When should you take the SAT/ACT?

Our friends at Compass Education Group have a great post that answers one of the most basic college planning questions: “When should I take the SAT/ACT?” Make sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to download the PDF. Also, College Board is offering its first August administration of the SAT this year. If […]

Read More >

First, peel the garlic

I enjoy cooking. But I really do not enjoy peeling garlic, especially for a dish that needs more than a clove or two. It takes too long. Some bulbs are just uncooperative. The paper goes everywhere, it sticks to the knife, some always clings to the garlic like a life preserver, etc. I love what […]

Read More >

Rest easy, and work hard

One of the pieces of college planning advice I feel most strongly about is one many people just don’t believe—get a job. Plenty of high school kids get part-time jobs, but too many families think the only way a job could possibly impress a college is if it’s a high-profile internship, a start-up later sold […]

Read More >

Hitting reset

One of the best parts of college that’s waiting for you if you want it is the chance to hit the reset button. It can be difficult to reinvent yourself in high school even if you really want to. You become known as the drama kid, the jock, the brooding musician, etc. If it’s the […]

Read More >

For graduation speakers

A student who will be delivering her high school graduation address emailed me last week asking if I had any advice. As is often the case with a blog I’ve written every day for nearly eight years, that advice was somewhere, and not so easy to find, back in the archives. If you or someone […]

Read More >

Where’s the handbook?

When someone new joins your club, organization, team, counseling office, etc., how do they learn how things work? Do you have a process to teach them what you stand for, how you operate, who does what, etc.? If not, you might take a look at the employee handbook that Basecamp, the software company, recently made […]

Read More >

Do colleges appreciate solitary activities?

Any discussion of the potential admissions value of a high school activity usually involves some combination of accolades, impact, and helping others. Your captainship of the cheerleading squad, published articles for the school paper, volunteer hours with Habitat for Humanity—they all involve contributing to a team, a project, a cause, or some other benefactor. But what if […]

Read More >

For no reason (?)

The teacher gave me a C… My parents grounded me… My boss fired me… The principal suspended me… My coach benched me… …for no reason. Are you sure? Or do you just not know the reason? It’s possible you’re the victim of someone else’s bad day or bad mood. If you’re not sure, just ask, […]

Read More >

Stretch, learn, and grow

Since becoming a parent myself, I bristle a little at didactic parents who dispense free advice about how people should raise their kids. Beyond the universal parenting principles just about everyone can agree on, every kid is different. What works for one may be a train wreck for another. Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to […]

Read More >