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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A little love goes a long way

Author, researcher, and speaker Marcus Buckingham has spent his career studying what it takes to feel happy, successful, and engaged at work. And in this podcast interview, he shared a study and a resulting interpretation that I found fascinating. The less time you spend doing things you love, the more at risk you are of burning […]

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Good is what you make of it

I was chatting with an admissions officer from a highly selective university, and when the conversation turned to essays, she shared a pithy way of thinking about topics. With the exception of those that are just flat-out inappropriate or offensive, there are no good topics or bad topics. There are just topics handled well or […]

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Reward enough

Jerry Seinfeld’s “Jerry Before Seinfeld” special on Netflix is a great illustration of what true passion looks like. Seinfeld returns to the stage at the Comedy Store in New York where he first began his career in 1976 and tells the story of growing up dreaming of doing comedy. He took his first steps at […]

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Classroom comradery

This week, I had the opportunity to spend an entire day training the managers from one college’s admissions office. We’ve spent a lot of time at Collegewise developing our management philosophy, training and programming, and I was really excited about the opportunity to share it. But I also had some trepidation. Professional development sessions can […]

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Entitlement

Entitlement causes a lot of frustration in college admissions. Nobody forces a family to treat a “No” from a dream college like a personal rejection, one that’s robbing them of their right to attend Top-Choice U. This is especially true when you have offers of admission in hand from other colleges. That decision to be […]

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