As I wrap up a long journey around the US on my College Shortcuts tour, I have to share with you about the small fireside chats I did a.k.a meetups with parents and students around the cities I have been to. This has been the most fun part of my travels.
You may not know this but I am someone who can work from anywhere and tend to travel a lot for both work and pleasure. As one of America’s top college consultants, it is wonderful to travel and meet with clients and do speaking engagements at different schools and parents groups. Most people describe me as the teen whisperer – able to work with kids and make sure they get what they need to get done way before its due. It’s a rare skill, but trust me, I have had over a decade to perfect it – day in, and day out.
After being in Austin, Houston, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Vancouver in less than 3 weeks, it has been incredible to meet parents from all walks of life, all cultures, all types of different backgrounds… but one thing struck out to me most.
Pain. Frustration. Confusion. Uncertainty.
I was surprised at the string of questions asked at the end of my meetups. See, I am someone who has a strong ability to feel. Being someone who has had a history of difficult situations, failures, and challenges – there is no pain I am not familiar with.
And of course, the college admissions process and high school still feels like yesterday to me, especially at my fireside chats where I connect with parents and students that are literally knee deep in it.
Funny enough, my Dallas location fell through due to a national holiday, so I invited a private small group to the house I was staying at. It was intimate, but powerful.
See, sometimes there is power in a group – where people can learn and come together. Living in a society that is deeply connected and always on their devices, there is magic that happens when we turn back time – when we get back to what true connection is which is in person.
I am a FaceTime type of girl. So, there is nothing that lights me up more than connecting with parents and students.
So many questions were asked ranging from:
- SAT vs ACT?
- I have a ninth/tenth grader what should I be doing?
- My son doesn’t do sports, is that okay?
- I just don’t know what to do about the college process – I am not from here.. and this has been quite the challenge to navigate?
- My friends tell me that we should just apply local – what are your thoughts?
- My child has good extracurriculars but a low GPA – what does this mean?
- What if my child is not at the top of their class?
See, the common thread of all of these questions to me – is confusion. Uncertainty around the process. An overload of information and unsure where to get started on.
To me, there is nothing worse than trying to get to the next step but not knowing where to start. Honestly, I am the type of person that wants the shortcut. Tell me the process or formula, and I will replicate it and do it exactly the same way to get exactly the same result.
For example, if you want to bake a cake the same as a top chef – and if you have the means, you will go to the chef directly and state, let me watch you make the cake and follow your recipe.
Once you watch and learn and follow the recipe, you are able to create the same cake. The same can be said about the college admissions process in a lot of ways – there is a foundation of what is the same when it comes to the college admissions process.
But, when you don’t know the next step – or the roadmap – you get confused. You rely on a teenager who has barely experienced the world to help navigate this process for you – and you rely on a college counselor who honestly doesn’t have your best interest at heart.
Did you know your high school’s main job? To provide your child a wonderful four year education.
NOT GET THEM INTO A TOP COLLEGE. They can be college prep schools, but at the same time, it doesn’t help them specifically to get YOUR kid into a top college.
Overall, they could care less of WHICH kid gets in, but they do like to see some students go to top schools so they can put that on their future marketing brochures.
In reality, it is the family and student’s job to knock it out of the park.
And so, I came across this reality heavily across the US and Canada. Students and parents trying to navigate, confused, frustrated, uncertain if their efforts are going towards the right direction.
Do you know how frustrating it can be to try and try and still feel like you are miles away from your goal? I sure do. I have felt it many times in my life.
But, I am here to tell you that you are probably only 2 millimeters off.
If you are interested in me doing a webinar that is a live Q&A on some of your questions and also some information about what solutions we can provide, I would love to do one.
P.S. – Email me and let me know if you are interested in me doing a live webinar by emailing me 3 of your top burning questions HERE. I never do one of these, but with the fireside chats I realized so many parents and students are hungry for information and I would love to talk with you virtually. I will hold it online in May if you are interested – just say DO THE WEBINAR in an email and let me know your questions you would ask!