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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Freedom with responsibility

Today seems like the right day to remember two things: The freedom to pursue a higher education at all is a gift that’s easy to take for granted. That freedom also comes with a responsibility to value and appreciate the gift. The opportunity to spend four years learning, growing, discovering your passions, having fun and […]

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Hard work in exchange for _________.

It feels good when you’re known as a hard worker. And with good reason. In just about any field, very few people are successful based on talent and luck alone. They do the hard work to get where they’ve arrived. That willingness to pair ambition with effort is also an important ingredient in developing a […]

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Pair learning with doing

Seth Godin’s recent post highlights the conflict we’ve created between learning and doing. Compulsory K-12 education involves a lot of learning without much doing. “The thing we usually seek to label as ‘learning’ is actually more about ‘education’. It revolves around compliance, rankings and ‘will this be on the test?’… Being good at school is […]

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