It will never be perfect

Collegewise counselor Davin S. forwarded me this New York Times article, “It’s Never Going to Be Perfect, So Just Get It Done.” The link was persnickety and really wanted to require a subscription until I somehow tricked it into revealing itself, but the gist is pretty clear: Voltaire was right—perfect really is the enemy of good. […]

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Uniquely yours is uniquely you

University of Virginia blogger Dean J recently posted answers in response to applicants’ questions about the essays. One response addressed several queries about the best way to either “grab the reader’s attention” or “stand out.” “I wish whoever is telling students they have to be completely unique in their essays or that their application has […]

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Check your progress

Parents, imagine you have a meeting scheduled with a co-worker and receive a call from the colleague’s parent requesting that the meeting be rescheduled to allow their (grown) child to fulfill a conflicting commitment. Or what if you were a manger and received a call from the parent of one of your direct reports wanting […]

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The difference between ordinary and remarkable

Seth Godin’s latest post, “The $50,000 an hour gate agent,” really resonated with me. And you don’t need to be a gate agent, or even a traveler, to embrace the lesson here. Whatever role you play—teammate, classmate, counselor, friend, coworker, etc.—what would it take for you to make the kind of impression that this gate […]

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Everyone = anyone

College applicants—and professional recruiters—can learn a lot about the art of presentation from the way most businesses write job posts. Too many companies post job openings that include a lot of words without actually saying anything. A few real examples I found with a brief Google search: “Seeking accomplished executive able to drive results through […]

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Don’t get duped

They’re baaaack… To the annual frustration and ire of good counselors and admissions officers everywhere, students across the country are receiving notifications that they have been nominated for membership to an exclusive, prestigious honor society, one that will open doors to scholarships and impress colleges. All they have to do to avail themselves of the […]

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Make things better

In the “Nepotism” episode of the iconic workplace comedy The Office, bumbling boss Michael hires his nephew, Luke, to work as an intern. And it’s immediately clear to everyone but Uncle Michael that Luke is not a good addition to the team, as Luke is unable to muster any effort at all to do the […]

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Five college topics to discuss before applications

Some of the most important topics in college planning aren’t discussed until there is tension, confusion, or outright family disagreement around them. For families with rising seniors who will soon begin their applications, here are five topics to discuss beforehand. 1. Areas of collegiate disagreement It’s normal for parents and students to disagree on the […]

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Behind the blog

I’ve been writing this blog every day since October 12, 2009. More than 3500 posts–in a row. And I’ve never missed a day. I write every word myself, and I don’t take guest posts. I find both pressure and pride in owning every post myself. I’ve never accepted any advertising. Any book or resource or […]

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