Okay! I admit it!
The truth is, I was supposed to be writing an article for a magazine. The deadline is looming (Friday) yet I just couldn’t get into the right frame of mind. Do you ever find that sometimes the ideas and words just flow from your fingers to the keyboard – and other times it’s like beating back the undergrowth in the jungle with a dull machete? I really did try to write… my trusty mindmap next to my computer-all my ideas that just wouldn’t gel. Since it doesn’t happen to me often, I took it as a sign that I should choose something I could actually accomplish easily… and as the saying goes, “Tomorrow is another day.”
So I ventured far and wide and took care of niggling details (emails, booking flights, etc.) and then about noon said to myself, “Mmmm, this is not feeling productive enough! I don’t want to get to the end of the day with too little accomplished.” I HATE that feeling when there’s so much to do! So then I dove headlong into researching the SUNY (State University of NY) college/university system’s website for one of the young men I am coaching. Well, about 45 minutes later I was gasping for air-feeling that sense of overwhelm… Having printed out the critical info, I felt I could leave the site and do more research-that I liked! I won’t bore you with the details… though I discovered some great info re: high school students and their readiness for college and work, and research on positive psychology and teens… all a part of my upcoming ebook – Yikes! Another deadline to think about…
The moral of the story is… so relevant to you in your college search -> to help you feel more relaxed and in control…
- Have a plan for what needs to get done when…
- Create deadlines with flexibility – to give yourself time for a change of pace…
- When the work seems especially hard – look twice at doing it right then…
I know that I will go back to writing the article tomorrow feeling fresh – it will be easier to accomplish and take half the time than if I had forced myself to do it today.
I am a “down-to-the wire” kinda gal… and yet I know I’ll get the first draft done tomorrow, the rewrites a day later and I will still be done two days before my deadline… My work is too important to rush… So is yours!
How’s your plan for choosing colleges? Be sure to give yourself the time you need to do your best work!
1. the sultry part of the summer, supposed to occur during the period that Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun: now often reckoned from July 3 to August 11.
2. a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.
What are you doing during these last, hot days of summer? While I’d like to be taking day trips into New England to beat the heat, watching tennis matches with my favorite players, reading my books or creating new pieces of art, instead I am finishing up one project and making plans for the first weeks of fall… because that’s going to help me slide right into the new school year feeling ready to rock my projects.
I have to say that I have been working like a dog… and starting to feel the payback. I’m preparing to roll-out my coaching program about the college search process as an ebook with all kinds of bells and whistles – in October… and while it’s turned into a monster project – I am searching out all kinds of tools – it is coming together… but that also means I need to think about designing it, getting the word out about it… and a zillion other tasks… that’s the planning!
What are you thinking about and what are you doing right now ?
Where are you in your college search process?
Here’s a “big picture” (and tip of the iceberg) timeline that I developed for a survey of students…
√ Haven’t started
√ Talked with family & friends
√ Looked at brochures/sites
√ Talked with guidance counselor/college advisor
√ Chosen 6-8 colleges to visit – and, you know exactly what you want to learn about every (and each) campus
√ Taken tours & attended information sessions
√ Know finances – what’s your budget for tuition, room & board
√ Had interviews
√ Have final list of 6-9 schools
What have you accomplished on the timeline, and…
if you’re a senior, what’s your plan for the next four months?
if you’re a junior what’s your timeline looking like for the next 16 months?
How are you feeling about your plan? Who is supporting you in the process?
If you’re feeling anxious of overwhelmed, read through previous posts to this blog, send me an email or give me a call. I’m happy to talk with you… to develop a plan that will help you though the challenging process.
Even if you haven’t really devoted time to thinking about where you want to go to college – I assume that you have thought about why you want to go to college… and that’s a good start!
Using your ideas about why you want to go to college can point you in the right direction. Start the process with these steps:
- Consider creating a vision board (describe in a previous post this month) or a mindmap/web so you start to think about who you want to be in the future and environments that will support you in getting there.
- Gather what paperwork you do have and organize it into a file, notebook, or box – unofficial transcript, scores from standardized tests, letters of thanks or commendation for project you have done at school or in the community.
- Begin conversations with your parent(s) about the big questions – the cost of colleges these days (from under $10,000 to over $50,000), financial aid, moving away (how far?) from home…
- Start talking with your friends about what they’re doing – what they have accomplished so far, what they have learned, what questions they have, where they’re looking and why – just to get into the process. Be sure to listen carefully to what they say – I’ll bet that some of it bears checking out.
- Create a file (paper or computer) where you gather all your questions.
- Draft a timeline with all the pieces to this puzzle. If you’re looking for a quick link to this information look here
I have to say though, that I really prefer using a calendar or creating a chart so I can see the big picture and the details at the same time... I am checking out some planning/organizing tools… In fact, I am having so much fun doing it, it is taking DAYS! I’ll report back on it next post!
Write to me with your questions!
Hard to believe but true – summer is almost over and that means it’s time to start getting organized for the fall. Where are you in the college search process?
If you’re a senior, you have probably
- had a few meetings with your guidance counselor – talked about subjects of interest, colleges that might be a fit – > size, region of the country, price range
- talked with family or friends about schools they know and like… or don’t
- looked through materials from colleges – mailed to you or ones you have discovered online
- taken the SAT’s at least once and maybe taken some of the subject tests too
- taken the ACT
- thought about making visits to some schools early in the fall
So here’s my question: What’s your plan for the next four months?
If you have a plan -> fantastic! Just be sure to check in with some sources – guidance counselor/college advisor, books, me – to be certain you’ve got the big picture of what needs to be accomplished, you know the details, and you’ve created a timeline.
If you don’t have a plan -> time to make one! Read the next post!
Does this word of the day – desultory* – describe you?
desultory \DES-uhl-tor-ee\, adjective:*
1. Jumping or passing from one thing or subject to another without order or rational connection; disconnected; aimless.
2. By the way; as a digression; not connected with the subject. 3. Coming disconnectedly or occurring haphazardly; random. 4. Disappointing in performance or progress.
Are you feeling desultory? Discouraged about your start on the college search and selection process? I’ve got a suggestion -> Create a Vision Board!
I love creating a Vision Board/Dream Board/Treasure Map/Visual Explorer/Creativity Collage because the endeavor requires me to gather up fun materials, think about my goals, and then play with/use photos, pictures, words, quotations, and my ideas!
Here’s the”kitchen sink” approach to the topic of Vision Boards (everything you ever wanted to know!)… brought to you in one of my favorite note-making methods -> a mindmap!
I hope you will make a Vision Board – and write to me about your experience!
If you want to learn more, look here:
Getting Things Done, David Allen
blog posts by: Christine Kane, Quazen, Mindjet, Kimberly Kunaniec
PS: If you’d like a copy of the mindmap… Just drop me a line, firstname.lastname@example.org.