Greetings Students & Families!
It’s hard to believe it’s already Halloween — which we know means it’s only a few short weeks until Thanksgiving !  This is a great time to assess the school year and begin thinking about summer plans – as Collegiate Programs should be on your mind November to February — application season.
As the Thanksgiving holiday comes into view -I  hope your family will pledge to provide a way to connect with your community in  a way that reflects your values.   Click to Learn More:   GIVING TUESDAY

In my practice, I meet so many amazing families and consistently speak with young adults who have become overwhelmed and even stressed about things that are truly within their control.  It’s important to avoid overextending to the point where the demands of classes can overshadow opportunities for learning and finding joy both within and outside the classroom.  I also meet families experiencing unnecessary angst over standardized test preparation and whether they are engaged in “enough” extracurricular activities. When I ask students what’s their favorite class, it’s disheartening at times that the response isn’t an immediate one and for some students– there aren’t even any positive responses.  Why is that??! (read on)
Is your student so busy to have overlooked the joy of the actual learning taking place!?
I invite you to reach out for some personalized attention to guide your student to customizing a plan for doing just that!
As a former university professor, and as a parent of two STEM millennials, I can tell  you without qualification that the single most important goal of high school is for each student to develop a love of learning both within and outside the classroom.  
Having an Educational and College Admissions plan results in Motivated, Self-Directed & Confident Young Adults Ready to Succeed!
College Admissions & Financial Aid Tips: The Role of Your College Advisor
College Admissions & Financial Aid Tips: The Role of Your College Advisor
Who are You?
As part of my practice, I read a great deal about trends in education and college admissions as well as reading about issues impacting the emotional well-being of young adults.  Last year, I shared an interesting article that continues to resonate with me.  But clearly the title of the article hit a chord with many others engaged in college admissions as the same title has now become the supplemental college- specific essay prompt at several colleges as seen within the Common Application for a THIRD YEAR IN A ROW!
In CHECK THIS BOX if YOU’RE A GOOD PERSON, Dartmouth Admissions Officer Rebecca Sabky spoke about the admissions process.  I encourage you to click on the link above and read the article.
Her thoughts are highlighted below and reflect my own personal experience as a university faculty member reading hundreds of admission files.
“The problem is that in a deluge of promising candidates, many remarkable students become indistinguishable from one another, at least on paper.”

“Yet in the chaos of SAT scores, extracurriculars and recommendations,

one quality is always irresistible in a candidate: kindness”

Letters of recommendation are typically superfluous…. they generally fail to provide us with another angle on who the student is, or could be as a member of our community.

So here we a few years after her piece was written and you might ask why am I raising this point again and again?  Very simply, not only are we living in a very challenging time – besieged and deluged with a daily news cycle about “civility” and “divisiveness”, but  because  this point is important.
As parents, educators, or in any capacity that requires us to guide young adults to realizing their role as productive and engaged members of “communities” , we all assume a role in nurturing the next generation way before high school even begins. At its core, this means (gently) guiding our young adults to engage in discovery about themselves– their strengths, their interests and how they engage with others.  Yes, all students need to reach their highest academic potential. But if the entirety of the message they hear from the adults around them, and the conversations taking place are focused solely on maximizing their GPA, we miss an opportunity to help each student lead fulfilling experiences to prepare them for personal and academic success now and in the future.  There are many dimensions of “intelligence” and many paths – and not everyone is meant to find 6+ hours of high school classes followed by 3+ hours of homework inspirational!  So back to “joy” and “kindness”…..
Why is it important to be a “good person”?!   Aside from personal fulfillment consistent with the values we instill in our children,  we know that whatever profession they enter, your student will creatively engage in problem solving and decision making  within groups of diverse and inclusive  communities (also the topic of many a college essay prompt).
Experience gives each young adult the power and confidence to be themselves!!
In Want to Raise Well-Adjusted Kids?, John Write spoke about the benefits of hosting an exchange student.  What the article shares in common with the seemingly unrelated NY Times piece on Dartmouth admissions is that  both authors speak to the importance of young adults engaging in character-developing opportunities outside-of-the classroom ultimately raising their awareness of their connections with others within their communities. 
So how does this all relate to college admissions and academic success at the high school and undergraduate levels?
While our goal as parents and educators is to help each young adult reach their academic potential, perhaps equally important is finding inspiration to seek out their place . This begins at home with guidance to seek out opportunities to discover and enrich their passions and leverage strengths.  PARENTS know what their students strengths are- we knew well before high school what are children do well – whether it’s compassionate and emotional IQ, artistic /musical /creative inquiry, mathematics, spatial awareness—or communications plus more– work with that- encourage it! SUSTAIN THOSE STRENGTHS!
What is your student passionate about?  Now is the time for discovery!
A final note-for Sophomores (’22) and Juniors (’21):
Universities would like to be your first choice.
I’ve written about “demonstrated interest” which can be expressed sincerely by knowing what ignites your interests in Biochemistry or Politics, etc. so that you are an informed consumer. That’s right ….you’re a consumer!!   While there are a few thousand campuses you can study these and other traditional and unusual majors, it’s essential to do your research.
Learn how to read curriculum maps to  understand everything that distinguishes one university from another.  Let me help you discover how to conduct the research that will allow you to find a perfect fit academically, socially and even within your your financial means.
College Admissions & Financial Aid Tips: College Research- Quick Start
College Admissions & Financial Aid Tips: College Research- Quick Start — NAVIGATING COLLEGE RESEARCH – WHERE TO BEGIN?!
Have a wonderful week!
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
561.509.0021  or 833.MY.ESSAY
College Advisor: South Florida, Denver, Metro NYC and Anywhere You Are
Educational and College Admissions Consultant
Professor Emeritus
Cornell University Alumni Representative