What are your strengths? Can you name them off the top of your head? Are you really in touch with them, using them mindfully every day?
All my work is founded on supporting teens and adults to discover their strengths and use them not only on a daily basis but also to meet their greatest challenges. We also dwell for a short time exploring the “double-edged sword” nature of those strengths–they can be used effectively to reach your goals or they can trip you up and wreck your plans.
My results indicate that my strengths are:
- Creativity, Ingenuity, & Originality
- Curiosity and Interest in the World
- Hope, Optimism, & Future-Mindedness
- Zeal, Enthusiasm, & Energy
- Bravery & Valor
I actively use my strengths every day as they bring me pleasure–for example, creating a resource for the students I coach–and those strengths help me manage some of my more difficult tasks, like organizing the many projects that comprise my work.
The truth is that my strength of creativity gets me in trouble all the time! I have an idea and I have a deadline… I start working on my fun, exciting, new project, brimming with ideas and a plan, and then I get another idea–one that will make it even better. Then I remember my deadline and I begin to have to make tough decisions about racing to the deadline with the brighter, shinier, more fabulous idea, or making sure that I have all my ducks in a row and finishing without breaking a sweat with my really good idea. Does this sound at all like you?
If you can’t speak confidently about your strengths, because you have never taken a survey, go here, www.authentichappiness.com, and take the free Brief Strengths Test. You will be glad you made the time! And, challenge yourself to take your new knowledge to a higher level.
Think about how your strengths currently support you. Reflect on challenges in your life right now…
- If you’re a teen, maybe it’s getting clear on which colleges should be on your short list, or feeling at ease during interviews, or completing all the essays for your applications.
- For parents, perhaps it’s thinking through and then straddling the line between supporting and yet not making the big decisions for your teen, managing your own anxiety, and planning for your future when your teen is in college.
Here’s a map from my book, How to Major in You and find the right college–it may be the incentive you need to get started on this self-reflective journey! And, if you’re not sure about how to use your strengths, reach out for help!
- Enjoy family rituals, as they are an anchor during times of change.
- Keep to a schedule—although it will be different from the regular weekly schedule, having a plan for each and every day will provide the needed structure for spending time in a mindful way.
- Talk through possible “trouble spots” (intrusive and opinionated family members and friends at holiday gatherings, unhealthy ways of handling anxiety, conflicting commitments of family members).
- Promote healthy coping skills (good eating habits, plenty of sleep, creating harmony between meeting obligations and time to play).
- Be sensitive to the dynamics of personal time and space—yours and your teen’s, so that no one sacrifices/everyone gains.
- Be open and ready for conversations that reflect the changing dynamics within your family as everyone thinks ahead to next year and how life will be different.
How many of these emotions grab you from time to time?
- Burnt out
The good news is, it’s normal to feel like you’re on a roller-coaster. Even better news is that you really can control some of the “lows” of this experience by becoming fully conscious of your present step on the journey, where you need to go, and the path to completion.
- Where are you in the process?
- What have you achieved?
- Where do you want/need to be?
- What decisions and deadlines are you facing?
- What are your timelines for the various tasks? Your milestones?
- Who is in your “circle of support”—people you can tell how you’re feeling (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and who offer a listening heart, guidance, and/or resources?
Answering these questions highlights your progress and the road ahead.
Thinking through how to relax and get refreshed—and then doing one or more of your healthy habits—can support you during the more challenging times. SO, the question is, “How do you chill?” What are you doing to help yourself stay on track and yet not be consumed by your selection process?
Just in case you are feeling a little in need of some new ideas for catching your breath and regaining your equilibrium… As the doctor would say,” Take one (or more) of these!”
- See friends
- Play an instrument
- Read a book
- Do a Zentangle* (see photo)
Bottom line, do what it takes—in a healthy, positive way—to take good care of yourself. You’ll come back to your very full life refreshed and with better focus.
* My latest fun! Learn more here, www.zentangle.com.
What a great question! And, there are many ways to answer that question… By asking more questions!
- Do you know your interests, passions, and values? What are they?
- Are you clear about a course of study or a career path? What are you thinking about?
- Do you have a sense of what types of learning environments and types of curricula work best for your personal learning style? How have you learned most effectively in high school?
- What type of social environments will be a great fit for you? What type of settings will be both comfortable and stimulating?
- Want do you aspire to be and do in college? What is your vision of yourself at college?
- What do you understand about financial packages from schools—are you aware which types of schools give more aid? Do you have resources for discovering scholarships?
- How will you work with your parents to learn about and apply for funds that are available locally, in your state, nationally, and at the specific colleges of interest to you?
Your thoughtful answers—based on personal reflection, conversations with friends and family members, research, and visits to campuses—will be your guideposts on the journey to choosing the schools that are the best matches. Make the time to choose wisely as these are the first steps on a grand new adventure!
- your teen needs to step into learning about and managing the pieces of this puzzle
- you want to trust your teen’s abilities and judgment… and yet, since you are not sure of all the pieces, you remain a little uneasy
- you aren’t quite sure how to encourage your teen to take charge, see the big picture, understand the details, make a plan, create a timeline, identify milestones, and be consistent in tackling the tasks…
- your teen might want to do it all alone, might want your active support or some combination of the two extremes, and you’re not sure how to navigate those turbulent waters
- the more you can be like a coach rather than a manager—active listener, sounding board, supporter, understanding about “bumps in the road” and less directive, deadline-keeper, and critic—the better the relationship you will cultivate for the last year of high school, college, and beyond.
Making the GRADE: Discovering the Colleges That Are the Right Fit for You
Are you ready to STOP being scared
about the college search
and START this great adventure
with tools, resources and support?
Imagine—a clear path to make your list of colleges that are the right fit for you.
I’ll teach you my PROVEN 5 step system
for more quickly and efficiently
discovering the campuses that are the best matches.
Does this sound familiar?
- Every time you think about beginning the college search you feel anxious, confused, and overwhelmed. Worse, you know that time is running out to manage this process without it taking over your life.
- When your friends start talking about colleges, you worry that you won’t find a college that will accept you—and that you like. While you realize there are thousands of colleges, you just don’t know how to start looking.
- Your parents are trying to be helpful, but conversations are often brief and sometimes tense.You want your parents to be involved in the college search but you haven’t figured out what that looks like yet.
- The contact you have with school counselors and advisors is infrequent and oriented to completing paperwork. Your guidance counselor has so many students to see and you haven’t been able to develop a relationship, so you’re not sure how helpful school-based resources will be for you.
Well, I have GREAT news for you—you are SO in the right place right now.
I am known as The College Coach. Why? Because helping teens find the colleges that are right for them is what I do best!
In fact, I have gotten SO good at it and love it so much that I’ve developed a coaching program that supports students in using my coaching process on their own!
- It started with being involved in my daughter’s search for the colleges that were the right fit for her. I learned from what my daughter, and we as her parents, experienced in the long and challenging search.
- As our daughter completed her selection process, I began developing coaching materials for her peers that were still slogging through the process.
- Then I developed my six session coaching program for teens, Finding the Colleges That Are the Right Fit!, and shared elements of it on local, regional, and national conference stages.
- And, I had my own radio show, College Bound & Determined, which enabled me to learn even more about the college search from experts in a variety of fields. After a year, my show was racking up over 7,000 downloads per ratings period.
I share this with you so you can know that I’ve learned a thing or two about a thing or two. I took a quantum leap from learning and working with my own daughter to speaking to thousands of students and hundreds of parents every year, coaching teens, and now converting my live coaching program into an ebook. I have the path to results for teens down to a science.
What’s my secret? Well, here it is in a nutshell.
Making the GRADE!
Yes, all of my work is founded on this path.
It’s the easiest, fastest, least expensive way to make the short list of colleges that are the best matches for you!
In fact, using the 5 steps of Making the GRADE is the BEST way to create your list!
- GOALSET—get clear on who you are, by identifying your strengths, needs, wants, and challenges, both academically and socially
- RESEARCH—learn about the path to choosing colleges, where you are on the path and what colleges seek in students
- ANALYZE—appraise your academic record and extracurricular activities, and draft a list of colleges
- DECIDE—determine the colleges that are the best matches, move forward with completing applications and interviews for a select group of colleges
- EVALUATE— reflect on who you are becoming and choose which college environment will enable you to thrive
But there’s a catch.
As simple as these steps appear, it’s not easy to get the results you desire. (As many of you probably struggle with this first hand, there’s lots of information out there and paperwork you can complete, but if you are not asking the right questions, it’s a pointless exercise.) If you don’t know what you’re doing—or you think that you can just complete applications to schools others believe are right for you—you can EASILY waste hundreds of hours with little to show for it, in terms of results you can feel confident about.
So having a full understanding of the steps on the path is crucial to your success. But it’s only the beginning. You ALSO need to: Commit to reading the book, completing the MajorInYou (MiY) Maps, and using the resources. If you don’t engage fully in this process, it will be impossible to achieve the results you desire. Now, you may have visited a few college information sites, checked out some colleges family and friends have recommended, read a book or two about the college search, and even started the paperwork from the guidance department.
But it’s STILL not working, is it?
That’s because you don’t have my ENTIRE system. You see, I have this down to a science. I know EXACTLY what you need to do and HOW to get the best results.
Plus, there are things that are crucial to do—and you might be inadvertently skipping them because you don’t think they’re all that important!
You see, it’s not your fault that you still struggle to find the colleges that are the right matches. No one has EVER put together a system like this one. Typically you’ll get maybe a piece of the system (and most likely it’s from someone who doesn’t use my visual coaching approach) but you won’t see the WHOLE thing. For instance:
- Will you learn all the steps of the journey, so that you always know where you are and where you are going?
- Will you learn how to assess your world right now and use that information to make your plans?
- Will you learn to understand your strengths, needs, and challenges to develop insights that will guide you to your best matches?
- Will you learn to recognize and use your strengths during the college search, especially during the more challenging aspects?
- Will you learn how to use your school and life experiences to prepare for essays and interviews, so you can streamline the steps and feel confident?
- Will you see examples of how to use your values to find the right colleges, so you can know that you will feel comfortable on campus?
Will you be offered tools and resources to support you and your parents in this important journey?
It’s VITAL you get all the pieces of the puzzle, because if you don’t, chances are you’re not going to thrive during this process.That’s why I’m now ready to SPILL THE BEANS! You’re about to get my ENTIRE system for finding the best matches!
Making the GRADE:
Discovering the Colleges
That Are the Right Fit for You!
is the process you use in my book, How to Major in You and Find the Right College
You are about to learn my clear, PROVEN, 5 STEP plan which coaches you through EXACTLY how to engage in the college search so that you find the right colleges…. FAST.
Hear what people are saying!
Whether you are just beginning the college search or you have been trying to complete it for months, you’ll discover strategies and tips designed to help you speed through and enjoy (most of) the college selection process. All you need to do is follow my system to see results. “Making the Grade” is something really special… While many college counselors help students narrow choices and write application essays, Jill opens the door for a path of discovery that helps the student find the colleges with the overall best fit, not just to a chosen major but to the whole student. “Making the Grade” should be part of every high school junior’s registration packet!”
“Making the GRADE is such a practical, efficient and fun way to help you (or the college bound grad in your life) make an informed decision on the school search process. Born from Jill’s personal and professional experience as a parent and an educator, it’s a thorough, self-paced visual system that produces a solid result—you in the school that is a uniquely right fit! A wonderful application of the visual thinking genre, I’m pleased to whole-heartedly recommend “Making the GRADE” and am including Jill’s progressive work in my overview book on the Visual Coaching field. May your excellent college experience launch you into the life of your dreams, go for it!”
The SHIFT-IT Coach & Interactive-Visuals Mentor
So now you may be wondering, “Jill, how EXACTLY are you going to coach me to…”
Goalset and get results
Research myself and colleges
Analyze who I am and which colleges are the best fit for my future
Decide which colleges make my “short list”
Evaluate my acceptances to determine which environment will enable me to thrive both academically and socially
so that I can enjoy my senior year?
Here’s my answer…
I’ve designed my coaching program to go much deeper than the books you see on the shelf in book stores or online that get you all excited and then leave you alone to struggle your way through finding the time and the focus to get going.
I have provided the entire process for making the best choices.
- The PROVEN 5 Step process—GRADE
- The MiY Maps, my visual coaching tools, for capturing critical information
- Resources for you and your parents—interviews with experts, articles, and websites.
So on top of everything outlined above you get these bonuses when you join this group coaching program:
My LIVE Six Session Program runs
October 17, 24, 31 November 7, 14
Six session coaching program—Fast Action bonus: 20% discount on $299, If you make the decision by midnight Saturday, Ocotber 12th, 2013.
This coaching program provides live access to me and the support of a small group of peers for personalized coaching during the college search and selection process.
We will work our way through the 5 STEPS of the college search and selection through:
- 6 group coaching calls
- 1 private laser coaching session
- access to the MajorInYou online campus
- videos developed for teens,
- articles written for teens
- interviews/mp3 files
Plus, you are protected by my “I Love this Coaching Program” Guarantee
I’m confident that when you take the first steps down the path of this journey with me, you will be thrilled. I also know that if you follow the steps and do the work, you will start to feel more confident and organized, which will lead to your success. Just to back that up, I’ll give you until the end of R/Research (the second step on the path) to do the work and REALLY decide if this group coaching process is for you… in your heart. If you decide it’s not for you, just let me know and you will get a full refund.
Yes, Jill! I’m ready to discover the colleges that are the best matches and have a great time doing it!
For the Fast Action Bonus Price of 20% discount on $299 (until 10.12.2013) I understand I’m getting:
Jill’s complete system for easily finding the right colleges for me. This is all available to me in the package, Teaming Up with Jill! Send me an email with your contact information and we’ll get started right away!
PS: Look, let me be honest here. It doesn’t matter to me if you invest in this package or not. It DOES, however, matter to me that you MAKE A DECISION about it before you jump off this page. Please don’t let this be one more thing you need to “think about.” Nothing will keep you from finding the best matches faster than delaying decisions. So YES or NO, trust that and move forward. If YES, buy this package and learn my system for discovering the colleges that are the right fit.
Tell me… or at least answer these questions for yourself: How do you plan best? How do you engage in planning?
- Do you start with the big picture or long-range planning—back-mapping the process?
- Or, do you prefer to think of all the steps of all the tasks and plan forward, knowing when you need to complete each task?
It’s October 8th, and if you’re a senior, your planning is really for the next two, maybe five months at the most. Deadlines are looming for Early Decision and Early Action, within a month’s time in some cases. And, even if regular admissions deadlines are in January or February, you would probably want to be done with them before then, wouldn’t you?
So, what are your plans? What kind of calendar are you using? Whether it’s paper, on your phone, or on your computer, it should be your constant companion—where you check-in regularly about:
- Important dates—for school work, college visits, milestones for your applications and family obligations
- Deadlines—for testing, letters of recommendations, visits, applications, supplemental materials
And, you need to remember that you are human and that “stuff happens”… which means that you might get sick or get an extra assignment or have an opportunity to go somewhere or do something amazing. You want to build leeway/extra time into your schedule for unexpected events or circumstances.
Here’s an example of the kind of planning calendar I suggest.
It encourages you to think for the year ahead because even when your applications are complete, doing your very best for the remainder of the school year is critical, and you will want to be preparing yourself to be college ready, not just college eligible. Here’s the video, where I share my thoughts on how you can become college ready.
Well, in part, you answer depends on who you are and where you are in the process, right?
- Are you a senior? A junior?
- Have you started the process? Are you well into the process?
- How do your personality and work styles fit the whole task (a long term process—from several months to over a year)?
- What about your styles in relation to the parts of the big picture—for example, goal-setting, planning, creating milestones, implementing, checking in, taking tests, writing essays, managing the stream of information in your inbox and mailbox, exploring your strengths, needs, challenges and wants academically, socially and emotionally… and the list goes on!
The idea of who I am and how I come to a task or event was driven home to me this past weekend. I was walking the Hamptons Half Marathon with family friends, and since I’m also race-walking the NIKE Women’s Half Marathon in three weeks, this could have been a great warm-up event for me—to note my pace and determine what I wanted to do similarly or differently for NIKE. Instead, my goal became to have a great day and walk with my friends, who hadn’t trained for the event as much as I had, and didn’t have the history of doing at least three half marathons a year. What a great day it turned out to be! It was the right decision for that event!
And so, I ask you once again, what are your goals in your college search and selection process?
The teens I coach have a variety of goals:
- Get the search and selection process done FAST
- Enjoy the self discovery process that leads to the decision-making around which schools are the right fit
- Find a few friends and take the steps on the path together
- Gain independence by learning the pieces to the puzzle and own the process
- Develop a partnership with a parent around aspects of the process (for example, financial aid, travel to colleges for visits, support with managing the timeline of this long term project)
There’s no time like the present to get in touch with where you are now, where you need to be (and by when), and how you are going to get there.
It’s been two Wednesdays in a row of great conversations with parents of teens who are beginning the college admissions process! I LOVE getting into deep conversations about their hopes, dreams, ideas, questions, and concerns about
- the college search and selection process—and who plays what role
- how to help teens become college ready not just college eligible
- the future lives of teens at college and parents at home…
If you’re curious about these topics and want to listen in on our conversation, shoot me an email at email@example.com. At the end of the hour you will learn how to sign up for my three session teleseries, Discover the 3 Powerful Steps to Help Your Teen Make the Leap to College, or click here to visit the page with details. The next series will begins October 9th!