Jessie's Blog

The Number One Thing You Need to Discuss with Your Teen

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Hello , 

We've been so busy here readying to launch our new website (woo-hoo!) that I realized that it had been two weeks since we last connected. Today is a quick post about the number one thing to discuss with your teen (regardless of where they are in the process).

There are two lenses through which teens can view admissions.

The first is that an acceptance from FabulousU will:

  • validate that I am smart, accomplished, worthy, and this will ensure my highest potential will be reached.
  • re…

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The Battle I Won But Lost Anyway

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In the summer of 2005, we were renovating our home. One of the countless decisions that had to be made amidst the chaos of that project was whether or not to add a cable hook up in each of the three children's bedrooms. As a family, we had cable and we were keeping cable, but in my mind, hooking up the kids' rooms was a non-starter: "NO WAY! They'll be hiding in their rooms, by themselves, not learning how to negotiate the remote to decide between The Dukes of Hazard and The Six Million Dollar M…

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Does "Test-Optional" REALLY Mean Optional?

The pandemic has college admissions offices scrambling. They have long relied on test scores as one of the key variables they use to evaluate candidates, yet according to FairTest, two-thirds of colleges surveyed in October 2020 had been forced by our collective circumstances to adopt some blend of the test-optional or test-blind policy. 

MOST parents and students I speak with LOATHE standardized testing. Feelings aside, most still have questions about how to navigate this portion of the admi…

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Happy New Year! Here's to Finding More Sweet in 2021

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Receiving Christmas and Holiday greeting cards this year brought me significantly more pleasure than in years past. No one was more surprised than I was by my feelings of authentic delight when the first card arrived, nevermind that it was from Chewy.com! I even put it on display, tucking it under a window frame where everyone would see it – “everyone” being my immediate family since no one else was coming – and I made sure to point out to each of them the very FIRST greeting of the SEASON (cue …

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The Essential Self and Right Fit

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What Do the Essential Self and the Right Fit Have in Common? 

The short answer: Everything.

The long answer is, well, longer than that, but we think it’s worth reading about, thinking about, and considering seriously.

Sociologist Martha Beck proposes that each of us has two selves that form the basis of our operations: a “social self” and an “essential self.” In Finding Your Own North Star, Beck lists the behaviors of these selves: The “social self” is avoidance-based, conforming, imitative, …

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My Go-To Escape Isn't Working as Well as It Used To

Are you a reader? Have you been looking for your next "beach read"?  Fiction has never failed me as an escape. It has been my go-to to go somewhere else; to get lost in someone else's world, issues, and dramas. 

At 8, 9, 10, or 14... what I remember most about riding about in the back of the van while my parents were chasing the waves at Lavalette and Seagurt at the Jersey Shore, or Ramp 22 and the Lighthouse on the Outer Banks, was snuggling up next to Shamo (my curly-haired-rescue-dog) and di…

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Prepped and Polished Episode #231 — Talking Shop with Alexis

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Recently I got a chance to talk shop with nationally-recognized testing expert, Alexis Avila. He asked me to share what I thought were the best strategies to MAKE THE MOST OF THE COLLEGE ADMISSIONS PROCESS DURING QUARANTINE.

Click HERE and use the coupon code, PREPPEDANDPOLISHED, to get full access to online mini courses at our "College Admissions Made Simple" Virtual Academy. 

Listen to the podcast HERE

Watch the Video Interview HERE  

@preppedandpolished @compassU #authenticfutures #hellop…

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Parenting (especially #parentinginplace) Is Not For Sissies

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I have to admit I completely lost it on my crew last Monday night. Yup, pretty much the opposite of keeping my ____* together. *sh^t, zen, happy, life... (you pick). Thankfully, Dave wasn’t here to witness the meltdown — he was at his essential place of work.

Let me explain. Many members of the crew were having “egg o’clock” at noon and I was tidying the kitchen after my lunch. I reminded them it was their turn to make dinner that night. I had two conference calls starting at 5 pm. We agreed t…

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I Hired Jessie Sophomore Year!

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Jessie has been helping and supporting my triplets since sophomore year! We started with her at that time because the kids were looking to get additional advice (besides just that of their guidance counselor at school) as far as helping them with their schedules and deciding how many Honors and AP classes to take. She helped us in those early days with class selections, tutors, and SAT/ACT prep recommendations.

Then moving on to junior year, by that time she knew my kids well and were able to s…

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Make America Grateful Again — Tracey's Wish

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Two days after Christmas last year, I hitched my belt and realized that I had to go out a notch further than usual. And then my inner critic stepped to the front of the stage. 

I’d know that voice anywhere; the one that is very good at making me feel like sh*t about myself, and today she picked up the mic and started in on one of her favorite routines: the "you need more self-control," finger-wagging, body-shaming litany. "How hard is it for you to enter your consumption into your My Fitness …

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