Checklisted childhoods

Julie Lythcott-Haims isn’t just a former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford and the author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kids for Success. She’s also a parent herself, one who openly admits that at the same time in her life when she first began chastising Stanford […]

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Stay the course

At the conclusion of our holiday break during our freshman year of college, my roommate Craig and I packed our duffel bags into his 1986 Toyota Celica and set off from our homes in the San Francisco Bay Area to return to our dorm at UC Irvine. The driving directions to do so looked something […]

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A great college is…

If you’re a senior compiling your college list, focus on three things that make a college a great choice for you. 1. One where you can get in. I’m not suggesting that any school that wouldn’t admit you simply isn’t a good choice. But much as a romantic interest isn’t your soul mate if the interest […]

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A million dollars on the line

The next time you attend a class, show up to work, counsel a student, etc., imagine you and your cohorts were being silently observed and evaluated all day by a committee whose job was to decide who made the biggest impact that day. The best part? The winner gets a one million dollar prize. Would […]

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Who’s it not for?

For private college counselors running your own shops, one of the keys to standing out and doing great work is deciding who you–and your expertise–isn’t for. What kind of guidance or support can a potential customer request—and be perfectly willing to pay you for—that you’d politely decline and refer them to a competitor who’s a […]

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Just showing up

“Just showing up” can have both positive and negative connotations. When parents go to back-to-school night, when a student attends the extra help sessions their calculus teacher offers at lunch, when a counselor stays late at a conference because the last session offered just might help their students, just showing up is everything. You didn’t have […]

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What happens here, and no place else?

What if the next time you toured a college, or attended a college’s presentation at your school, or visited a college fair, you asked the school’s representative to tell you a story about something that happens at that college that would not happen anywhere else? Wharton Business School professor Adam Grant advises that job applicants […]

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Parents, let them have their big days

DayCampDay1

This week, my wife and I did something we’ve never done before—we dropped our two-and-a-half-year-old son off at day camp. Not with Grandma and Grandpa, not with a trusted babysitter we—and he—knew, but a group environment with 30 other 2-7 year-olds he’d never met, supervised by adults who’d only learned his name just minutes before. […]

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Would you make the list?

Seth Godin’s been hosting some interesting videos on Facebook Live (all archived here), one of which included an exercise about how to stand out. You’re sitting at a table with 12 people who are part of a cohort and everyone is asked to take out a piece of paper. You’re each now given the opportunity to write […]

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