Accomplishments vs. attitude

The most successful, fulfilled people didn’t get where they are through accomplishments alone. They paired their great drive to achieve with an equally great attitude. It’s true in the workplace, and in college admissions. You have two applicants with near-perfect GPAs. One is a grade grubber who only cares about getting the A, who whines […]

Read More >

Catastrophe, or catastrophizing?

Catastrophizing is the irrational act of believing that something is a lot worse than it actually is. There are two kinds, and both show up regularly for anxious students and parents going through the college admissions process. The first creates a catastrophe out of a current non-catastrophic situation. You get a C on one test […]

Read More >

Parents: how to build better parent/school relations

Parents, here’s a simple exercise that will help you engage productively and appropriately with your student’s high school, forge healthy relationships with faculty, and even give you a nice mood lift. 1. Identify five positive things you’ve witnessed, experienced, or appreciated in the last three months at your student’s school. Maybe the chemistry teacher spent […]

Read More >

Want to attend college outside the US?

Updated 4/18/17: I wrote in my original post that this webinar was free. That was my mistake–we’re charging $10. I promise this wasn’t my attempt at a blogging bait and switch (though my lack of attention to blogging detail is almost as frustrating). Thanks for being patient with me.   We’re increasingly hearing from families […]

Read More >

Real people

Some high school students are so driven to get accepted to selective colleges that they actually morph into full-time applicants. They’re not actually applying to college 24/7. But they talk about their life in terms of GPAs, test scores, activities, accolades, etc. The college applicant displaces the real person. You’re not a college applicant; you’re a […]

Read More >

Not-so-harmless embarrassment

I worked with a student years ago who told me that when her father drove her to middle school every day, he’d roll down the windows and purposely blare his “old-time music” as he approached the school’s curbside. Then he’d yell, “Go get ‘em honey—another day to excel!” as she exited the car. She still […]

Read More >

Decision time

Seniors have until May 1 to make up their minds about which of their offers of admission to accept. If any soon-to-be college freshmen (and their parents) are wondering… Do I really have until May 1 to make up my mind? Some of these acceptance letters make it sound like I won’t get housing if […]

Read More >

A toolkit money can’t buy

Stanford Radio just aired this interview with former dean of freshmen and author Julie Lythcott-Haims on the dangers of overparenting and how to avoid that behavior. But she also takes the time to acknowledge that the overparenting phenomenon is present primarily in upper middle class families with parents who have disposable time and money and […]

Read More >