During the research and review of potential colleges that may be a best fit for a high school student, we find that they oftentimes will not have the opportunity to connect with those who have 'been there, done that' - the alumni of the school.
In the effort to bring visibility to the thoughts that many alums have on their college days - be in about the campus, the programs, athletics, or even their routines - we've started Top 5 Takeaways, a weekly blog created to educate, inspire, and prepare students who are deciding what college may be best for them. Our interviewed guests will touch on everything from academics to campus-life, from dining hall food to moving across the country. This is meant to be an authentic and true narrative - as guests can write not only about what they want, but can piece content together how they want - with no motives other than to showcase their real thoughts on real experiences. This is information that aims to serve a number of high school students across the country.
We start with a graduate of the University of Vermont (Burlington, VT) - Charles M. '07. His Top 5 Takeaways are:
For questions on any of this information, or on any steps in the college selection and admissions process, do not hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Care to share your college story? Send a brief summary of yourself and your college days to email@example.com.
With the scores now all in and reported to us, we are happy to announce that students working with Leonard Andrew Consulting to prepare for their summer SAT scored an average of 50 points higher than their previous tests!
What's more is that each and every student improved, and not a single student tallied a lesser score than any previous.
LAC's mix of pre-test prep and component specific study guidance makes this possible. We run a 'diagnostic' with the students in the review of their previous SATs or PSATs (if applicable), so that we can focus on the areas that need strengthening, all while maintaining those areas that are already exceptional. Our method also allows for students to know how they operate best - both when studying for the standardized test as well as that time sitting for (and during) the test itself - so that they may be as successful as can be!
Can Leonard Andrew Consulting help you or your son/daughter to prepare for the SAT or ACT? Be sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details. We work both in-person (in and around Connecticut) as well as remote via live-stream services with students all over the US (via FaceTime, Skype, etc).
We've had a number of questions come to us about 'Official Visits' for student-athletes, and so we wanted to get out our take on a few things to keep in mind regarding these exciting opportunities.
First and foremost, if you were asked to visit campus on an 'Official Visit' by a coach -- congratulations!
Understand that a visit that is 'Official' in nature for a student-athlete is a visit to a D1 or D2 college campus by the student and his/her parents paid for by the college. This means that the school would pay all (or some) of the following: (1) Transportation to and from the college, (2) Room and meals while visiting, (3) 'Entertainment' expenses, typically in the form of a home game for one of their athletics programs (doesn't have to be the sport you're looking to place, though that is ideal).
Typically, D3 schools will not offer an official visit by these standards, but the school can certainly choose to do so. (Those that do are the ones that have larger funding and recruiting budgets).
By NCAA rules, student-athletes can only begin accepting official visit offers on Day 1 of their high school senior year. In the case of baseball, for example, October is THE month for recruiting visits, so the timeline for these 'official visits' begins very soon.
Rule of thumb: If a coach/program offers you an official visit, you are most likely on the upper end of their recruiting list.
Of course, if you have any questions or concerns with the visit, you should always ask the coach you spoke with initially to clarify (what type of visit, what specific things you may be doing on the visit, if you can see a classroom/have a full campus tour, etc).
You'll be asked any number of questions while on your visit, a set of which we've covered when prepping for the interviews (Read: What Will a College Coach Ask Me...). Two big ones that may very well come out during this visit -- (1) Can you see yourself playing here? and (2) When can you commit?
While you won't be doing any on-field work, just keep in mind that you are still constantly being evaluated: your character, your responses, etc. A visit like this does not guarantee a spot on the roster. You've been identified as someone they'd potentially like to sign, and now they want to see if your personality fits the mold of person that they are looking for - they want an asset for the team, the school, and the community.
Make sure to get to know the school beyond that of the team and sports facilities as well. Remember, outside of baseball you'll be here for four years -- you need to know that you'll be happy and comfortable! We remind student-athletes that they should look to have an admissions tour as well to supplement this official visit. The admissions representatives will take note as you 'demonstrate interest' -- you'll be able to more fully immerse yourself into the day-to-day happenings of a student, and you'll be able to visit other areas of campus that you may not see with the coach/team. Other than a field, there will be two main places where you spend A LOT of your time -- the dining hall and the dorms -- be sure to not miss those.
With any questions on this, as well as anything else pertaining to athletic recruiting, just let us know by sending an email to email@example.com!
Attending university or college is a very exciting step in life. A lot of uncertainty and stress comes with it, however. Students have to deal with studying for exams, finishing assignments on time, worrying about their future, and making new friends. Trying to manage all of these goals can leave you feeling overwhelmed and can lead to more severe mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and low self-confidence. Fortunately, there are techniques and resources that can help stressed-out students cope with the issues they face.
Stress Related to Social Experiences
Departing from the safe haven of your parents’ home for the first time, meeting new people, and building friendships can be scary. The good news is that many others attending university or college are in a similar situation! Here are some tips for making friends:
Stress Related to Workload
Studying is a major part of a successful university or college experience, and learning the art of studying is necessary for good grades and a good future after university or college life. Many students, however, are not educated in this art, and know neither how to study nor how to manage their time effectively.
Here are some tips to help you study better:
Here are some time-management tips to help you stay on track and get those assignments done:
Stress Related to Self-Confidence
Whether because of low self-esteem, or too much self-criticism, many students fall short of caring for themselves and do not give themselves enough credit for their accomplishments. Just as studying and time management are necessary for a successful university or college life, so too is self-care. When we do not care for ourselves, it is difficult to care about other things. Here are some ways to build your self-confidence:
Long-term stress can lead to decreased academic performance, depression, and physical health problems. Some students may need extra, external support to help them with their stress management and self-confidence. Of course, what is stressful for one student may not be stressful for another. Similarly, some students may have a great coping toolbox, but others may not know how to help themselves in times of need.
It is important to seek external support if your stress levels are high and you are unable to cope. Universities and colleges have on-site student counselors and mental health professionals whom you can speak to. These professionals specialize in areas of workload management, coping with stress, and other student issues.
Students suffering from chronic stress often:
Starting university can be a stressful experience. The important thing is to focus on how you are able to cope with this stress. If you have strategies in place, they can enhance your academic performance, keep you happy, and reduce health problems. Be sure to create your own coping “toolbox” with tips and strategies that help you.
We wanted to get some notes down for those of you taking your SAT this weekend - a little something to think about in the next few days leading into Saturday. (And yes, this information counts for those of you taking the ACT in September.)
We're in the home stretch. Yes, you've studied and reviewed in the last few weeks, but we do not want to let up now. Be sure to focus yourself for 60 to 90 minutes each afternoon/night to review and prep yourself.
A lot of our notes here you may have heard and some of it may seem like common sense, however it’s always valuable to have the reminders.
Prepping for the test includes prepping (and taking care of) yourself:
To be well rested heading into test day, try to get a good amount of sleep each night leading up to it. You’ll be sharp on Saturday, and will find it easier to review during each of the days prior. Sleeping well during the week will typically cover you in the event that you’re unable to sleep (stress, nerves) the night before the test. The good sleep over the course of the week will give you the energy you need during the exam.
Don't vastly alter your diet in the days before the test. Even if the foods you are eating are healthier, these are NOT the days to try something new (the last thing you want is for your stomach to be rolling while you’re in the middle of a reading passage). If you don’t already, consider adding a light breakfast to your morning routine in order to get you body, and mind, ready for the day.
Sure, it’s inevitable that you’ll stress a little bit about the test and what it means leading into your future – it’s only natural and everyone will have some level of nervousness. The key is to be able to minimize that stress, and to go into the exam with confidence. Being mentally and emotionally prepared will have you working with positive anticipation instead of nervous dread. In the days prior to the test, just as you’re reviewing and studying, be sure to give yourself some time to relax as well. Getting a workout in, spending time with family, and even doing your summer reading (two birds, one stone), will keep you sharp and will also work to release any negative anxiety that is built up.
Mentally prepare yourself by visualizing a successful test – raising the score by 100 points, improving your English section, etc. If you have already taken the test already, you know what to expect – the number of questions, how much time you have for each section, the atmosphere during test time – and that’s a hurdle cleared. Knowing the sections you’re weakest on, think about how you’ll be confidently encountering those questions on Saturday, navigating trouble areas, and knowing that you’ll have the time to come back to those questions.
Prepping for the test also means setting a game plan for each section:
For the English passage sections, consider first working through detail questions that you can easily locate the answer to. Finish those first before then moving on to inference questions, questions that ask what the author intended, and main idea questions. The detail questions will allow you to move rather quickly, the other question types will take a bit more time. This way of thinking allows for more time to be spent that those questions that need it.
Encounter a tough vocabulary word? Use the surrounding clues in the text to determine what it means.
With the writing component, spend a few minutes brainstorming. Note your ideas, and outline the point that you’re going to make. A few minutes of prep here will save you a lot of time in the long run, and you’ll be able to construct a well-organized piece. Once complete with writing, be sure to read over and review your work. Check for spelling, punctuation, grammar, and double check your word choice (do you repeat yourself?) and overall structure (did you write one giant paragraph? Run-on sentences?).
Again...find the time on your own to practice these next few days. It’s perfectly fine to study for one hour, before coming back later in the day to refocus for another hour. Cramming Friday night will not be a successful strategy – as you won’t remember most of what you’re looking at – but you can certainly do a brief overview of your weak spots, and build confidence in yourself that you’ll be able to tackle each of those tough questions with ease.
As always, let LAC know if there are any questions, comments, or concerns by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is anything specific that you'd like to go over - whether it's your standardized tests or your admissions progress as a whole - let us know and we can work to find a time to chat!
We recently worked with Ashton (Connecticut) to get him into a prep school that fit him best. Check out his words on how it was working with LAC!
We've asked a number of rising high school seniors what they are doing this summer to prepare themselves for college. Take a look and if you are a soon to be senior as well, how does your summer stack up? Want to let us know what you've been up to this summer to get ready for your college years? Be sure to let us know in the Comments section!
“After working as an intern last year at a hospital, I now have a job for the summer working in an emergency room. There I do EKG’s, prepare rooms, take blood pressure, deliver medicine, and work the front desk to buzz the ambulance and take calls.”
“I am currently working as a counselor at Camp Dudley in upstate N.Y. as well as taking practice ACTs and doing study prep with a tutor.”
“I have an internship in Washington D.C on Capitol Hill for a congresswoman and I'm taking a class on war and terrorism in popular culture at Georgetown. Additionally, I am playing tennis and writing my college essay.”
“I am working at Hopkins school for a summer school for middle school students. I am also taking SAT subject tests throughout the summer.”
“I am writing my college essay as well as attending numerous camps to try and get recruited for hockey in college.”
“I live in Hong Kong and I have a small internship in which I follow around a doctor as he shows me the ropes of his profession because I have high interest in his occupation.”
“I am working as a caddy at my local golf club, and meeting with a tutor to prepare myself for the SAT.”
“I work at a deli most days and in the afternoon I play baseball. I am on a Connecticut travel team the whole summer.”
“I work as a tennis pro at my local club. For 2 weeks, I will also be attending an SAT camp. Additionally, I am working on my college essay and requesting teachers to write recommendation letters.”
"I work at my local club as a landscape worker. Also, I am preparing for the SAT and working for an internship later on in the summer for an upcoming business."
You've just wrapped up your Junior year in high school, and while the summer months are perfect for relaxing, traveling, and hanging with friends, it's a wise decision to put some of your time towards getting ready for college.
As a parent, do you know what you’ll want to ask on a boarding school admissions tour with your child?
LAC - Founder/Director
Founder - The College Essay Captain, and featured guest blogger here for LAC. It's her mission to inspire people to tell empowering stories.