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Make summer break count!

June 11th, 2019

Summer is finally here! Go ahead, relax. Daydream. Enjoy some downtime, which you deserve after all your hard work this school year.

There is such a thing as too much downtime, though, so how can you find the right combination of constructive activities and relaxation? Balance is the key during summer months.

Students still looking for summer ideas can find many valuable experiences that can shape good workers, learners and people. Summer break is the perfect time to delve deeper into your passions, things you don’t necessarily have time to explore deeply during the school year.

Today, we share an article written by Lee Shulman Bierer, a fellow educational consultant. Her article may help you find wonderful ways to fill summer break openings with meaningful activities that can benefit you in the long run.

Article written by Lee Shulman Bierer for College Admissions Strategies

Perhaps you’re not one of those super-organized, type-A people who firmed up their summer plans last January. And, right about now you’re finding yourself with more than a little free time this summer. Don’t worry, you’re not alone and the best news is that there are still some good options out there.

What’s the best way for high school students to spend their summer?

You might be surprised when I tell you that relaxing and having some fun is near the top of my list. But, let’s be clear, it isn’t the only thing on my list. Students should dabble in some type of career experience; it could be job-shadowing at an orthodontist office, interning with a physical therapist, volunteering on a local political campaign or at an animal rescue shelter or tutoring neighborhood children in reading or math. Don’t wait until the summer before senior year to do this, this is great advice for rising sophomores and juniors too. One of the objectives of the summer break should be to test the waters and try to figure out what career fields or college majors might be of interest.

Read more at College Admissions Strategies>>

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Words of wisdom to all graduates

May 28th, 2019

Graduation season is in full swing! The sacred tradition of the graduation ceremony is an opportunity to honor each graduate and share one last bit of advice through a commencement speech. Colleges and universities with big name celebrities often garner the most attention for their commencement speeches, and this year is no different.

Time’s list of best commencement speeches in 2019 is full of inspiring and powerful commentary by notable celebrities. These speeches provide a valuable message to each person, not just the college graduate but also high school graduates, younger high school students and working professionals, too. We hope you’ll take a moment to read and get inspired, and we congratulate all of our graduates on reaching this significant milestone. What a pleasure it has been to see so much growth and accomplishment!

Article linked below from TIME, published on May 21, 2019 by Mahita Gajanan

Graduates at universities and colleges around the United States are wrapping up the academic year, preparing to face a new era of life. As part of that tradition, celebrities, politicians, athletes, CEOs and artists are offering a range of life advice in commencement addresses.

Here are some of the best moments and words of wisdom from commencement speeches in 2019.

Robert F. Smith: ‘We’re going to put a little fuel in your bus’

Read more at TIME>>

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Kindness: one key to success for college admission

May 14th, 2019

Earlier this month, I toured several boarding schools on the east coast. The visits were great and I was particularly struck by the last school visited, where students displayed an uncommon degree of kindness and compassion.  This was manifested in part by their warm descriptions of not only teachers, but staff members performing important but less prestigious work on campus.  Students’ smiles were huge as they described these individuals’ roles in their lives and I left wondering why that isn’t the norm.

The admissions scandals are bringing up important conversations among parents, teachers and students. How can we improve the system so that we are considering the best fit for each individual instead of ignoring core values just to get into the most selective schools?

My trip sparked ideas about character development and made me think about the second “Turning the Tide” report released earlier this spring. Turning the Tide stems from the Making Caring Common campaign based at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, focusing on character building in schools, at home, and during the admissions process. It is a great read for people of all ages and I hope it provokes thought about which values are really important to become a good citizen, which in turn will lead you on the right path through the college admissions process … and through life.

Article linked below from Making Caring Common Project, published in March 2019

Our new report calls on parents and high schools to put young people’s character and well-being at the center of a healthier, more sane college admissions process.

Three years in the making, Turning the Tide II: How Parents and High Schools Can Cultivate Ethical Character and Reduce Distress in The College Admissions Process, offers guidelines for high schools and parents in promoting ethical character. It also describes how Tsome high schools and colleges are working to promote greater ethical engagement among high school students, level the playing field for economically disadvantaged students, and reduce excessive achievement pressure. The report also includes a pioneering statement from admissions deans seeking to advance Turning the Tide’s goals.

Read more at Making Caring Common Project>>

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Ready, Set, Go: finishing the year strong

April 30th, 2019

Warm weather is bringing about much excitement in the Bluegrass.  As flowers bloom and Derby Day nears, we know that summer will soon be here.

With celebrations and year-end activities being planned, it can be challenging to maintain plenty of energy for the final weeks of the school year.  Don’t let that end-of-the-year fatigue set in!  Consider the school year a marathon, not a sprint – do you really want to slow down and walk across the finish line?  Or would you rather push yourself to finish strong? Remember your long-term goals and how important your academic success is to achieving them.

Students at all grade levels can still make the most of the remainder of the school year.  Yes, even seniors who have college plans secured should strive for their strongest finish yet.   With the right effort, you can keep it all together through this home stretch.  Summer will be your near-term reward.

When thinking of ways to encourage all of you to finish the year with a flourish, an email surfaced in my inbox.  Jim Siverts, a retired business owner, sent a link to his exceptional website built to help college students manage their time effectively.  His site helps students create a solid study plan, which can increase success dramatically.  We think it may also be a great tool for high school and middle school students, and hope you’ll give it a try.  The best part is, the web version is free and there could soon be a mobile app version.  If you’d like to learn more, visit Siverts’s website:  www.howtostudyincollege.com.

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