263: Practical Tips for Becoming a Working Artist in College and Beyond

Are you a high school student who is also an artist — a dancer, actor, designer, video game designer, painter, musician, and more? Are you curious how to use your college education to prepare you for becoming a working artist?

Guest Expert Madison Alexander breaks down how to choose the right arts-focused college, write an appealing application, and what on campus resources will help you build your resume and start getting paid for your art sooner rather than later.

After she shares her personal story about becoming a working artist, Madison enthusiastically answers the following questions:

  • What are the key considerations for writing an artistic personal statement for college admission?
  • What are important things to look for in a college when pursuing the arts is a student’s long-term goal?
  • What can students be doing to prepare to enter a career in the arts during their time in college?
  • Lastly, how can parents best support their burgeoning artist throughout this journey?

Click here to listen in!

259: Is Getting Into the “Right College” Worth All the High School Stress?

Student stress is at an all time high! What is the cause, and what can parents, students and educators do about it?

Join guest Mary Hofstedt from Challenge Success to learn about the results of an interesting research project on student wellbeing, and find out what parents, students, and schools can do to reprioritize student wellbeing without losing rigor, though college and beyond.

Specifically they cover:

  • The interesting story behind how Challenge Success got its name (and how it involves a grown up shadowing students for a full year)
  • Some staggering statistics about what contributes to student stress being so high, including the results of a survey that includes over 175,000 students
  • Two of the biggest contributors to student stress (according to students!!), and how Challenge Success is working with students, parents and schools to address these issues
  • The myth that the more selective colleges will bring you more “success” in life
  • Practical tips for parents for how to support student wellbeing,
  • and more!

If you’d like to explore sending a school leader or administrator to Challenge Success’s conferences, here is more information about the Summer Leadership Seminar. For whole school communities who are interested in getting involved, here is more information about the School Program.

If you would like to read more research about college selectivity, the cheating epidemic, and more, check out these excellent White Papers.

Mary Hofstedt, Ed.M., is a School Program Director at Challenge Success. In her role, she works alongside Challenge Success school teams to advance student well-being and engagement in learning, and provides interactive workshops to parents, educators, and students. Mary has an extensive background in curriculum and program design, positive youth development, leadership of school and community-wide initiatives to benefit youth, and social science research. She is the parent of a recent high school graduate and is passionate about working with others to ensure our young people thrive.

Click here to hear more!

244: Finding a Good “Safety” School

You’ve likely heard the advice to make sure you include a “safety” school in your college list. However, what exactly does that mean?

Megan helps you understand the two types of “safety” schools you will want to consider, and provides tips for finding these types of schools. Specifically, she and Gretchen discuss:

  • The two kinds of “safety” schools you need on your list
  • how to tell if your school is a good “safety” school
  • How to adjust your  mindset about the importance of “safety” schools
  • Why we keep putting the word “safety” in quotes
  • How to plan ahead so you’re not left in a lurch,
  • And more!

Click to listen in as Gretchen and Megan discuss safety schools!

242: The Most Important Factor in College Admissions

Are you surprised by what the “most important factor” in getting into college is? Gretchen was surprised when Megan told her that it’s the high school transcript.

This episode contains everything you need to know about your high school transcript. Specifically we’ll discuss:

  • what the core classes that you need on your transcript are
  • what other people think the most important factor in college admissions is, and why they’re not
  • whether the high school classes you took in middle school count
  • how to decide which electives to cut if you need to
  • how to think about advanced level classes
  • how to develop your passions without getting in the way of core classes,
  • and more!

Click here to listen in to learn more about your transcript too!

241: Six Unusual Ways to Save Money on College

The cost of college continues to skyrocket!

 

That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t all kinds of ways to save money wherever possible.

 

Tune in to hear Megan’s wisdom about each of these money saving tips:

  1. Work as a Teaching Assistant or Resident Assistant
  2. Graduate in 3 years
  3. Say no to pricy social spending
  4. Find the colleges that will give you more money
  5. Earn as many inexpensive credits as possible
  6. Maximize free resources

Click here to tune in while Megan talks about these money saving tips!

232: Colleges are Marketing To You

If you have a high school junior or senior, you’ve probably seen the college admissions marketing machine in action.

Colleges are spending about $1 million dollars each year to attract new students and there are some things you need to understand.

On today’s episode, Megan shares:

  • The reasons the college search process is dependent on marketing and branding
  • The different ways that colleges market to you, some obvious and some less obvious
  • The effects of these marketing strategies on your students’ self esteem and well being, and
  • Tips for how to deal with the onslaught if it becomes too much

If you want to read more about marketing in higher education, here is an interesting read.

Click here to listen as Megan discusses how colleges are marketing to you.

228: Five Teacher Mistakes And What Students Can Do Instead

Well-meaning teachers make mistakes when it comes to setting students up to study effectively!

Listen in as Gretchen shares five mistakes teachers accidentally make, including tips for how both students and teachers about how to handle the fallout of these mistakes.

Here is the list of mistakes Gretchen covers; tune in to hear her explain WHY it’s a mistake, and what teachers and students can do instead.

  • Mistake #1 – We don’t teach them to study.
  • Mistake #2 – We teach our favorite strategies without explaining WHY they work. We give instructions that students do or don’t follow, but without teaching the bigger picture.
  • Mistake #3 – When we do teach studying, we often make it too complicated. Too many steps.
  • Mistake #4 – We teach learning styles as if that is the answer.
  • Mistake #5 – We don’t actively practice the tools we teach.

Click here to listen in as Gretchen shares five mistakes teachers accidentally make!

Where To Study and Why It Matters

Did you know that WHERE you study can make a difference in how well you get prepped for a test? More about that topic in a moment.

But first — wow!! We had over 180 educators (and parents!) sign up for the Study Cycle 101 Masterclass yesterday. I was particularly impressed at the countries that were represented: Peru, Venezuela, Azerbaijan, Beirut-Lebanon, Canada, Australia, Canada, and more!!

It’s not too late to sign up if you’d like to watch the recording, and then participate in tomorrow’s Practice Labs! (Hint: During the masterclass I’m giving out a $100 discount code to my upcoming Art of Inspiring Students course, so if you’d like access to that, make sure to sign up. The discount is good through Friday evening).

But now — given it’s Wednesday! — I bet you’d like my weekly video tip. 🙂

P.S. If you’re curious to read the original article from the New York Times, here it is: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/health/views/07mind.html?

227: Debunking Misinformation about the ACT’s Science Exam

Are you buying into some faulty information about ACT science?

Megan walks you through what this section of the standardized test is really about — and believe it or not! — it’s not science. Go figure.

Specifically, we discuss:

(1) What the ACT science portion actually tests, if it’s not your knowledge about science, and

(2) What your score on this section of the test does (and doesn’t) tell you about your aptitude for studying science in college and working in science related careers.

Listen in as Megan walks you through what this section of the standardized test is really about!

Do Adults Expect More from Teens Than We Do Of Ourselves?

Students, today you’re off the hook because I have a super hard question to ask your parents and teachers!

To all you grown ups — do you expect more of the teens in your life than you sometimes expect of yourself?

In today’s video — filmed “on location” on my parent’s front porch in Houston, Texas (I’m here for a high school friend’s wedding) — I share some reflections about a trend I’ve been noticing.

Over my 10+ years as an academic coach, I’ve been seeing an increase in adults expecting certain follow through from students that they don’t necessarily expect of themselves! I give two examples, one about teachers and another about parents. Please check out the video to hear more!

Also, if you’re ready to walk your talk, parents and educators, I highly encourage you to sign up for my FREE Masterclass: The Study Cycle Live! which will teach you how to actually get students to study effectively for tests and quizzes. Let’s learn how to apply the Study Cycle in our own lives AS WELL AS learn to teach it to students?

After all, we ALL would benefit from learning how to save time and energy by studying strategically.

226: A Simple Checklist for Helping Students Overcome Procrastination

How do you help a teen overcome their procrastination and take action on academic assignments they don’t want to do?

In today’s episode Gretchen walks you through a checklist of four ways to help teens “get in gear” when they are procrastinating.

Tune in to find out more information about how to help students troubleshoot which of the following is  their weakest “time management” link:

  • Tools
  • Team
  • Routines, and
  • Self Talk

To go deeper with this checklist, or for more information about how to help students overcome procrastination, check out Gretchen’s upcoming course for educators The Art of Inspiring Students to Study Strategically.

Click here to listen in as Gretchen walks you through a checklist of four ways to help teens “get in gear” when they are procrastinating.

Why Schools Should Stop Teaching Learning Styles

?Do you teach students learning styles at your school, or in your classroom or coaching sessions? Do you assume — as many educators do — that knowing your learning style can help you study and learn more effectively?

Well, the research shows that this is not necessarily true! In this video I make the case for why we should all stop teaching learning styles — or at the very least, tweak the way we teach them.

If you agree that you’d like to teach a simpler, more research-based and brain-science-infused model for helping students learn to learn — I invite you to sign up for one of these FREE classes:

– Click here to take Study Cycle 101, (if you prefer to read all the lessons at your own pace),
– Click here to attend a live Master Class, if you prefer to learn it live from me, or
– If you watched the video and realize that we need EFFORT and VARIETY in order to learn, sign up for both! 🙂?

221: Four Tips for Knocking Off Your Summer Reading Assignment

Many schools assign summer reading, and most students wait until the last minute to do it.

Tune in as Megan and Gretchen provide four tips for getting a head start on your summer reading, and getting it done well before the due date.

Tips include:

  1. How to check for assignments, particularly if you are attending a new school in the fall,
  2. When to get started with the assignment
  3. How parents can use summer assignments to set a new positive tone for the coming school year, and
  4. How to look over the assignment and make a plan

You might also find this helpful: Gretchen’s video series about how to read a 400 page book in 2 hours.

Tune in as Megan and Gretchen provide four tips for getting a head start on your summer reading, and getting it done well before the due date.

219: Before You Write Your Admissions Essays, Listen to This

Essays are an important component of college applications, but most people– students, parent, and even educators– have little idea what a winning essay looks like or how to write one.

Check out these resources that we highlighted on the episode:

Don’t forget to listen in as we help you get started and share advice from some colleges.

210: Take Your College Visits to the Next Level

College visits can get repetitive and boring, and the “official” tours offered by the school don’t always reveal the hidden details that help you make a decision about which school is best for you.

Let Megan school you on how to take your visits to the next level! She’ll cover:

  1. How early is too early to start taking college visits?
  2. How to go beyond the basic two-hour info session, with tips like eating in the actual cafeteria picking up the school newspaper
  3. How to use college visits to help make the “short list”

Click here and listen in and Megan will also share some notes from the road, observations based on the college visits her clients and her daughter have done.

209: How to Study When Given Essay Questions in Advance

Do your teachers ever give you the essay questions far in advance of the chapter test or final?

Many students don’t take advantage of this key resource.

Gretchen walks you through a few ways to use these advance questions to your advantage, including how to:

  • Identify which questions can be answered by reading which chapters and/or sections
  • “Chart” essay questions so you understand a) what information you are supposed to learn and b) what kind of thinking you’re being asked to practice
  • Give yourself a map of the chapter using the essay questions as a guide
  • Take notes using the essay question as a guide.
  • Run your charts and notes by your teacher as a way to “assess” your understanding before chapter tests and quizzes, and
  • Use your charts and notes to study for the actual exam

Listen in as Gretchen walks you through a few ways to use these advance questions to your advantage!

Do You Get Bored Reading? Try This Spark Notes Hack!

English teachers beware! You are NOT going to like my tip for the day.

A certain subset of my clients simply won’t read their English texts. They just won’t. No amount of cajoling, creative tips, and incremental steps will get them in the mood to tackle a hard text.

Today a client of mine WAS willing to practice reading a text as long as I didn’t expect her to read the whole text, and as long as we used a variety of online resources to support her.

In the following video, I walk you through the 5 step process that she and I came up with, and then I show you that process in action by sharing my screen.

I know the solution is not ideal, and ultimately we want students to have the stamina, attention and grit to sit with difficult intellectual material. However, especially students with learning differences, we also need to meet students where they are, acknowledge that they have had traumatic experiences with reading in the past, and offer them incremental doable steps on the road to tackling difficult academic tasks.

I’m excited that MY CLIENT is excited about this process, and I believe it’s a whole lot better than ignoring the reading completely. Let me know what YOU think, and I’ll keep y’all updated with how it goes with this student.

If you do not have the time to watch the video the image below describes some of what I talked about in the video to help you with assignments you are having trouble reading.

And if you feel you could use some help getting your homework done each week, please consider checking out my course, The Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying.

 

A Surprising Benefit of Turning Off Notifications!

Do you get a ton of notifications on your phone 24/7?

If you’re an avid follower of my newsletter, you may have noticed that recently I’m working with more and more of my clients to turn off many of their notifications.

Not all of them take me up on it, but those who do notice some surprising results.

In the video below, I explain what one 15-year-old is discovering about her new life without as many notifications.

 

Everyone hates to study get my step by step system to getting the grades you want here!

A Trick for Managing Your Parents’ Anxiety

Parents these days are overcome with anxiety — anxiety about their kiddo’s achievement (or lack thereof), ability to get into college, ability to get a good job, etc etc.

For better or for worse, a significant amount of time in my coaching sessions with teens is spent helping them figure out how they can get ahead of their parents’ anxiety.

One tip I’ve been working on with several of my clients is how to initiate communication with their parents early on, before parents have time to nag.

Listen in to this video for the nitty gritty details of this simple trick.

If you do not have time to watch the video below is a great tip for you to use to help manage your parents’ anxiety about your school work.