The blog post below is a rough transcription of the video above – so please listen to the video if possible – otherwise, here is what was in the video:
Hey everyone, it is Neha with college shortcuts. I hope you guys are doing absolutely amazing here today. I wanted to go ahead and kind of call some people out.
The reason I'm doing this, just so you know, is because I think it's really important for everyone to learn what procrastination really is and how it's killing our kids' dreams.
Now I just want to give you a little word on the street in terms of like what's been going on with us here at College Shortcuts. For everyone tuning in, we provide tutoring services, test prep, and of course college consulting to students.
Now today's video is what I call one of my casual Facebook lives, so if you are here and if you are on, please say "Hi" below because I'm doing this from cell data. I don't know if you guys can hear me or see me.
Say "Hi", let me know your state or where you live just so I get a sense of where you're from. If you could tell me what grade your kid is in. I would love to know.
Now, word on the street is just over the last week we received over like a hundred calls. Today is Thursday, so Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday we received over a hundred calls from parents from all over the place.
I want to share this story with you because I was floored when I got this call. So there was this mom that I spoke with in July and I told her all about her college mastery program, what we could do, what was awesome. She had a kid that was a senior.
What's fascinating about it is I feel like as a college consultant, I feel the urgency, but some of the senior parents in the room are not feeling the urgency.
Let me explain why this breakdown is happening. This is what I think is happening in the senior parent's mind and you guys can comment below and correct me it's totally fine. But I'm curious if this is what it is. Junior year was intense. Summer, they were busy with internships and test prep and other stuff. School year started a little later or you know around September. We started asking for letters of recommendation so we think we're ahead of the game. Our college counselor set up our meeting about mid late September to start discussing the college process and then maybe I'll call Neha and check in and see if maybe we need some help.
I'm wondering if this is what senior parents are thinking is the strategy? Because I don't think most parents are realizing what it takes on average to write an essay.
Let's start from the beginning. To look at the prompts to pick a prompt to brainstorm a prompt, to draft an essay, to edit an essay, to revise the essay to edit to final draft. That's roughly five to six steps per essay. On average students write, let's say 8 to 10 essays. Multiply that by about an 8-hour process. So we're talking about a minimum of 64 hours of work just on the essay portion. That's assuming if everyone's really great at being a creative writer and immediately coming up with something.
So it just surprises me right now that senior parents are feeling so casual about this process or cavalier about it.
Like I was saying, I was talking to this mom out of India who I told in July like you are late in the game. She said "Oh you know we have time. We're still thinking about it." Then I got an e-mail from her this week and it's like "Hey Neha! I just wanted to circle back on this program..." and I'm like wait a second because we get hundreds of e-mails and a lot of the moms have same names and all that stuff.
I was like wait, I think I know this mom, I could have sworn we talked on the phone. So I go through my e-mails like July 7th. July 7th, it's like September. Almost like yeah it's September 13th or 14th right? Like it's been a long time like since our last conversation and she said "Well we found a service that was closer, that was local to us, but it was less expensive." I said "Okay awesome! Did you get the solution you needed to get it done in three to four weeks? Are you done? I mean you know we talked in July. I'm assuming you signed up with them in July." She says "We did. but you know now it's September. It's been taking too long and we barely got anything done."
I was like "Okay, well you know these are some of the things we can absolutely do, but we're really late in the game, like we only have a few spots left." I don't have, you know people think like we're just like a tutor factory or a consultant factory.
No guys, I'm the founder of this company.
I'm all about quality with every single little thing from the banana I buy at the grocery store to how my team edits. I mean sometimes I drive my team a little nutty when it comes to like editing, because I'm a ninja on words, I'm a ninja on grammar.
This student out of India really could be an Ivy League level candidate but like I did in my earlier videos about procrastination, her parents’ decision to keep waiting on investing is going to completely crush her dreams of getting in early.
A lot of parents you know what, you may be upset that I'm making this video. You may be like "Oh that hurts" like I'm scratching a little bit of a bruise that you have on your arm. I'm only doing that because of really how late in the game we are.
Everyone thinks like "Oh it's back to school. Oh they took a test." I don't think you guys know because I work with some of the most high level families globally and you don't understand that they signed up earlier.
They signed up junior year or sophomore year with us.
They knew that getting ahead of the game was part of the strategy.
They're already done.
When you apply to schools for example, like if you're even thinking applying to Stanford, there's 11 separate little essays. If you think oh well Stanford, it's so hard. Stanford is not the only school. Wake Forest has upwards of 5 to 8 essays as well.
So when you think about every essay you're taking roughly eight hours from conception to completion and you think about the amount. If your student is applying to 10 schools that's you know I mean I think my Math was wrong earlier now that I think about it. If it's 8 hours per essay and let's say each college on average is 2. You've got 16 times 10 schools, that's actually 160 hours. So it's a lot more than what I quoted earlier. If you think your kid can get that done before early action on their own. Let me ask you one question. They have the prompts in February and they're still not done.
So for all the parents that are waiting to the last minute. I just want you to know that waiting to the last minute, hope is not a strategy.
Hope is not a strategy.
I've been talking to senior parents all morning. It's been fascinating just to hear like "Hey, you know, my kid got the letter of recommendation in." I was like "that's a 15-minute task." Like that's an e-mail you send your teachers and tell them the list of schools you're going to. I said where are they on the essays and she was like "Nowhere we really haven't done anything for the essay portion yet."
It floors me because these aren't students that are lazy. These are students that are top performers. So the real question in the breakdown is number one, the schools are telling you you're doing fine in terms of timeline. They're not going to push you to go earlier.
But then the second part is you're expecting your student to understand how to do the college process. Now many of the students that we work with, a lot of the parents didn't go to school here in the U.S. or when they did. It was at least 15 to 18 to 20 years ago.
When you think about the way things have changed, what I will tell you is parents don't even know how much the system has changed.
Every parent that I know has not used the common application. So they're trying to figure out how this form works. They're trying to figure out how to do the essays right. They're doing their best, but the problem is you're losing time.
I was reading this quote. I have this thing that blogs my Facebook news feed. The quote said "People think time is money." But the thing is, time is more precious than money. You can't get time back; money you can always get back.
So I'm really just floored at the procrastination that keeps happening or the decision to call and not be ready to commit to getting your kid the help that they need. It's frustrating!
I see parents that have the ability to book galas into their calendar, to book soccer practice, to book dance practice, to make sure volleyball schedules are on the calendar. They have no idea that the college admissions, if you're doing all this stuff and you're hoping your kid gets in a good college, why have you not committed to the college admissions process on the calendar either?
Most of my high power families are the ones that really do it right. They start early in the process. They know what's coming. They don't want the stress.
I just want to do this video for senior parents out there that you are really late in the game. It sucks that you don't even realize it, because you've been conditioned to think it's okay to procrastinate and it's really not.
I just want to give you three tips on how to solve this problem.
Number one - understand that you are late in the game and realize that our whole team is working non-stop to help senior parents and their kids with the application process. So if you haven't even started that process. Just know that all the competition around you is already handling it.
Number two- go ahead and call us at 713-401-2867. Most people don't know this number actually a 713-401- 2 top (T O P). To the top guys, because you should call us and let us know how we can help you.
But when you're ready to call us, be ready to start making decisions in the next 24 hours, because our team gets booked in advance. For example, when Elon Musk comes out with the Tesla. Do people wait and think about it or do they get on the wait-list? When Apple does their keynote, which by the way was phenomenal, people are dying to get the Apple Watch, people are dying to get the iPhone.
If you're wanting to get your kid into their dream college, you better believe me that our team doesn't turn around things like this. You want someone to turn around work like that and you want it to be done well then get ready for crappy work.
Our team takes time.
We make sure that everything looks perfect.
We have people reading the essays over-and-over and you want to get that level of commitment that you've got to commit to.
Step three - you need to have a heart-to-heart with your kid.
You know if you're letting your teenager rule the timelines here. You better believe that your kids applying regular decision or they're skipping. When I say skipping, I've seen students where they skip even taking a test state that they plan to take.
Parents allow that like "Hey, let's prep for this SAT or ACT." They're like "I don't feel like taking it." You know the average teenager would rather watch Life With Kylie or Keeping Up With the Kardashians or random stuff on YouTube.
So if you're allowing your teenager to make all these decisions. Just understand that 10 years down the road, they're going to say things, and I hear it from a lot of friends I know. Wow! And people I know have been like "Wow Neha, I wish you existed like 15 years ago, where I could have like my parents believe in this stuff." This is actually something that people did.
I went to college I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had no career counseling. I wasted a lot of my parents’ money.
I didn't know what I was studying in school. I didn't really hang out with the best of friends all the time. I wasn't in the best environment.
Then it took me forever to graduate and forever to figure out even what I wanted to do. I started job hopping at one point, I lived in my parents’ basement. You know they took me in because my parents say "yes" to everything or they just let me do what I want. They were okay with that.
I'm just here to tell you that I don't really agree with that. I don't think that's the best way to handle the situation to just allow your kid to rule your world.
As parents I really wish you'd stop procrastinating. It's really painful to watch.
I want to open it up to any questions, so if you have so many questions comment below. Like I said I'm on cellular I can't tell if you can hear me or not. Hit the like button or the love button. Here's my other half of my heart. If you know anyone that's like procrastinating and your kind of like you've been trying to tell them but they're not listening. You can feel free to share this video with them. I'm totally fine with that. I hope you guys are doing well. I love doing these Facebook lives even if I'm not like perfectly done up.
You know I just like escaped two hurricanes. It's been fascinating though because I feel like I'm under more stress just knowing.
You know it's funny it's like I feel more stress for seniors and getting a phone call from a senior parent.
I think I feel more stress about this process. Like every senior parent I talk to I like field their stress more than they even feel it themselves because they're not aware of the amount of work that goes into this process.
So many of them were like "Oh my kids are applying to 10 colleges. Oh I don't know where they're at."
I'm like oh my god they are in for screaming, yelling fights like for the next three to four weeks, if they don't get the help they need. They know it too.
You know I've had parents say "Well you know, it would be nice to have you know a third party to come in." Sometimes they just don't listen to me they don't listen to me when I'm trying to give them career advice or they don't listen to me when I'm trying to tell them about the college process. Like I feel like it's just in one ear out the other. "Sometimes it's hard with my partner, like for us to get on the same page about it like."
So that's why I'm like "Why haven't you gotten outside help for this stuff?" like "why don't make your life easier as a parent?"
You know I had one mom whom we signed up two weeks ago and we're already done with everything. Literally she was like "Hey you know my husband doesn't believe in this but I'm going to go ahead and make sure this happens. So here's the card Neha. I want to sign up with you guys." She signed up.
Two days later she sends me a text and it's like "Neha, my god she's getting everything done. Lily is amazing. This is so awesome." Then two days ago I got an e-mail from my consultant and they're like "Hey just so you know we're almost totally done, like doing well. It was fun. It was awesome." I think that's really awesome to hear you know when a parent even if they're not in agreement with their spouse or if they can get everyone on the same page.
You know we can really add and alleviate. We can alleviate. I think that's a big deal like people are feeling a lot of pain right now. The college admissions process is painful for a lot of people. I just love the fact that we can alleviate that for parents when they believe that they can have someone that can be by their side.
Most teenagers don't listen to their parents. I don't really care who you are. It's just the freakin’ truth. Either you can spend as many hours as you want yelling at them or you can hire one of us and we can do it in literally less than 10 minutes. It's up to you.
Question from an online listener: "I have a senior that recently found out she has a learning disability, we're under a lot of, stress how can you help?" First of all, she should feel like she has what it takes. So this is one of the big things that I'm going to kind of address this question to everyone to understand. A lot of students feel stress, but then they feel inadequate or they have a lack of self-esteem or confidence, so having a mentor by your side who's like a learning disability? Who cares? Whatever! Let's get this stuff done.
You know we have a lot of students, just so you know, that we work with here that have ADD, ADHD, dysgraphia, body dysmorphia, which is not even a learning disability, there are so many different issues and we actually don't see that as a problem, in any way.
We look at it as "Hey you've got a challenge. Cool! Let's get over your challenge and move forward."
Please call us below at 713-401-2867. If you don't reach us just leave a voicemail guys. We get like hundreds of calls. Our phone line can only take so many. Please leave a detailed voicemail like full name and info that we are needing.
What I will tell you is I've worked with students, for example we had a student with an essay about a learning disability and it was really challenging. Now depending on what the disability is. You either want to address it or you don't want to address it, because a lot of times like you don't want that to be like the main common app essay.
For example, if a students says like "Oh my gosh I'm suffering from ADHD, it's so hard." But then all if you look at the myriad essays that come through. If that is your conception of a challenge versus a student who says "I've lost both my parents to cancer." There's a difference in resilience that they're going to judge. I'm not saying it's fair. I'm just saying that there's appropriate places in the application where you may want to say it or not state it. There's a delicate way of handling this.
I've had students have learning disabilities. We work with them in test prep, tutoring that we do to college consulting, and some of them we don't even like even talk about it in the application. Keela, what you're touching upon is something that a lot of teenagers feel.
I'd say about 99.9% don't feel like they have what it takes. Even students with a 35 on ACT and is valedictorian can still feel like they can't get into a top school. So I'm just here to tell you that this concept of the level of "I don't know if I'm good enough, I don't know if I can do it." This is very normal among teenagers.
I want you to know it happens all the time and it's frustrating, you know, you as parents your like "You're amazing! You're awesome!" I want you to know that a lot of parents are going to learn from this just because you have the willingness to step up.
What I will say is I'm trying to see if I can make this a little more fun. Here we go. So she has this dyslexia. Totally fine. I mean we work with students that have dyslexia all the time. I wonder if you guys love it, Wonder Woman, but after I saw the movie twice I just love this thing. So let me explain something to you guys. Even if she has dyslexia or short term memory, it doesn't mean that she can't still apply to college or she can get things done.
SO many times, people forget that students apply with all sorts of issues. Students apply that were wheelchair bound. We've had students with that are unable to walk to apply to college. We've had students with dyslexia apply.
We've had students you know with all sorts of things apply. So I will tell you that it's not just about looking at that as a challenge. It's also about making sure that you look at it and see how she can push past it. Now if it's affecting her grades in any way then you've got to have some conversations and figure out what makes the most sense. Anymore questions below. I love it when people reach out.
Okay this is for everyone that loves love. Fierce! Yeah who's fierce? No. Oh come on guys. I love doing that stuff. A lot of times people don't realize I work with kids so it's my favorite thing. Sometimes I'll do my nails really funny colors. Kids are like "Oh my gosh you're just like me."
The thing I love about it is so many parents wish their kids would listen. If you think back to like when your kid was 3 or when they were like 4 or 7. Let me ask you a question. Did they always listen to you? I mean a lot of times they weren't really listening to you. You're like "Eat your pasta." and the kids like " No! I want something else." So I just want you guys to know, this is really funny by the way I want to tell you guys.
You can't always get your kids to do everything you want. That's just the bottom line. It drives you nuts. I know it does with parents like that really pisses you off. You're like "Why is it that my kid will listen to somebody else but me." I'm going to tell you someone that was literally a top level student. There were days I didn't listen to my mom.
There are still days I don't listen to my mother. She wishes I do everything like she still tells me like "Neha you should brush your hair nicely." I'm like "Mom, I'm a grown woman." So I'm just trying explain to you guys. This stuff happens from generation to generation to decade to decade.
In the college admissions process, what happens is you're like "Hey where are you at essays? Hey we need to get on this. What do you write about this topic? Let me help you with this essay." They're like, the further you keep pushing, the further the energetic happens where they're going to keep pushing back on you as well.
I hate to say it this way but it's just true. I see year after year and I will tell you that senior parents need to stop procrastinating either you're ready or you're ready. But if you're calling and you're like "Oh I need a few days to decide" like let me tell you something. We're booking up non-stop.
I had a mom say "Neha I've tried to message you guys. I tried to reach out to you guys." I'm like yeah because we're slammed like we're getting calls non-stop. Unless you're ready to just be ready to commit you're like "Okay Neha I've watched all your stuff I'm ready to go. Like what does it cost? Okay great.!"
Ready to book - like that's the level at which you should be ready to go with us if you are a senior parent. Let me tell you something. Starting in the next few weeks we can't get your work done for early action or early decision. Those deadlines are in the next 30 to 40 days. I'm sorry but miracles don't just happen.
You can't just pay your way to early action right now. At this point you either have to get the work in and be ready to commit or be ready to apply and do your applications in a regular round. It's not something we highly suggest.
Yes, but I love you guys so much. School supplies. This is all I think about. They know I'm talking about school like crazy. So anyways I wanted to reach out to you guys. I want you guys know there's a few ways to reach us. There's collegeshortcuts.com.
If you go to my counseling page there's a little forum all the way at the bottom. If you're wanting to get counseling, for all of my high school parents just so you know we're already building wait-lists for the year ahead.
If you're a junior or sophomore and you know what you're going to want to have for your kid, you should sign up now with us. We'll make sure that we take care of your kid. We'll put them at the top of our list.
I just want to leave you guys with this one note. I absolutely hate procrastination. I was one of those kids who had a planner. I knew when my tests were. I made sure I studied and even then I was in under. I was under a lot of stress even as a planner.
I watched. Procrastination is the problem. Being proactive is not a problem. It's really effective.
But regardless of all of it, it's the level of stress we're all under. I just want you guys to know that like I'm here for you guys. I'm here to support you.
Even yesterday I turned on the news and there was a school shooting and I was just like how is this still happening in today's world? Like we dealt with two hurricanes on the bottom coast. Now on the Washington coast there's a school shooting and I'm like how is it that this is still happening?
I was talking to some about it and there were like "Neha our teenagers don't have enough mentors." They have their parents, which they hide a lot of secrets from, they don't have someone else to really talk to all the time. I thought to myself also that's such a good point.
So many times as parents you think your kid is talking to you and they're not.
I just want to do this video to just to do a casual video thing saying "Hi" to you guys. I had a little time this morning of taking a break from doing this insanely awesome webinars again starting next week. But I just wanted to do a short video just talking to guys about what's going on in the world and why having a mentor by her kid’s side is so important.
You know I was watching Keeping Up with The Kardashians yesterday, just like see what it is my students are watching. It was interesting. I was having a hard time watching it because I even see teenagers sometimes talk like this. I'm realizing now, why? But I'll give you an example of something I was watching on it and it was like "Well, Chloe, I didn't know that you wanted me to not hang up like how was I supposed to know." I was like oh my god.
If someone walked in for a job interview and talked in that manner, they would get rejected regardless of being like a top GPA, top student, top school, because first of all most people don't understand that 97% of communication is not the words coming out of your mouth. It's the tonality. It's the confidence in the way you sound.
I was like is this is this the mentor of our teenagers right now. Like are you kidding me? Life With Kylie, I was watching a little bit was like trying to get a sense of like what is this garbage our kids are watching or especially our teenagers. It was like "Well, basically I love all of my things in my closet." Then they do this panorama over her closet. She's like "So what the what people know about me and then there's me."
I was like this is what we're feeding into the brains of our children. But then we want them to be proactive, giving back, contributors to society, and all the stuff. But they don't have the mentors in place. They don't have someone a few steps ahead.
Here's the thing, if you're going to let your kid invest their time in E network or MTV or Nickelodeon or all these random TV shows, you may want to invest in something to backtrack what it is that you're allowing your kids to watch because I am going to tell you that man, that stuff is not that great.
I hope you guys are doing well. Just wanted to do a quick video. This is more of one of my casual videos me as Wonder Woman and wanted to do this just to connect with you guys a little bit.
I know that so many, guys were dealing with so much this video specifically about seeing parents procrastinating and for all other parents to learn from their procrastination.
To understand that procrastination is never a strategy.
There's nothing more frustrating than when you really want to go to a dinner and you go to open table to preserve it and that time slot is taken. But just imagine if that's what's happening and it was your child's future on the line, but you chose to procrastinate as a parent. The reservation was closed.
I'm here to tell you as a founder of College Shortcuts and Elite Private Tutors, we're about to start closing down our programs because we are already getting full. I don't compromise quality for quantity.
If you want to get in, get that reservation in for your kid. Call me. I don't bite. I mean for God's sake I'm Wonder Woman, right? I know so many of you guys logging in.
Yes, this is Neha founder of College Shortcuts. Okay awesome! Hope you guys are well.
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