How to get students to talk to you about college

30things A few weeks ago, I wrote a post sharing something smart that Katie in our Bellevue office was doing–printing a mock-up of my post on things you can do in college even if your school isn't a famous one, putting stars next to those she got to do when she was at Colgate, and posting the list in her office for her students to see.  Since then, all of the counselors in our Irvine office have done it, too (the photo at the left is Breanne's list).  And our counselor friend Teri at Palos Verdes High School shared it with her staff and teachers.  It's a great way to get kids to see that even the most responsible, professional adults were at one time just college kids trying to find their way.  We love how our students ask us about our starred items and how they want to hear our college stories. 

I wanted to make this a little easier for people to replicate.  So,

1.  Here is the version of the piece that Katie and our counselors used.   Download and print it.

2.  Put a star next to the items you did while you were in college.

3.  Write the name of your college at the bottom (our counselors pasted in the logos from their respective colleges).

4.  Post it prominently in your office or classroom.

5.  Forward this post to your colleagues so they can do the same.

How many more college conversations would be sparked between students and faculty if every teacher, counselor, administrator, etc. at a high school posted this? 

How many more colleges would kids be open to learning about–schools they didn't know of or consider before–if they found out their math teacher or band director or principal attended one of them?

How much more honest would kids be with you about their college dreams and anxieties if you were willing to take the first step by starring this list honestly and posting it?

Why not find out?


  1. Mary says

    Nice list. If you revise, I’d suggest adding to your rather sportscentric list:
    “went to a play or concert because someone on my floor was in it”