How to talk to students about college

I wrote a post in 2009 listing fifty things you can do in college, even if the school isn't a famous one.  Then Katie in our Bellevue, Washington office did something really smart.  She printed it up on cardstock, put a star next to each item on the list that she did while she was in college at Colgate University, and displayed it on her desk.  Here's why it's so great.

Her students love it. They ask her questions about her college life, what it was like and how she met her future maid of honor in the dorms (that's one of the items on the list).  They love that this professional, responsible person in front of them put stars next to "Go to parties–good ones," "Take road trips," and "Eat peanut butter sandwiches for dinner."  They get to hear how much she loved her major, how she met her mentor during an internship in the admissions office, and how that led to her becoming a college counselor.  Best of all, they see documented proof that you don't have to go to an Ivy League school to be happy and successful.

High school counselors, what would happen if you put that list up on your desk and were totally honest about where to place the stars?  I guarantee that whether you're 24 or 64, your students will want to talk to you about it.

Parents, what would happen if you starred your own list and shared it with your kids?  What conversations would you have together that you haven't had yet?  Would it help you both relax a little and just talk about college, maybe even get more excited about the process?

Want to find out?