Just read the tweet from Clark U. It’s the first day of classes! It brings me back… such great memories!
If you’re a high school senior—whether you’re back at school already or begin next week—there are three questions to answer today:
- Where are you in your college search?
- Do you know all the steps on the path—not just the paperwork that needs to be completed?
- What’s your plan, your timeline, and your next steps?
If you need help with answering any of these questions, contact me for me a free Strategy Session* here. I can help you make the college search faster and easier.
* My complementary Strategy Session helps you get crystal clear about where you are and where you need to go in your college search. We recognize what you have accomplished and uncover hidden challenges. You will leave the session energized and inspired to follow the path to the colleges that are the best fit for you.
Musings on Parenthood…
This morning I wrote to my daughter about how really wonderful it is that she is finding her way in the exciting, and yet messy, world of work. Then, I was struck by the thought that it was a “mom” kind of thing to say—and I believe that while there is some of that left in our relationship, we have more conversations as equals/peers/colleagues these days… and I reflected on the times that she has been respectful of the work/volunteering/learning that I do, and I felt content. We have reached a new place in our relationship…
It’s a countdown to the new school year! In some areas of the country, students are already back at school, and almost everyone begins in the next two weeks. Seniors are wondering about the college search… I’ve heard the questions:
- What are all the parts of this process?
- Where will I find the time to do…
- my school work
- think about, and maybe take more, standardized tests
- start and finish the applications-including writing the essays
- get my letters of recommendation
- visit colleges and do interviews
- … and have a social life?
- Who can I turn to for information and support?
Here’s a few tips and techniques for getting those tasks done-and making sure you have fun!
- Learn and truly understand all of the steps on this great adventure. Here’s a picture to help you see it all!
- Get clear on where you are on your journey. I have created a survey for teens in my new ebook, Making the GRADE: Discovering the Colleges That Are the RIght Fit for You! Take the survey and then create a plan for what’s got to get done! *
- Think about some cool concepts. I just read about them today in Yaro Starak’s blog
A Sprint is a term common in the development world were you focus on one core task or objective which you can complete in a short period of time. You essentially “sprint” to the outcome, disregarding everything else.
There is another term that goes hand-in-hand with the Sprint concept known as an “Epic“. An Epic is also an objective, but it’s too big to be done in a sprint time frame. It requires more time and resources to get it done, hence it is a more “epic” undertaking.” (Source: Yaro’s blog)
Your college search is epic (nothing like a play on words!), and there are many sprints along the way. I think they are awesome concepts… and they fit right in with my “college search as a marathon” theme.
What do you think?
I believe you need to know all the steps of this epic journey, and if you create sprints for yourself-work you can get done in a week (or some other short, definite timeframe)- you will feel more in control of the process. I’d love to hear how you’re doing-shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Subject: Your College Search
The Question: How are you feeling about where you are in the process of finding the colleges that are the right fit for you? Exactly how are you feeling RIGHT NOW?
As the summer comes to a close and you begin thinking about the upcoming school year…
- If you’re a junior you might be thinking ahead to getting that packet of information about colleges from your guidance counselor or college advisor.
- If you’re a senior, you are most likely thinking about when and how you are going to get your applications-with all the pieces to that puzzle, such as testing, writing/reviewing/revising/rewriting the essays, college visits, and interviews-done.
I’m guessing here, yet I wouldn’t be surprised if you were getting a little anxious, or beginning to feel stressed out… And, we haven’t even talked about what kinds of conversations you are having with you parents about managing the process, thinking about finances and scholarships, in addition to the importance of maintaining you grades during senior year.
Here are some ideas for you!
I was just reading an article in Prevention magazine and then went to the source, the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. Apparently doing Kripalu Yoga (meditation, relaxation and breathing exercises, along with yoga poses) reduces anxiety. How cool is that!
So while your school might not offer yoga as a part of PE/gym classes-it’s something you could do on you own (think DVD’s from the library or shows on TV/the internet).
And one of my favorite resources is www.getsomeheadspace.com, which has a fre*e 10 day meditation program. Check it out!
Whether you are feeling some tension, distress or overwhelm about you college search now, or when it happens in the future, remember, you can find the resources you need to cope… whether you discover tools or you reach out to others.
Just finished an interview with Matt Nie of WBSD FM, in Burlington, Wisconsin. He asked great questions…
- What are some of the myths about the trying to find the colleges that are the best fit?
- Where do teens begin their college search?
- How can parents be helpful-and not take over the process?
- What can students expect from their guidance counselors?
- What are colleges really looking for in students?
We discussed all this and more, and you can hear it online, at www.wbsdfm.com at 6:30 am Central Time, this Sunday, August 5th.
If you are looking for answers sooner, then…
- visit my website
- listen to these free recordings
- Open Mind, Open Heart: How to Support Your Teen in the College Search, www.majorinyou.com/twosides-parents
- Your College Search: How to Tame Your Fears and Find the Colleges that Fit, www.majorinyou.comtwosides-teens
- visit itunes, search for College Bound & Determined, my radio show for parents, with great interviews and information for teens too!
- contact me for a fre*e strategy session (write to me, email@example.com)
- and, check out the my newest publication, Making the GRADE, at the launch price of $15.00, available at www.majorinyou.com/store, on August 3rd.
Buying a college education-because that’s what you are doing, purchasing what the college has to offer-is like buying clothes, a song on itunes, or a book on Amazon.com. You know great stores and designers, musicians and authors you love-over the years you have figured out what’s right for you.
Now, the question is, which colleges are right for you? It’s your job to discover which environments will provide you with the best education and social life… because if you don’t do your homework and find the right matches, the colleges will do that work for you by rejecting your application. That’s a scenario to be avoided for a few reasons: because it will upset you, and you will realize that your effort was a waste of time and money.
Going to college is not about making a vanity choice. It’s a huge investment, and the colleges you choose need to be places where you feel both comfortable and challenged. Maybe your list of colleges will include an Ivy or a Big 10 school or maybe schools that are not on everyone’s lips… I’d suggest looking at a wide variety of possibilities. It is your work to uncover the answer because it’s your future.
Information you need to know in today’s NY Times, Full Disclosure for Student Borrowers
Here’s a list of questions I have been answering for the past few days…Those very questions you don’t know to ask when you are beginning you college search…
About the college search
- How can I get my college search and selection done faster and better – and have some fun?
- Does my guidance counselor really know me and have the time to work with me effectively?
- When should I start really looking at colleges?
- What are the parts of the search and selection process?
- How important is it to plan? Do I really need to treat this like a long term project, can’t I just complete the paperwork (that the guidance counselor gives me)?
About the right matches for you
- What do I need to know best?
- How do I learn best?
- What type of programming/curriculum do different colleges offer?
- Which scholarships are a good match for me?
About using resources during your search (people, websites, books)
- Who should I be connecting with throughout this journey?
- How much should I listen to others?
- Should I listen to the media?
- What’s the difference between a guidance counselor, a college advisor, and a coach?
About the admissions process
- How can I guard against making bad choices?
- Why can’t I wait until I am accepted to visit colleges?
- I was wondering if interviewing really makes a difference to my application
- What do I do if I’m rejected from everywhere I’ve applied?
- If I’m a good writer, won’t just one draft and a revision be sufficient for a great essay?
- Do I need to prepare any information for the teachers that I am going to ask for letters of recommendation?
About your last year at home and thinking ahead to college
- How do I want to spend my senior year in high school? What can I do to make sure that happens?
- How do I manage myself/time at college – workload, time management, social life, etc.?
It’s an exciting-and anxiety provoking-time for many seniors. Making that final choice about where to go to college is often exhilarating and torturous… It’s so much fun to imagine the future and yet making that final decision is often fraught with nerves and second guesses.
Take heart! Between your work to discover the colleges that are the right fit for you, and the admissions office staffs’ work to do exactly the same-find students who are the right match for what they have to offer-you’re on solid ground! I would venture to say that if you are choosing between two or three finalists-in the contest of which lucky school gets to be your home for the next four years-you are probably a match for all of them!
My advice: Choose with your head and your heart. Pick the place that feels both comfortable and a stretch-you can see yourself there and you know that you will be challenged.
Here’s a resource to share with your parents!
In the flurry of writing about making the choice about which college to attend, I forgot to attach a short article I wrote and distributed to parents at one of the workshops I presented last Saturday at Clark University’s Admitted Student Open House day.
You can click and share Make the best choice
If you’re a senior and still undecided, take heart! My guess is that you applied to colleges that were good matches, so the final few that you are choosing between are probably all a good fit! I know, you still have to select just one… so here are a few suggestions to help you feel more confident:
When you visited the campus, how did you feel while you were there?
Perhaps you were thinking: I really see myself here, I like the energy, it feels comfortable, I like the campus/environment, I can relate to many of the students and professors I met here, it’s the right distance from home…
What did you think of your future there?
The college offers just what I want-and if I change my mind or haven’t decided on an area of interest yet there are so many choices-I will be able to take advantage of those options, I will be challenged to do my best work here and if I need support with a class or a skill I will be able to get it, I might want to study abroad, do an internship or work with a professor and I have those opportunities…
I believe that the decision needs to be made with both your head and your heart. Finding someone who can be a soundingboard for you-listening and reflecting back your ideas-may be just the support you need; that person might be one of your parents, a friend, guidance counselor or another trusted adult.