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College Admissions Consultant. Mindfulness in College Admissions. Author: Hey AdmissionsMom: Real Talk from Reddit. www.admissionsmom.college

This is basically an abbreviated version of pretty much everything I say throughout the year; hopefully, it’s organized in a way you can find useful.

Junior year is where your college admissions journey starts for real. You now have quite a few items to tick off your to-do list, but don’t freak out if you’re already a spring semester junior — or even a rising senior — (or even a fall semester senior for that matter if you’re reading this much later). You have plenty of time to get all this done.

Please note that my views about this might…


My second favorite part of college admissions after the personal essay is helping create college lists. I love throwing out suggestions for students to explore and then go off on their merry little way and get lost in a world of college research.

After a bunch of years of suggesting colleges here on A2C and for my own students; a ton of college info sessions, college virtual tours, and college fairs; over 85 in-person college visits over the last few years; a lot a lot of book reading, and learning from my fellow counselors and consultants at conferences and through…


I’m gonna be super real with you — applying to college is fricking stressful — and often overwhelming. And it’s totally ok and normal to be stressed out. Still, no doubt, there are going to be times when you’re going to absolutely need to be able to handle the stress of it all. So in honor of Mental Health Month, as we finish off May, I’m gonna try to get all the mental health tips that I like to share throughout the year all bundled up in one post — this one.

Warning — it’s long, but it’s all really…


Few things are as frustrating or painstaking (but also exciting!) as selecting your courses during high school. There’s always pressure to take the most honors, APs, or IB courses possible — like there’s some magical combination of classes that will unlock your acceptance to the most fabulous college in the world — as if there were just one ;-).

However, as with most things, you need to approach your course load with balance. Yes, you should challenge yourselves, but you’ve also gotta be realistic about how much you can handle. Also, consider courses that align with your interests because the…


Sometimes, it can feel like much of the application process revolves around what other people think of you. And because you can’t control those perceptions, you might find the whole application process intensely frustrating.

This is especially true when it comes to letters of recommendation. It’s easy to get freaked out about which teachers to ask, if they’ll agree to write your letters, and how to guarantee that they won’t secretly write you a bad letter that will torpedo your chances of getting into college.

Luckily, it’s not as dire as all that. According to Jeff Schiffman, the Director of…


I can’t remember ever not wanting to be a Mom or really wanting to do anything else; I’m sure that’s mostly because I had an amazing role model in my own mom. While other little girls were pretending to be princesses, I was caring for my dolls and stuffed animals. After my mom died, Dad told me I’d existed before I was born because Mom was thinking about me, her future daughter, when they met at 17. That made sense to me because I’d been planning and thinking about being a mom pretty much always. ⁠

My three little birds* did…


Full Disclosure. This is how I’d planned to start this post:

May the Fourth be with you today & every day! To celebrate StarWarsDay, I’m sharing my FOUR most important rules for college admissions.

But this is what happened: May 4th came and went because I decided to celebrate with friends :) so I didn’t have time to post and then AP Test Questions started piling up, so I wanted to pivot and make a post about that. But I still had all these beautiful ideas … OK. Fine. I think they are beautiful ideas… So, annnnywaayy (how do you…


stack of AP practice and prep books

We’re in the middle of AP season and there are tons of questions, so let’s try to get through some of them. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about AP scores, but be forewarned, time’s they are a-changin’ right now. And I can’t help but think that AP scores will become increasingly important as Subject Test scores disappear.

  • First of all, if you’ve already paid for the tests, I suggest taking them — even if you don’t think you’re ready. …

I keep seeing tons and tons of posts with this school or that school — I know it’s stressful — more this year than ever. While I think it’s good to get feedback about specific schools (and I try to give feedback too when I can), I don’t think you should be making your decision based on what strangers on the internet say you should choose because it is such a personal/family decision. Here are some hints that might help no matter what schools you’re discussing.

So, normally my biggest piece of advice for making your college decision is to…


When decisions don’t go your way it can feel really awful — like the worst pain you’ve ever experienced. As u/CollegeWithMattie so eloquently and appropriately put it on r/ApplyingToCollege: “Not getting into the school you want fucking sucks.”

Look, I’m gonna be completely honest — It can really hurt, more than anything else you’ve ever felt before, but here’s the deal: The only way through the pain is to go through it.

You know, I’ve never gone through the specific pain and frustration of the application process that some of you are going through, but I’ve had my share of…

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