Join me to learn how to write better college essays

I’ll be teaching a free college essay webinar in two weeks. How to Craft Compelling, Cliché-Free College Essays Wednesday, August 21 2019 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. PDT All the details and registration information are here. I really enjoy speaking with students and parents about this topic, and I hope you’ll join me.

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Alarmism

I had a great visit with my parents last weekend but a less pleasant visit with my mother’s car. The vehicle is equipped with a warning system to alert you if you’re about to collide with something. It sounds great in theory. But in practice, any time you’re within fifteen feet of a solid object […]

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Are you mentorable?

I appreciated this recent piece, “Are you mentorable?” from the group who produces the TED Talks (appropriately, the article also includes a TED Talk video of the same name). I’ve often heard students or working professionals lament the lack of a mentor in their lives, as if they’re passive observers just waiting for the opportunity to […]

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Bite-sized chunks

Any big, long-running project, from college applications to a professional’s initiative at work, can feel overwhelming at the start. An as yet undefined but probably long list of to-dos. Difficult choices to be made. A feeling of urgency without a clear triaging of priorities. It can be enough to paralyze you to inaction or to […]

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How, not who

I’ve heard the conversation-starter, “Who would play you in a movie about your life?” But for parents of kids going through the college admissions process, I think it’s more compelling to consider the how, not the who. If a movie were made that accurately depicted your words, your actions, your relationship with your student, and […]

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Answer the question

My wife has learned the hard way that I am not a good viewing partner during televised presidential debates. Ten minutes is all I need to launch into the diatribe she knows is coming, all leading to the inevitable outcome when I get too frustrated to continue. This isn’t aimed at one particular side of […]

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Earlier vs. faster vs. better

Writing a blog that dispenses advice about a ritual that repeats annually, like the college admissions process, means that while some readers have been here (and part of the process) before, some are going through this for the first time. The choice to write new material for a returning audience or to rehash old messaging that’s fresh […]

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The learning opportunity

I always appreciate when a press entity or industry publication features an article with a collection of advice from admissions officers or even the directors of those offices. I’ve written many times before about the importance of seeking and taking college admissions advice from the right sources. And admissions officers share the top of that […]

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How to beat cell phone distraction

Cal Newport is a professor of computer science at Georgetown University and author of six books ranging from study skills tips for high school and college students to the role intense focus plays in producing great work, and most recently, the New York Times bestseller Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World. In […]

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Who is this really for?

I saw an ad on social media recently that included this language: “The competitive edge your child is missing…” “The secret behind taking your child’s soccer game to the next level…” “See better decision making, improved performance, and more confidence…” It’s pretty clear this product is designed to appeal to the parent, not the player. […]

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