For Every New Assignment, Do This ASAP

What’s the first thing you do when a teacher gives a new assignment — especially something big, like a paper or project?

Thanks to their work with me, many of my clients are getting good at writing the due date in the planner (on the day it’s due, by the way, NOT the day it’s assigned).

However, a few of them are still making THIS mistake, which causes them a lot of stress in the long run.

Check out this video for more details about what not to do, or read the summary below!

For those who don’t quite have the time to watch the whole video, I’ve got your back. Here’s a quick summary:

My Client’s Problem: My client almost made a horrible mistake. He was telling me about how he had an essay to write over the weekend and how it wasn’t a big deal. I asked him about the prompt and he said, “Oh I haven’t read it yet.”

Gretchen Wegner | The Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying | New Assignment | New Essay

Our Solution: I made him read the prompt right there in our session together. It turns out that this assignment was not an essay, as my client had thought, but rather a short research assignment that included talking to several students on campus and taking a poll. Had he waited until the weekend before the due date to read the prompt, he may not have had the time or capability to finish this new assignment. The tip here is that for every new assignment you get, always read them when you get them. This will save you a lot of academic headaches!

Gretchen Wegner | The Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying | New Assignment | New Essay

 

How to Ace the College Interview

Megan | College Prep Podcast | College Interview | Schools | Students | Interview Etiquette

This week on the College Prep Podcast with Gretchen Wegner and her co-host Megan Dorsey:

The college interview is a great way to round out your college application. However, students often make silly mistakes!

Megan provides numerous tips to help you be your best self at your interview.

Tune into this episode to explore:

  • which kinds of schools require interviews and which don’t
  • why you should always interview, if there is an option
  • how to prepare for the interview
  • what kind of research you should do about the school beforehand
  • standard interview etiquette
  • some key things not to say and do
  • how to follow up afterward

Click here to learn how to ace your college interview!

Easy Tips for Prepping for Finals Over the Holidays

Gretchen Wegner | Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying | Studying Tips | College | Finals | Holidays | Notes | Testing | Study Tools

This week on the College Prep Podcast with Gretchen Wegner and her co-host Megan Dorsey:

Thanksgiving is coming up soon, as are the winter holidays.

If you get started studying for finals now (or over the winter holidays, if your finals aren’t until the end of January), you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches later — plus, you’ll learn the information better! Today Gretchen shares:

  • How to put in more effort to studying without feeling like you’re working too hard
  • The importance of testing yourself using “spaced retrieval”, and a few simple ways to do this over the holidays
  • How to get yourself organized so you don’t waste time later finding important study tools
  • A crucial tip for how to use your notes so that you’re actually learning (rather than just faking it)
  • and more!

For more strategies about getting prepped for finals, check out Gretchen Wegner’s Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying.

Tune into the podcast by clicking here.

How to Create Your Personal Brand and Other Tips to Rock College

Megan | Gretchen Wegner | Brian Robben | Personal Brand | college | students | career

This week on the College Prep Podcast with Gretchen Wegner and her co-host Megan Dorsey:

Do you know what a “personal brand” is? Any idea why learning how to be a good storyteller is an essential 21st-century skill that students should develop in college?

Guest expert (and recent college grad) Brian Robben shares insightful tips on “how to college” such that you score excellent grades, have fun, and set yourself up to get the job of your dreams. 

Specifically, Brian, Megan, and Gretchen chat about:

  • What a personal brand is, and how to establish one as early as high school
  • The most obvious things that most students DON’T do, and how this could change their college game,
  • How to choose paid work in college that will actually help you further your career AND provide spending money, and
  • A number of other helpful ways for a student to “do college” in a way that will set them up for career success.

Brian Robben graduated summa cum laude from Miami University in 2015. While at college, he started the popular blog TakeYourSuccess.com and went on to write three Amazon bestselling books on college success, resume and interview mastery, and financial freedom. Here’s the link to his books, and here is how you can follow Brian on Instagram and Twitter. 

Click here to listen to Gretchen, Megan, and Brian over at the College Prep Podcast website.

A Handy Tool for College Students to Start the Semester

I’m excited to share with you a handy tool for college students.

This was taught to me by a real live student (shout out to Harrison!). He is a sophomore in college and interned with me over the summer.
I LOVE this tool that he makes for himself, and I wanted to share it with you all — including a tweak or two that I’d make to it.

Check out the video, and then PLEASE forward it to any college students you know could benefit from this handy little one-page organizational tool.

For more time management and study solutions for students, parents and educators, please sign up for the Anti-Boring Approach to Successful Studying Course HERE

8 Tips for When to DIY vs. Hire an Academic Professional

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Should you hire a tutor, coach or consultant? Or should you DIY for just a little longer?

During this episode, Gretchen and Megan help you decipher when it makes sense to spend the big bucks and get professional help…and when you don’t need to!

Specifically, they discuss the following 5 types of academic experts that families often like to hire, who work outside the school systems:

  • Tutors
  • Standardized test prep professionals
  • College application consultants
  • Academic life coaches
  • Mental health professionals

In considering when it makes sense to hire out, and when it makes sense to DIY a little longer, Megan and Gretchen discussed these 8 questions families should ask themselves to decide:

  1. How important (e.g. life or death!) is the situation?
  2. What resources does the school already provide, and is it enough?
  3. Is this a topic for which there is limited time and chances in order to succeed?
  4. Are your home relationships deteriorating because you’ve been doing it yourself for too long?
  5. Will it be more convenient to work with this other person, and are you willing to pay for convenience?
  6. How motivated is the student who will be receiving the support?
  7. What are your family’s finances?
  8. Would you save more in the long run if you had a professional help you get started?

Got any questions or concerns on this topic, or any other? Want them addressed on our podcast (free coaching! yes!)? Please email us at collegepreppodcast.com and tell us all about it.

“This podcast was originally on www.collegepreppodcast.com

How to Read a 400 Page Book in Two Hours, Part 2/4

Reading is hard for students!!

Especially reading books that you don’t necessarily choose for yourself…and at an assigned pace that isn’t natural for you. So it’s important to have some tricks up your sleeve for how to read large quantities, ESPECIALLY if you are a college or grad student.

This week I discuss creating a roadmap for finding important information and main ideas in books. Once you understand the structure of how an Author writes, it is easier to dive in and start reading efficiently.

Watch to find out how!

Just to recap so far:

Tip 1. Pay attention to the table of contents
Tip 2. Pay attention to “where” the Author puts their main ideas.

Stay tuned for Part 3 in this four-part series next week.

For more time management and study solutions for students, parents and educators, please sign up for the Anti-Boring Approach to Successful Studying Course HERE

8 Tips for When to DIY vs. Hire an Academic Professional

8 Tips for When to DIY vs. Hire an Academic ProfessionalShould you hire a tutor, coach or consultant? Or should you DIY for just a little longer?

During this episode, Gretchen and Megan help you decipher when it makes sense to spend the big bucks and get professional help…and when you don’t need to!

Specifically, they discuss the following 5 types of academic experts that families often like to hire, who work outside the school systems:

  • Tutors
  • Standardized test prep professionals
  • College application consultants
  • Academic life coaches
  • Mental health professionals

In considering when it makes sense to hire out, and when it makes sense to DIY a little longer, Megan and Gretchen discussed these 8 questions families should ask themselves to decide:

  1. How important (e.g. life or death!) is the situation?
  2. What resources does the school already provide, and is it enough?
  3. Is this a topic for which there is limited time and chances in order to succeed?
  4. Are your home relationships deteriorating because you’ve been doing it yourself for too long?
  5. Will it be more convenient to work with this other person, and are you willing to pay for convenience?
  6. How motivated is the student who will be receiving the support?
  7. What are your family’s finances?
  8. Would you save more in the long run if you had a professional help you get started?

Got any questions or concerns on this topic, or any other? Want them addressed on our podcast (free coaching! yes!)? Please email us at collegepreppodcast [at] gmail [dot] com and tell us all about it.

“This podcast originally ran on www.collegepreppodcast.com

How to Read a 400 Page Book in under Two Hours, Part 1/4

What if I told you it was possible to read a 400-page book in under two hours?

You wouldn’t believe me, right?

This summer I had a stack of books I wanted to catch up on, but I only had limited time. So I challenged myself to skim each of the books as quickly as possible.

In this week’s video, I walk you through the first step in how to read efficiently and effectively. You don’t have to read every word in order to walk away with the main idea, after all! Enjoy.


Stay tuned for Part 2 in this four-part series next week.

For more time management and study solutions for students, parents and educators, please sign up for the Anti-Boring Approach to Successful Studying Course HERE

Plan Now to Graduate College in Only Four Years

Screen-Shot-2016-07-07-at-12.02.59-PMWhy is it important to graduate in four years? What are some ways that you can choose your college smartly to ensure that you do graduate without spending needless extra money and time?

Guest expert Karina Dusenbury walks us through how to plan for college so well that you graduate in as little time as possible, and preferably no more than four years. 

She discusses:

  • what graduation rates are and how they are measured
  • what families should know about the graduation rates at the colleges they are considering
  • factors that impact students’ ability to graduate in four years
  • tips for choosing schools so that you maximize your ability to graduate in four years

To download Karina’s additional tips, go to www.maximizecollege.com/collegeprep.

Karina Dusenbury spent nearly 15 years in higher education helping students achieve their college goals. Along the way, she became all too familiar with the obstacles students encounter, which prevent them from graduating on-time and being fully prepared to enter the workplace. She founded Maximize College to help families refocus their college planning efforts so that students are more likely to get what they expect from the time and money they investment in college. Karina’s professional background includes positions in academic advising, career counseling, leadership development, and college admissions. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, a master’s degree in College Student Development from the University of Iowa, and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from North Carolina State University.

How to Like Your Teachers and Get Better Grades, too!

Do you ever feel as if your teacher hates you?

I can’t tell you how many of my clients complain of this. In fact, it’s their number one excuse for why they don’t like their teacher! However, taking the time to get to know a bit more about your teachers helps you connect in class and get better grades.

Recently, I had a wonderful conversation with a client, who is a senior in high school this year. I just had to share with you his insight and reflection on how he shifted his relationship with a teacher last school year — for the better!

If school is overwhelming and stressful for a teen you know, please check out for the Anti-Boring Approach to Successful Studying. If my clients are reliable proof, these tools may just be the “magic wand” you need to start feeling more confident and in control, at school and in life.

Tips to Wrap Up the Summer without Stress

Tips to wrap up the summer without stressThe beginning of the school year is always crazy and stressful for families.

But if you follow these tips for wrapping up the summer, you’ll save yourself some stress later on.

It’s an investment of time that’s well worth it. 

Here’s the basic checklist:

  • Update your resume
  • Get basic school supplies before stores run out
  • Finish the summer assignments
  • Make appointments to talk to people from school
  • Put all the dates from the school’s calendar into YOUR calendar
  • send thank you’s to anyone who helped you
  • Ask for recommendation letters
  • Attend orientation
  • Write goals for the year

Now listen in so that you can hear Megan and Gretchen’s commentary about each one!

Why Teens Should Stop Being Afraid of Librarians

Why are so many students hesitant to talk to Librarians?

Have you (or a teen you know) ever had a burning research question but been afraid to talk to a librarian? So many of my clients would prefer to spend hours alone googling for resources than spend 20 minutes with a knowledgeable librarian.

However, librarians are there to help and they love to answer questions. Research is definitely in their wheelhouse!  In this video, I share a few fun and creative ideas for helping students overcome their reluctance to ask for help. Getting past this minor roadblock will definitely benefit students in the future when more complicated research is needed for lengthy high school and college essays.

Would you like to learn more great tips like this? My online course The Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying is filled with 30+ tools for rocking school…and is perfect for teens, parents, or educators.

If You Want to Be A Better Writer, Improve This First!

Does your poor typing slow you down when writing essays?

During client sessions, I often have an opportunity to watch my clients type. They often make so many mistakes that they are constantly deleting what they typed…and rarely can their bumbling fingers keep up with their brilliant minds.

Poor typing skills are not only frustrating but it is also stifling to creativity and the natural thought process. In this video, I discuss the possible reasons you or a student you know may be having difficulty as a writer. There are many resources out there to help sharpen your typing abilities, speed, and accuracy. I love to hear success stories. Leave them in the comments section above!

With the school year suddenly looming, now is the perfect time to get yourself some more tools to rock your grades this year. Click here to check out my favorites! 

How to Make Your Social Media College and Job Ready

Colleges are increasingly checking out students’ online social media profiles to decide whether they are worthy of admission into their schools.

Colleges are increasingly checking out students’ online social media profiles to decide whether they are worthy of admission into their schools.

How college and job ready is your social media presence?

Megan shares some stories, tips and tricks about how students and families can ensure that social media won’t be a reason to miss out on getting into your favorite college, including:

  • stories of students who didn’t receive scholarships or key athletic positions because of their social media presence
  • 5 kinds of things NOT to post on social media or via email
  • several tips for hot to monitor social media usage so that you are college and job ready

 

Looking for more tips about how to get prepped for college? Click here.

Four Awesome Apps to Learn To Use This Summer

Do you have trouble keeping track of all of your To Do Lists and School Projects?

There are so many awesome apps out there to help you manage your time. Since it is summer, this is a perfect opportunity to discover and play with new time management applications.

In this video, I discuss a flashcard tool “Anki”, newly improved “Habitica”,  alert app “Way of Life” and organizational tool, “ToDoist”.

Would you like more creative solutions to time management and study woes? Check out my online course the Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying. It’s great for grown-ups and teens alike.

How to Have Meaningful College Visits in the Summer

How to Have Meaningful College Visits in the SummerJust because it’s summer and students aren’t on campus doesn’t mean that you can’t have a rich, meaningful college visit.

In fact, summer is one of the most practical times for families to visit colleges around the country, as a part of their summer vacations.

So, how do you make sure that you glean as much information as possible when you’re walking around a campus that’s not humming with students?

In this episode Megan and Gretchen break down the following:

  • the four biggest benefits of visiting colleges during the summer (as opposed to the school year)
  • surprising questions that people often don’t think to ask, that can help you find out whether this is the school for you, and
  • some examples from a recent summer visit Megan took to Texas Women’s University to help amplify her points.

How Not to Waste Your Time in College

Have you ever worried about how well you (or your teen!) will handle all that free time in college?

It can be a harsh transition to move from the structured nature of high school to the unstructured days of college.

A college client of mine was struggling with her tendency to to accidentally spend hours and hours of time watching TV and online, and so we came up with the following plan:

 

How do you handle open-ended time without losing your productivity? Got any favorite tricks? I’d love to hear them, comment below!

How Not To Make Stupid Mistakes in College, Part 3

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 12.56.18 PMHave you ever thought those dangerous words, “Naw! I don’t need any help”?

I don’t know about you, but my gut reaction is to say, “No thanks!” when someone offers help, even if I really want (or need) what they’re offering.

Our culture is wierd that way; we’re taught that — in order to be truly highly advanced — we need to work alone. However, the times I’ve been the most successful in my life are the times when I’ve reached out for and/or accepted support from others.

Which brings us to the last tip in my series “how not to make stupid mistakes in college.”

To recap, Tip #1 points to the importance of knowing yourself, both your strengths and your challenges. Tip #2 reminds us to take time to think through tricky situations in advance.

And Tip #3 recommends we get humble and get help! Check out this video for more:

Speaking of getting help, do you know anyone (maybe it’s you!) who is feeling a bit nervous about the transition to college? I’ve designed a fun program to help you, or a freshman you love, practice all three of these tips before heading off to school.

College Survival 101 is a 15-day virtual scavenger hunt designed to give new freshmen tricks & tools to rock their transition into college.

Registration is totally FREE, and the first 7 people who register themselves and two friends also get a FREE 50-minute college-prep consultation with moi!! (Normally consultations are $125, so this is DEAL!).

The registration deadline is Friday, July 12 which is SOON, so act NOW! Simply click here to begin the registration process.   Or click here for more information about College Survival 101.

Please forward this email to any freshmen (or parents of freshmen) you know!

How Not To Make Stupid Mistakes in College, Part 2

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Have you ever made a mistake that left you feeling, well, stupid? It’s an ugly word, stupid (unless you pronounce it the British way – styu-pid – which sounds a bit more sophisticated). Feeling stupid is also a pretty yucky emotion.

I’m tempted to reassure you that there are NO stupid mistakes. After all, we learn from our mistakes; they are one of the most golden educational opportunities we have!

However, it IS POSSIBLE to lessen the number of silly mistakes we make. To approach new experiences — like the move to college — in some really smart ways.

Last week I introduced you to my first tip for how not to make stupid mistakes in college: to know yourself  — you strengths and your challenge areas — so that you are not headed into your new experience blind. I’m talking rigorous honesty, here!

This week I’ve got tip #2 for how not to make stupid mistakes in college:

Finally, you might also like to check out College Survival 101. It’s a laid back & fun summer experience that will also help you rock the transition to college…and make fewer silly mistakes because you will have gotten yourself prepared.

If College  Survival 101 is not for you, but you know a new freshman who needs it, please pass this along. It starts July 15, so time is of the essence!