Jessie's Blog

The Motivation Inspo That Helped My Winter Funk

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Hello !

I am just going to be straight up with you. For a week (okay, make that two or possibly three) in January 2023, my motivation was nowhere to be found. Getting dinner on the table and walking the dogs felt overwhelming. On a scale of 1 to 10, my productivity was clocking in at a meager 1 when I typically hum along at a 7. This was certainly not the first time I've experienced a post-holiday, long-gray-winter funk. Nevertheless, I spent several days allowing myself to buy into the myth th…

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Sometimes Life Goes Sideways

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Hello friend. It's been quite some time since you've heard from me. Where have I been, and why the radio silence? In order for you to let me back into your inbox, I feel I owe you an explanation. It seems appropriate timing, as January is "Mental Wellness Month."

As I've referenced many times in these missives, my family and I live on the east coast. My highly autonomous mother, on the other hand, had been living alone on a 340-acre ranch in remote Colorado with three dogs, six horses, and 25 h…

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Boost An Application in Five Minutes – or – How Your 9th, 10th or 11th Grader Can Leverage Five Minutes

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How are you? 

The typical response to that question these days is a breathless, "Busy, and you?" with the occasional sigh and a somewhat forced smile. The point of this newsletter is not to create more "busy" for you or your teen; it's to help your teen make one or more small shifts that can yield significant results when it comes time to apply.

It's high season for college applications right now. My team and I are continuously reviewing applications and helping students position themselves. N…

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Is Showing Up Enough?

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Earlier this week, I found myself in savasana in a Core Power Yoga studio in Colorado Springs. For non-yogis, savasana is the final resting pose at the end of almost every yoga practice, and basically involves lying flat on your back on your mat with your eyes closed for a few minutes. The enthusiastic instructor had a very Colorado-esque handlebar mustache and shoulders that flexed in ways that I didn’t know were possible. He guided us into the final resting pose as he intoned, “So whatever you…

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(Don't) Focus on NORMAL

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This charming little sign has lived for years in a prominent place in our kitchen. I installed it there lest any guests get the crazy idea that we're NORMAL.

Starting at eight years old, I swam on a swim team at a local pool club. We’d leave the house at 8 a.m. each weekday. I’d hold on tight, one arm around Mom’s waist and the other gripping my towel, as we sped on her motorcycle down the east shore of the lake toward the club, the dips of the road memorized by my stomach. She had a Yamaha 250…

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That Time My Teen Texted Me to ASK for a Haircut

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You can thank me now. I was going to write this week's post about ballooning college application volumes and what to do about them. Then, I got a haircut and felt a little lighter in a world full of heavy issues, and so... I digressed. Bear with me.

Today let's remind ourselves of the power of the small wins in life – like a great haircut – and the relief we feel when we realize that some of what we've struggled to communicate to our children actually sank in and we no longer have to worry abou…

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The Powerful Mindset Question Your Teen (and You) Should be Asking


My work is to help students open doors and create opportunities for themselves. I recently recorded the following 58-second video and posted it to Insta. I framed the information as an important tip for students to keep in mind during college visits. However, the point I address is broadly applicable to all of us and how we show up in life for nearly everything and everyone. In fact, it's a question we could each productively ask ourselves dozens of times a day:

Am I trying to prove that I am…

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I'm Planning College Visits with my 15 year old. Why?

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Spring Break is right around the corner and quite unexpectedly, I find myself planning college visits with our 15-year-old daughter.  She is a sophomore and our youngest. With three older siblings, we've been to this rodeo before. In the past, we have always commenced with this ritual in the winter and spring of junior year. Yet, for Mary, I feel compelled to start now. Why?

I've been questioning whether it's too soon to be starting down this rabbit hole, especially since she plans NOT to app…

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WOW! Just Wow! You and Your Team Clearly Delivered!

Meet Jesse. Jesse is a senior in high school @sussextech in Northwest NJ. Attending and succeeding in a project-driven, hands-on Engineering Program was not easy during COVID. Jesse has always liked to challenge himself and stay busy and fit but with virtual learning, he was left with more free time than he liked. The list of activities that were canceled was long: basketball, youth group, in-person classes, lifeguarding, weight room workouts, and engineering competition workshop projects.

Reco…

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