Would you want yourself there?

If you were your English teacher, would you want you in class?   I don't mean that as some weird philosophical question.  I mean, try to put yourself in your teacher's place and imagine what it would be like to teach the current, high school version of you.  Would you want yourself in the class?  If […]

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Why seniors and their parents shouldn’t worry

Colleges are making admissions decisions now.  Some early returns have already arrived.  But most seniors will learn the rest of their news in the next 3-6 weeks.  So, exactly how much time should those seniors and their parents spend worrying about it? None, if they can swing it. I'm not suggesting you should be indifferent.  […]

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A new way to look at senioritis

There's a great exchange in the movie Office Space that goes like this: Michael Bolton: "You were supposed to come in on Saturday. What were you doing?" Peter Gibbons: "Michael, I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything that I thought it could be." I completely understand why so many of today's […]

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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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