When admissions obsession mirrors addiction

At first glance, some might say that comparing an obsession with an Ivy League education to an addiction to a prescription pain killer is a tad alarmist. But a full read of Brennan Barnard’s latest piece, “Education’s Opiates: Prescribing Selective Colleges,” reveals that in many communities, the anxiety around college admissions is becoming a very […]

Read More >

On purpose

When you show up, who and what do people get? When you arrive to class, punch in for your part-time job, or show up at practice for soccer or band or debate, what happens? Are you the one who shows up on time, who does the little things without being asked, and who finds ways […]

Read More >

How counselors can help the kids who need it most

One of the many reasons I come back to high school counselor extraordinaire Patrick O’Connor’s regular advice columns for counselors is because he reminds his readers that while the over-scheduled but well-resourced student population has their struggles, they’re not the only kids we need to be worrying about. And in fact, there are students whose home lives […]

Read More >

Does it pass the champagne test?

Making changes can be difficult, even when the changes are good. Getting better grades, exercising regularly, spending more time with your family—the rational knowledge that the change would benefit us often isn’t enough to carry us to our desired result. That’s why so many New Year’s Resolutions start with vigor in January, fall apart in […]

Read More >

Don’t put essay pressure on your summer plans

If you’re a senior applying to college this fall, you may already have a plan in place to write your college essay about an upcoming summer event: work, travel, a summer program or other experience where you’re sure to come back with good stories. But preemptively choosing a college essay topic on an experience that […]

Read More >

What you do, or how you do it?

Sometimes businesses, organizations, or schools are resistant to change. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But here’s a good litmus test to check if that resistance is coming from a good place. “This is what we’ve always done” is often the resistance to good change. It’s the theme song of status quo, a way of […]

Read More >

Worth remembering today

I hope we all take this holiday not just to rest and recharge, but also to remember the young men and women who joined the armed forces and then never had the opportunity to go to college, find their career, get married, or watch their kids do any of those things. We enjoy not just […]

Read More >

Accept both realities

I suspect that the headline of a recent piece in The Atlantic, “The Two Most Important College-Admissions Criteria Now Mean Less,” will draw plenty of eager eyes from students and parents looking to decode the process and strategize their way to an offer of admission. And unfortunately, they’ll likely ignore these passages that reveal two […]

Read More >