The value of an activity/accomplishment journal

We see some students (and often their parents) who meticulously record every hour of community service, every award and every academic achievement.  There's value to that, especially given how many college applications will ask you to describe how you've spent your time, and to estimate the number of hours per week and weeks per year […]

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Five more college prep tips for juniors

Here's a good college prep exercise for juniors.  Pick five colleges you're interested in.  If you haven't done your college search yet and don't know where you want to apply, pick five colleges you've heard good things about from other people. Then visit their websites and find the answers to these questions: 1.  What academic […]

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How much time do you need to get a project done?

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." I learned today that's Parkinson's Law.  Something worth thinking about if you're always finishing things at the last minute, and why sometimes your best work gets done when you have less time to do it.

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Play favorites

Playing favorites isn't always a bad thing.  It's actually one of the best ways to get into college. Every happy, motivated, successful high school student should have a favorite: 1.  Class, subject and teacher… 2.  Activity… 3.  Thing you do for fun that has absolutely nothing to do with getting into college… 4.  Person you […]

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Subtle ways to prepare middle schoolers for college

For middle schoolers, I put preparing for the SAT right up there with driving and voting–they'll do it someday, but it's much too early now. Still, there are some productive measures parents can take with their middle schoolers to prepare them for college, and Jay Mathews offers up eight of them here today.  And if […]

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Sometimes it’s good to hurry

Sometimes the best way to stop stalling, deliberating, second-guessing or looking for the perfect choice is just to hurry up.  Rush things.  Make an artificial deadline.  Do it now.   If your club needs to do a fundraiser, you could spend your entire meeting letting everyone make suggestions of what to do and still not […]

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On texting while you work

Seth Godin has a great post today about why you shouldn't text while working.  He's directing it at the professional world, but if you're a high school student who wants to go to college, I think it applies to you, too.   You're competing against people in a state of flow, people who are truly […]

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Five questions colleges ask

Many colleges ask applicants: "Which of your activities has had the most meaning for you, and why?" "Why have you decided to apply to our college?" "Have you thought about what you might like to study in college?" "What's your favorite subject/class/teacher?" "How will you contribute to our campus community?" How would you answer those […]

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