Students, do you sometimes find that your brain is barraged with yucky thoughts? Thoughts that distract you from taking action on your academic responsibilities?
I’ve been paying more and more attention to the “self-talk” in my clients’ brains that keep them miserable when it comes to school… and life for that matter.
In our culture, we are given very few tools for how to handle those thoughts in a healthy way.
In this video, I share a story from a client last Spring who was really struggling with the debilitating thoughts that kept her from studying for her finals. The first step to transformation is awareness, and so I worked with her to help her be more aware of the thoughts that were getting in her own way.
Check it out!
The following are some yucky thoughts that I discussed in the video:
Take the appropriate steps that I discuss in the video to get these thoughts out of your head!
Do you have a hard time remembering what you read? I have this trouble all the time — I read a super interesting nonfiction book, but when it’s time to tell a friend about it, I can’t remember a single interesting fact!
Today I want to share a way I have of taking notes that allows me to capture the most important points from the non fiction books that I read. See: it’s not just students that study skills are good for! 🙂
Check out this video in which I walk you through the “book charting” process that I learned from my mom back in the day.
In today’s video I show you how to set up the process, and in the next two videos I’ll show you how I fill it out. So tune in the next couple of weeks to get more information!
?Do you often intend to get school work done when you travel during breaks, but then can’t quite bring yourself to do it?
More and more of my clients these days have at least one, if not more, plane rides during the course of their school year.
These same clients are also the kind of students who often have late work they need to catch up on!
In this video, I talk about how one of my clients came up with a “Plane Plan” in advance of his trip, so that he could make better use of his time on the airplane. This plan was very successful in helping him follow through with his goals. Check out the video to find out how.?
Make sure you come up with your plan in advance so you have a solid idea and can stick to it!
Summer is here for almost everyone! Which means relaxation and rest, right?
Hopefully for most of you that’s the case. But some students need to be productive, even over summer break thanks to classes at community college, rigorous summer assignments, internships and more.
Here’s a tip that might be helpful for those of you who want to maintain a sense of fun while also making sure you are responsible about being productive, too.
Listen in as I share a tip given to me by a 16 year old client who discovered a simple but powerful way to be productive over spring break! He was able to study for his AP tests AND have fun with his friends too.
Do you have great intentions for following through on new habits, but then find yourself struggling to keep the momentum?
This happens to me all the time in the transition between summer and the new school year. So this year, I got creative! Check out my new habit tracker, and listen in to why simply TRACKING your habits can be so powerful (even if you don’t actually follow through).
Hey there, don’t have time for the full video? No worries, here’s a short summary:
So this particular school year, 2017, has been so hard for me personally to transition from the wide-open summer to the regimented school year, and I have had to do something I haven’t had to do in a long time. I’ve made myself a star chart, and I’m noticing that a trick like this is the best way for me to rev up my habits in a quick period of time. And the way I use this is I have some double-sided tape (or in my case tape rolled up so it’s sticky on both sides) and I have it placed on my mirror with some stars next to it. That way I’m guaranteed to see it every morning and night!
Now, let’s discuss how to make this and how it works. As you can see I have it divided into 4 sections, my morning routine, my evening routine, the exercises I want to do every day, and diet/water. Here’s the deal, I don’t expect myself to be perfect. I’m simply tracking, what am I good at vs what am I not good at. The beauty of this though is that let’s say I don’t feel like flossing, but I see the star chart it makes me want to do it just so I can put a star on it.
That said, I don’t recommend that parent’s make these for their students; however, I do recommend to students that you make something like this for yourself to get you revved up for the school year. Because until your about 21 you’re going to be going through the cycle of starting a new semester and trying to build habits, then slowly losing them, and rebuilding them, and slowly losing them.
Do you struggle to take action on new habits and routines that you know would be good for you? Recently, a client of mine was having trouble jumpstarting “The Set Up Routine,” which is a process I recommend to students for setting up their study space right when they get home from school. I realized that during last week’s session, I’d failed to help him truly envision himself doing the habit! This is a 30-second trick that can really make a difference. Check out the video, where I describe it in more detail.
Hey there, don’t have time for the full video? No worries, here’s a quick summary:
So, I have a quick 30-second trick to help you, or your child, or your client (if you’re an academic coach), get a jumpstart on a new habit. And this is something I was doing with a client just this last week. He knew he needed to do what I call the “setup routine”, which is to come home from school, walk in the door, and get your study space all set up. The problem was that while we’d talked about it the previous week, he wasn’t following through, and I realized we really needed to walk through it in much more detail.
So I had him imagine actually doing this task, in as much detail as possible. I asked him what the front door looks like, what it’s like on the inside of that door, where he has to go to put his study materials, where the table is, what’s in that space, etc. Then I asked him to imagine himself taking his books out, where he’d put them, what else he needed to do to set up, etc. And he was really able to see it in his mind, almost like a movie. One of the benefits of this was that it allowed me to see where he was getting stuck and help fill in the steps. It also benefitted him, as he was able to get a real feel for how the habit would go from start to finish.
Ann Marie Dobosz is a psychotherapist and writer in San Francisco. Her book, The Perfectionism Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Reduce Anxiety and Get Things Done, was published last year by New Harbinger. She specializes in helping people who are really hard on themselves feel calm, happy, and “good enough.” She works with adults and adolescents who struggle with mental health issues that arise from perfectionism and self-criticism, including anxiety, depression, obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors. You can find more about her at www.annmarietherapy.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Are you the kind of student who does OK at school? Parents and teachers sometimes nudge you, telling you that you’re not quite living up to your potential because your grades could be even higher than the B’s they are now?
I have a client like that who was tired of feeling that he could probably perform even better at school if he were only more motivated. We worked together for a quick eight sessions — and then he took his final exams. Voila! What he told me amazed me, and shows that just a few skills can make some major changes in a student’s self-esteem. Watch the video, where I tell you the full story of this client and what he discovered.
Hey there, don’t have time for the full video? Don’t worry I’ve got your back, here’s a summary:
I’ve been trying a little experiment that I want to tell you all about. I have a few clients who may have a learning disability of some sort but are extremely high functioning. They average decent grades, typically B’s but A’s as well sometimes. The reason they come to me, especially the client I am focusing on in this video, is that he and his family felt that he wasn’t living up to his potential in school. He said that he didn’t feel motivated to put in a lot of effort and that he felt he could be more motivated, but he wasn’t sure how to get there. So what him, his family, and I decided to do was to run him through The Anti-Boring Approach to Powerful Studying in only eight sessions, just to get him setup with the time management, organization, and studying skills he needed to be able to really give school his all.
At the time I recorded this video I’d just heard back from him, and for reference, he’s a junior in high school, about his final exams. Now in the past, he’s always just coasted through school, as we talked about above, and that included his exams. However, exams have always caused him anxiety as he’s felt he should be doing more but wasn’t sure exactly what to be doing to prepare for them, and lacking the motivation to do anything. This year, on the contrary, he said he went in feeling like he was ready and that he knew what he was doing. His confidence was a LOT higher this year around, now that he had the skills he needed to really put forth his best effort. And while his grades have only had minor improvements from the short time we’ve worked together, he told me,
And that’s the important thing here. His confidence and self-esteem as a student have skyrocketed. With just a few short sessions and a handful of tools and skills he’s gone from “doing okay but having low self-esteem” to “doing okay with high self-esteem.” That’s what we, as teachers and parents, want for the children we love, to see them feel good about the hard work they put in.
Teens and parents! What will you do this summer to have experiences that are both meaningful and impress colleges on your applications? Looking for free and low-cost solutions?
Now is the time to start planning. We know it seems super early, but the truth is that many of these opportunities have application deadlines mid-semester. We don’t want you to miss out just because you put off planning.
Here are the 5 types of experiences that Megan suggests students and parents consider; tune into the episode to hear details about how to find each of them:
Subject-specific camps at colleges and universities
Hands on work in the field of study that interests the student most
“Big” volunteer experiences that meet or exceed 80 hours a week
This week on the College Prep Podcast with Gretchen Wegner and her co-host Megan Dorsey:
Ever considered adventure travel as an interesting summer option for your teen?
There are many companies that take teens on cool trips around the world and build their life and leadership skills, to boot.
On today’s podcast, we interview an expert in the field of adventure travel. Claire Perrone, of Moondance Adventures, started off as a 12-year-old on her first Moondance adventure. Since then, she has transitioned from the role of student to a leader to Community Service Director; so she can speak about adventure travel for teens from a few different perspectives. Specifically, she, Megan and Gretchen discuss:
What is adventure travel?
What are the benefits to students of participating in these types of trips?
How can you tell if your child is ready for this type of experience?
What should parents look for when finding the right trip for their child?
How is a Moondance trip different from the hundreds of other travel opportunities?
What is the affordability of adventure travel trips?
Moondance is a teen adventure travel company based in Nashville, TN. They offer 25 awe-inspiring summer programs for high school aged students, domestically and abroad. Check them out on their website or their popular Instagram feed.
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.
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:
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:
How important (e.g. life or death!) is the situation?
What resources does the school already provide, and is it enough?
Is this a topic for which there is limited time and chances in order to succeed?
Are your home relationships deteriorating because you’ve been doing it yourself for too long?
Will it be more convenient to work with this other person, and are you willing to pay for convenience?
How motivated is the student who will be receiving the support?
What are your family’s finances?
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.
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!
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.
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!