It’s the end of your junior year…

  • what have you done to date/how much have you accomplished on your path?
  • what are you doing right now (well, in the month of May)?
  • what is your plan for the summer?

Maybe it’s time to double-check that you have a plan for your college search… Do you?
How do you feel about it?  Do you believe that you have all the pieces in place? If not, what are your ideas for pulling together all the details?

Is it feeling big, scary, overwhelming? What do you do, what personal strengths do you call upon to support you when you have a BIG project or feel anxious about accomplishing a task?  I LOVE working with students to identify their strengths and then planning with them about how to use them in developing their goals, strategies and timelines.  If you love doing that too, now’s the time to start-don’t wait, take action!  If you’re unsure of how to move forward, find some support… Can you seek assistance from a parent, older sister/brother/close relative, guidance counselor/college advisor, find information online on sites and blogs, get books from the library, ask you parent(s) about working with a coach… there are lots of resources available to support you once you decide to take the first step.

My thinking…
Take action… even if it’s imperfect action!

PS:  If it helps you to envision all the roles you need to play in this all-out effort to find the colleges that are the best fit for you, reading the article below may help!

Top 12 Ways To Be Simply the Best College Candidate


How does your teen envision her future?  What are his hopes and dreams?  How will your teen become an independent, responsible adult?

What do you think about your teen and college, do they seem like a natural match?  From your perspective, is it a foregone conclusion that he will go, are there some questions to be considered, or is the topic barely on your family’s radar screen?  What is your teen’s thinking on the topic, what does she feel about the subject?  Have you had that conversation in depth and over time?   It’s never to late (or too early) to have those exploratory conversations.

What the purpose of going to college?  Is a college degree necessary?  Desireable? Those questions seems almost forgotten in our fast-paced lives… though it’s critically important for you and your teen to talk through and answer.

I believe that the continuing education and environment that college can provide enables teens to transition into becoming young adults even more capable of taking advantage of all life has to offer.  College poses opportunities to become even more responsible for all the aspects of their lives: to make decisions about who they want to be, to solve problems of both an academic and interpersonal/social/emotional nature, and to learn to engage with others on a variety of levels-to cooperate, negotiate and resolve conflict, in ways that will serve them for the remainder of their lives.

Can teens develop the same knowledge, skills and attitudes outside of a college setting? Absolutely!  Though perhaps college, or a technical school or an apprenticeship provides a more supportive, structured approach to their development.  Certainly, there are entry level positions that offer opportunities for mentorship and growth.

These are the questions that lead to the conversations we need to have with teens early in their high school years.  By helping our teens explore the possibilities, learn what school systems and the world outside school have to offer (art classes, sports, study abroad, internships, apprenticeships and more) we encourage them to make informed decisions about their futures… whether that includes college in the US, looking for universities or academic programs abroad, making time to enter the world of work before going to college, working and attending college, going to a technical school or beginning an apprenticeship, there are so many choices…

I believe that as parents we owe it to our teens to show the breadth of possibilities so that they can take the reins of the decision-making process and step into adulthood.  What do you think?  What questions do you have about the transition your teen, you and your family are experiencing?  Feel free to contact me.


So really!  What do you think?

What does going to college really mean to you?
What is the thinking about college life in your family?
How does society view going to college?

As a junior, you’re probably hearing a lot of talk about college, because now is the time to start making the major decisions about your future after high school… How “big” are your conversations with your family members, guidance counselors, and friends?  Do they start with questions about the future and the variety of options available to you?  Or, do the people talking around you, and with you, begin with the assumption that college is right for everyone, or at least everyone in the conversation?

Before heading too far down the path on assumptions about college life and what it does and doesn’t have to offer… Have you tried your best to answer these questions:

  • What types of work do you envision in your future?  What are you passionate about, what interests you?
  • Does that field/Do those areas require a college degree?  Are there vocational/technical/career training schools that would prepare you for those fields?
  • Is an apprenticeship available that might provide exactly the hands-on experience required for such work?
  • Have you considered studying abroad for college/university?
  • What do you believe a college experience (education and environment) will do for you?
  • What expectations do you have of college?
  • Do you and your parents have the same hopes and dreams about your future?  Have you had long and deep conversations that address your vision of your future?

Make the time now to think through, discuss and think through (again!) the conversations and answers to these questions, and more questions that are important to you… It’s the only place to begin!  I can help if you like…  Contact me if you want to start a conversation to get clear about what college means to you and your future.


Setting: FBLA* Conference in Hershey, PA, mid-April
Scene: After my workshop, Finding the College That’s Right for You
Participants: Two high school students and me

Query from students: “So how do we get into Ivy League schools?”
My response: “Well, what does ‘Ivy League schools’ mean to you?  Are you thinking of Harvard, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth or one of the other four schools?  While they are all Ivies, and share reputations for academic excellence, they are very different.  Each one has a distinct ‘personality’ and some departments are stronger than others even in these schools. Do you have a clear picture of who you are, and what you are looking for in a college setting; the environments in which you will feel both comfortable and challenged, where you will enjoy the classes and the social life?  Knowing the answering to these questions will help you determine which schools will be the best matches for you.

Honestly,  my answer would be the same for getting in the Ivies, as getting into one of the Big Ten, or the colleges/universities that are at the top of anyone’s list of choices:

  • High GPA
  • High SATs /ACT
  • Evidence of leadership and outstanding extracurricular activities – think quality not quantity here
  • Excellent college essay
  • Strong letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, and other adults who know you well

Take the most challenging courses  you can while in high school-though doing well in those course is critical. ”

*  Future Business Leaders of America


Making TEA… Time, Energy & Abundance for Parents of Teens

Parents of teens no longer want or need support in guiding their children

Parenting teens at its best…
challenging and rewarding
self awareness
respect for your teen
the ability to realize one’s mistakes and apologize for them
personal growth
a trusted adult with whom to share thoughts and feelings
a relationship with your teen, in the present, and in the future

When was the last time that you created the time/space to think about the parent you want to be?
How can you help your teen realize her/his dream?
Would you like to talk about the parent you want to be?  Contact me.

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