to normal another year of pandemic, masks, uncertainty, and social distancing. As my inbox begins to flood with virtual orientations and class permission codes, I know I’m not the only one fighting off the Sunday Scaries about the first day of school and the “Return Back to Normal” that seems anything but normal. Luckily for you, the EXCEL team is here to offer you 9 Ways to Deal with the Existential Dread of “Returning Back to Normal.”

  1. First and foremost watch season 13 of Rupaul’s Drag Race (if you haven’t already watched this you are in for a treat!) and then schedule an appointment to discuss with Caitlin, EXCEL’s illustrious Career Services Coordinator, here.(Not gonna lie; this may be the single thing that got me through the pandemic). Or of course if you want to schedule an appointment with Caitlin to talk about any and all things related to arts entrepreneurship or fundraising she’s happy to talk about that as well!
  2. Begin a daily meditation practice! Follow Music & Mindset, a podcast series to get weekly tips on how to incorporate more mindfulness into your life made by Gala Flagello, AMAZING composer extraordinaire and EXCEL’s Program Assistant.
  3. If you have all the feels and just need to make some art to process this past year…get some coins to fund your vision!! Apply to the EXCEL enterprise fund, the EXCEL Prize, or if your project has a mental health focus apply for a Mental Health Awareness Microgrant. There are SOO many resources at your disposal. 
  4. Enroll in Marc Arthur’s Art Activism course and prepare to take over the world but for good!
  5. Enjoy live performances again, and some healthy escapism, with Musket’s upcoming performance of “Funny Girl.” AND if you’re interested in producing, see if you can liaise with EXCEL’s Dean’s Liaison, Kaitlyn Tom, the producer of Funny Girl. Shoot her a message over insta!
  6. Depressed about losing agency over your day to day routine with this return to in person semester? Enroll in Professor Dworkin’s Arts Entrepreneurship class and learn how to take back some level of control over your life and career as an Arts Entrepreneur (It doesn’t have to end just because the world is opening back up).
  7. Do not walk– RUN– to Handshake to schedule a coaching session with Jonathan Kuuskoski. This miracle worker may not be able to turn water into wine, but he’s the next best thing. Truly, no exaggeration, if you have thoughts, questions, hopes about what you’re trying to do with your life and career; if you aren’t sure how to spell entrepreneurship; if you are about to graduate and are staring into the abyss; or if sending emails gives you anxiety, schedule an appointment here. Worth your time or your money back guarantee!*
  8. Rock out to let off all that extra anxiety with @anytime.the.band and hear Karen, EXCEL’s intrepid Social Media Intern and Program Assistant, belt for her life.
  9. MOST importantly. If you’re a dweeb and do nothing else on this list— Subscribe and follow the EXCEL Log for objectively amazing content, which 9/10 dentists agree will keep existential dread at bay.

*Please note that all career service coachings are free of charge but I’m happy to discuss a return of your $0 payment in the inconceivable event of your dissatisfaction.

**Yes, here at the EXCEL Lab we have been known to participate in shameless plugs from time to time. But we’re pretty awesome so it’s totally worth it! Really really come check us out!

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