Holiday reading recommendations

Here’s a list of my favorite reads for 2018. Your mileage may vary, but I honestly don’t see one book that wouldn’t offer useful insight for a student, parent, or counselor. Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being Shawn Achor The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & […]

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Can you live with the story?

This week, a 17-year-old kid made a decision he’ll probably regret one day. He dramatically quit his part-time job at Walmart using the store intercom system, laced his message with profanity, and then posted a video to his Facebook page. There is absolutely nothing unusual or wrong about an employee of any age quitting a […]

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Leave them better off

I’ve never seen private college counseling as a competition between businesses. There are plenty of kids applying to college, and for those who want to pay for assistance, the more good options they have, the better. That’s why Collegewise doesn’t try to stop competitors from joining our free webinars, attending our sessions at conferences, or […]

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Engaged without worry

It would be easy, particularly for a new reader to this blog, to get the sense that I’m encouraging kids to be less engaged with their college planning. Don’t overschedule yourself. Get enough sleep. Stop obsessing over famous colleges. Don’t polish every perceived weakness. Your GPA and test scores don’t define you. It’s all going […]

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Skirt this law

Parkinson’s Law states: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” For students with college applications that still need to be completed over the holiday break, I recommend you skirt that law. Time (real or perceived) in front of you can chip away at your sense of urgency for a project. Even worse, […]

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Hang in there—it’ll be OK

Favs

Many high school students received their early admission decisions this week. And to encourage those who got news that wasn’t what they’d hoped, CNN anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper tweeted some reassuring words. But what I really appreciated were the responses from successful people who’d experienced their own college rejections as high school […]

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Find a way to contribute

A friend of mine who went to graduate school to earn an MBA at Columbia recalled how ill-equipped he felt for the heavy load of finance courses. And this mathematical discrepancy between him and many of his peers was never more apparent than during the study groups that formed. Those who came from finance and accounting […]

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Getting in (to a famous college)

Seth Godin’s latest podcast episode, Getting In (to a Famous College), manages to explain how to get into a famous college, point out the risks of playing that game, and recommend alternative paths, all in just 30 minutes. It’s worth a listen for anyone who aspires to chase, or to detach from, that coveted offer of admission. That […]

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Diminishing returns of overwork

Given that your average college-bound student probably works at least 40 hours per week between school, homework, and activities, you might check out this article and consider the referenced research that shows: Working more doesn’t mean working better. Productivity dramatically decreases with longer hours and drops off completely at 55 hours per week. On average, […]

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What straight-A students get wrong

Adam Grant’s recent New York Times op-ed, “What Straight-A Students Get Wrong,” is pitched to college students. But just about all of the messages contained within (1) are equally true for high school students, and (2) make some people deeply uncomfortable. You can see it in the article’s comments. The defensiveness and outright anger from […]

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