Mark Your Calendar! Free College Essay Talk

I will give my annual free talk on “How to Write Your College Essay” on Sunday, May 31st, at 7 pm in the auditorium of the Arlington County Central Library. This one-hour talk will give an overview of how college essays fit into the application process and include suggestions on how to write your best personal essay. There will be time for questions at the end.

Hope to see you there!

Food for Thought

admission imageIf you’re looking at my website, chances are you have a high school student.  Please read this thought provoking blog post by a former admissions director.  Life has changed since most of us applied to college, and many of the Ivies and “elite” schools have acceptance rates of 10% or less.  Think about it.  Stanford’s is more like 5%, and that includes the recruited athletes who usually get in early admission.

So what to do? Help your child (and yourself) enjoy his or her last years at home. (You’ll miss him or her. I miss mine terribly.) Let her sleep.  Have fun doing what he wants to do together – a movie, a hike, an Imax film downtown.  Don’t encourage that extra Advanced Placement class, because it probably doesn’t matter that much in the long run and might produce only stress and anguish now.  Your child should challenge himself in the areas he loves and also pursue extracurricular activities in those areas.  Far too many students in the DC area are stressed and unhappy and seek to relieve both in unhealthy ways, such as drinking and drugs.  Above all, listen to your child’s voice  above the cacophony of competitive parents, statistics, and scary articles.  There are many, many ways to be happy and successful.

And, if your child would benefit from some essay coaching and one less area of stress between you, contact me.  I really do love working with teens to find their distinctive, authentic and persuasive voice.  That’s another skill they’ll use the rest of their lives.

Say It with Flowers

Once again I’ll be speaking the Language of Flowers at the U.S. Botanic Garden this Friday, February 13th at 1 pm – just in time for Valentine’s Day! My presentation gives an overview of the language (based on my research for my novel, Forget-Her-Nots ) and I’ll also make and give out some fun demonstration bouquets.

Hope to see you!

red tulips istock

New York Times Recommendation!

the-new-york-timesSo this is pretty cool!  The “Motherlode” blog of the New York Times recommended reading my “Under Pressure” piece for Arlington Magazine as “a truly in-depth examination of how A.P. and I.B. courses may contribute to increasing academic pressure on students.”

Read the Times endorsement here, and let me know what you think.  I did weeks of research and reflection for that piece, so I’m both proud and honored!

Plus, the Times blog also mentions the College Confidential website, which was designed by my fabulous and talented brother, David, of US Digital Partners in Cincinnati.  Way to go, David!

The Importance of “Demonstrated Interest”

If you didn’t see it already, check out this article in the New York Times.  It explains well why “demonstrated interest” is one of the new buzzwords in college applications.  (And it also reaffirms why I make my students work so hard on their “Why this college?” essays!)

The article also does a great job of showing that there’s no real benefit to applying to more than seven or so schools.  If you do your research and choose your school well, it will all work out.  Don’t kill yourself on essays or spend a fortune on applications to schools whose acceptance rate hovers at 10%.  Learn to write better (and I’d love to help) and enjoy your senior year!