College Pete

Why Maximizing Your Student’s ‘Free Time’ Is More Important Than Ever

Why Maximizing Your Student’s ‘Free Time’ Is More Important Than Ever

I have in my office an 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper that has survived many iterations (not to mention years and office moves). It’s a list of 40 ‘Old-Fashioned Skills’ that every child should acquire by the time they’re ‘an adult.’ I’m talking about the kind of life skills that all fully formed adults need but are rarely developed inside today’s high school classrooms: simple skills like “How to write a letter” to more complex skills like “How to weigh out the pro’s and con’s of a decision”.

And yes, I do realize that this is a bit of a departure from the more pragmatic college planning advice you’re used to receiving from me, but hear me out.

There’s been a ton of writing, Ted Talks etc. on the absolute need for better executive function development among our youth. And after helping literally thousands of students through what is often their first truly independent expression of self (the college application process), I can tell you that it’s the students who have had a chance for personal growth outside the classroom whose applications are most successful. These kids often do better both in the process and once they arrive on campus. And I’m not the only one who knows this.

It is apparent when a student’s application demonstrates an authentic voice and a well-defined sense of self. This is critical when compared with students who share almost equally competitive test scores and transcripts. It is refreshing to weary, overworked and underpaid college admissions representatives who thumb through tens of thousands of college applications when they land upon a student who displays real passion, whose story aligns with their stated interests and activities – whom they can see will share that energy on their campus. And these students are often rewarded for it with a “Yes, we’d love to have you next Fall!”

If you’ve got a college-bound teen at home and you’d like to learn more about:

A) why it’s critical that they maximize their free time; and,
B) how best to help them do so; then,

I’d like to invite you to join me next week for a very special webinar:  How To Build A Better College Resume This Summer. I’ll be joined by my colleague Carla Holness (a former Admissions Representative) as well as Andrea Maldonado, PhD, Director of Educator Relations at the National Student Leadership Conference and Scott Ingram, Director of Admissions at Rustic Pathways.  Please click here to see the topics we’ll be discussing and to reserve your spot on Thursday, January 11th at 6:30pm. I look forward to speaking with you then.

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