Sharing weaknesses accentuates strengths

Seniors moving into the application process will soon be besieged with messaging and advice around highlighting their strengths, standing out, and packaging themselves to supposedly resonate with their prospective colleges. But the best way to present yourself is to do so honestly. Yes, that means bringing your accomplishments and strengths front and center. Explain them […]

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Recharging vs. enduring

From bestselling authors Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielan in a recent Harvard Business Review piece, “Resilience Is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure“: “A resilient child is a well-rested one. When an exhausted student goes to school, he risks hurting everyone on the road with his impaired driving; he doesn’t have the cognitive resources […]

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Tips on how to stop hovering

Some ideas spread far and wide quickly, then seem to fizzle just as fast. In 2009, one book ignited the barefoot running craze. In just a few months, runners everywhere were going natural or tiptoeing along in form fitting, paper thin shoes that looked like a cross between scuba gear and rubber gloves for your […]

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Mental list vs. physical list

Crossing an item off a to-do list feels great. You get to physically delete it and enjoy the mental freedom of knowing it’s done. But in today’s world of incoming media, distractions, and constant multi-tasking, adding an item to your to-do list—and getting it out of your head—can bring almost as much relief as crossing it […]

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Expressions of appreciation

Last October, I invited counselors, teachers, students, and parents to take a page from what had become a viral, press-garnering video of Oak Park High School’s Positivity Project, where each teacher identified one student who inspired them and made them want to come to work every day. Cathy, a counselor at Hastings High School in Hastings, […]

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Enjoy the off-season

At Collegewise, our students work on applications and essays during the summer before their senior year. We’ve found that it’s a lot less stressful for students than trying to fit that work in around their academic and activity commitments during the fall. Those applying to rolling admissions schools can actually start their senior year with […]

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Talk it out

There are times that I’m reminded to follow a piece of my own advice I’ve shared here. Yesterday was one of those times. As I shared last week, I’m rewriting the “Careers” page of the Collegewise website, starting from scratch. I want the copy to convey the right messages, to sound like us, and to […]

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On your permanent record

As first reported in The Harvard Crimson and later covered in national news, at least ten incoming Harvard freshmen had their offers of admission revoked this week after they posted offensive memes and messages in a private Facebook group chat. Not surprisingly, it’s generated a lot of discussion amongst counselors, ranging from expressions of relief […]

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