Learn like your life depends on it.

It does. 

Guarding Your Goal Line

Uncategorized Aug 13, 2020

If you have a minute, I want to answer a really important question. Why am I spending so much time this year talking to everyone about setting goals that you believe in?

A while back, I had a coaching call with a client and her dad, about juggling our basic needs today with our longer-term dreams and goals. And I realized that topic is something we are all juggling these days.

In essence, there are three kinds of needs we all have—and we can visualize them as a pyramid, with:

  1. basic physical needs for safety and health as the foundation;
  2. social and emotional needs, next;
  3. and then built on top of those, our need for happiness and purpose, however we define that.

This set of ideas is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. And while it makes sense that we need to fill these needs in that order—security first, satisfaction last—the modern world often gives us the illusion that we are ready to focus on “following our passion” or...

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Dear Class of 2020

Uncategorized May 28, 2020

And dear all the rest of us, too.

I know the Class of 2020. You have what it takes.

We owe it to this week's graduates to give you a long view. We will share with you our hard-earned wisdom. We will not just give them platitudes and homespun parties. We will show you our scars.

We will tell you about the time we thought the world was ending, and it didn't. About how everything changes in two years. About how one day, we looked up, and the sun was rising.

We will not only say things like, "We're all in this together," and, "Let's just wait and see," but also tell you the truth about the ways we learned that the deeper the valley was, the higher the peak was beyond it. You need to know that when we thought we couldn't climb anymore, and we climbed anyway, boy was the view worth it.

 If you need to, I will take you for a walk and explain how, when gas prices...

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How to Make College Decisions in a Pandemic

Uncategorized May 21, 2020

Here's what decision science tells you.

I've been reading lots about decision-making science lately, because these days the tough decisions I advise students and their families about have gotten so much tougher. How do you calm the fear that is clouding your judgement, while also realistically evaluating the best facts available?

Keep reading for the highlights of how behavioral science can help you make good choices. But first, I have an invitation for you.

This weekend, I'm offering a special workshop to walk you through a reliable process to identify your best choice related to college this fall, whether you're deciding where to go in September, or deciding where to apply for 2021. It's $25, and it's worth it. Click here to register for the workshop.

So, what's the best way to proceed with a decision that has huge uncertainty and equally huge stakes? Here's the skinny:

1. Identify the real question. 

Are you mashing several decisions together into...

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May 1 is still Deposit Deadline at 400+ colleges and universities

Uncategorized Apr 22, 2020

If you or a student you know is weighing a May 1 deposit decision this week, please call me. I will help you talk through your options for a $20 donation to the Red Cross. No catch. 

You can book time here:

The National Association of College Admissions Counselors is still reporting 419 colleges and universities who have held to the traditional May 1 deadline for students to make commitments and enrollment deposits. (See the NACAC database here.)

Thousands of high school seniors are agonizing this week over whether or not to shell out several hundred dollars to hold their spot at a school that probably has reserved the right not to make decisions about whether they will even open their campuses in August. That does make me angry, but as I'm constantly reminding my clients, being angry at the unfairness doesn't help you get where you want to go (usually). 

The fact is, if you are one of these students, one of my...

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College Next Year? Better Have a Back Up Plan

Uncategorized Apr 16, 2020

Last Saturday, on our news broadcast, my co-host Justin Hart asked me,

"So, do you think we'll start to get some clarity from colleges soon?" I paused, and just said, "No."

As a student pilot, I think about "redundancy" and "contingency plans" more often than I feel is normal. And that mindset has always helped me to guide my students to prepare for obstacles by having multiple plans to reach their goals.

But this is different.

With Boston College, Harvard, and other schools releasing detailed plan A/B/Z statements about when they will be able to open their campuses, all that's really clear is that we all need to build flexibility into our decisions about the rest of this year and beyond.

This week we're covering the topic of how to make a back-up plan for going to college this fall.

Check out the midweek headlines and register for Saturday's live news webcast over at:

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Stuck on College Decisions?

Uncategorized Apr 09, 2020

Just this morning, one of my students who is trying to choose between more than a half-dozen great scholarship offers for this fall texted me:

"Can you talk?" he said? "I'm stuck."

I think we are all feeling stuck, and it's hard at this moment to know where to look for guideposts. If you are looking at college for this fall, or even for next fall, it's confusing to know what will be a good decision.

On tomorrow's broadcast, I'm sharing a new set of questions you can use to evaluate the academic and financial colleges for the fall of 2020...

Just click the link to get the zoom info and join us at 10am Pacific (1pm Eastern)—or watch the replay later!

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Wait! This really matters.

Many students end up on a local campus (or one very far away!) by default, because they didn't have the guidance to find a great college match. 

We won't let that happen.