My 1/2-Day Class Changed This Kid’s Life (2-Minute Read)

It was 8:35 am on a Saturday, and I was standing at a whiteboard in a large classroom—drawing diagrams I’d need for the class I was about to teach. From behind me I heard a young male voice.

“Hi, I’m early. I wanted to say hi to you.”

I turned to see a high school boy who looked vaguely familiar.

“I came early because I wanted to tell you—” he said, looking over at my whiteboard, “I took this class from you before. When I was 12. My mom made me do it.”

We both laughed. But then he grew serious.

“I took this Strategic College Student class when I was 12, and then three years later I was in a bad car accident. I mean—it was bad. I hit my head on pavement.

I wasn’t the same after that. I couldn’t think the same. And I used what you taught me in this Strategic College Student class to get myself back.

Now I’m the captain of the debate team at a large high school, and I’m headed to Yale.

I just wanted you to know.

I came back to take this class again because you said that a lot of kids take this class when they’re 12, and it plants some seeds inside of them. Then they take this class again when they’re 15 or 18—and it really bears fruit. I’m here for the fruit. Can I give you a hug?”

He hugged me. And I swallowed a lump and felt hot tears in my eyes.

I knew that my Strategic College Student class had a reputation for being transformative for students—but I’d never heard this before.

Don’t miss your opportunity to plant seeds—don’t miss your opportunity to harvest fruit.

My 1/2 day Strategic College Student class is now available online for students nationwide. Access it now using the details you’ll find here.

Ideal age to attend this class? Ages 12–26 (and their parents).

Yep—all those people, all in the same room, all at the same time.

What are students saying about this class?

See more student and parent reviews of this class at JeannieBurlowski.com/SPEAKING.

Parents are encouraged, but not required, to attend with their students. Parents, in just 1/2 a day you’ll see your kids’ anxiety levels drop, and you’ll watch their sense of personal power and academic confidence steadily increase.

And you’ll have all the info if your kids ever need a gentle nudge back onto the right track later.

Your child doesn’t want to attend this class? Quick—read my article Should You Pay Your Teen to do Things?

If you’re wondering whether your kid is too young for a class like this, don’t miss my article 7 Reasons Your Middle Schooler Needs A College Study Skills Class.

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5 Ways Parents Head Off College Anxiety

This article is for you whether you’ve got a high schooler or a college student experiencing college anxiety.

When Samantha was in 10th grade, her Dad offered her a great suggestion. “Sam, why don’t we get your guidance counselor to sign you up for some college classes for next year, and you take those instead of regular high school classes? You can get real college credit for them, they’ll still count toward your high school graduation, and best of all, our state will pay for them!” Samantha hesitated, nervous apprehension squeezing at her stomach and working its way up to her chest and throat. It was her first experience with college anxiety. “I don’t know, Dad—couldn’t I just take a couple of AP classes instead?”

Don’t let your child retreat into AP classes to avoid college anxiety.

AP classes are the least dependable way to earn college credit in high school.

Contrary to popular belief, AP classes are not typically “easier than real college classes.” Think about it. Would you want to study a subject for months and months, and then have your success or failure depend on performing well on one big test at the end?

And then, after all that work, you find out that the college you’ll be attending may not even accept your hard-won AP credit?

That’s enough to exacerbate even the mildest case of college anxiety.

Here are 5 ways parents can head off college anxiety. (Number 5 is a big one.)

1. Emphasize that college success isn’t about how smart you are, it’s about how organized you are.

Your son is worried that he’s not smart enough for college. All kids are. If you went to college yourself, tell him that you really started being successful at college when you learned to use a calendar and make lists of tasks you had to do. Emphasize that organization is something anyone can learn.

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The Most Important Thing About High School? It’s Not Grades

Many families mistakenly believe that the most important thing about high school is getting good grades—so students can “get into a good college when they graduate.”

Not true.

What is the most important thing about high school?

In my work as an academic strategist, I’ve found that the most important thing about high school is forging the academic tools necessary for the college or vocational training that comes afterward.

 

I told one underperforming student this: “Imagine college as a place where you have to pound nails into boards, one after another, as fast as you can. Bam! Bam! Bam bam bam! High school is the place where you create your hammer. If your hammer’s put together sloppily out of string and glue and spitballs, you’ll find it difficult and exhausting and painful to pound nails in college.”

Can students “get good grades” and still miss it?

Too many high school students have figured out how to game the high school system enough to get decent grades while still not learning important skills, such as 1) putting away electronics and listening carefully in class, 2) taking thorough, complete handwritten notes, 3) seeking help when confused, and 4) using a calendar or a to-do list to make certain that assignments and test studying are done thoroughly and on time.

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Is “Advanced Placement” the Best Way to Earn College Credit In High School?

Every year, millions of high school students are fed this line: “Hey, you should take Advanced Placement (AP) classes! They’re way harder, but if you do well on the test at the end, you’ll get free college credit!”

It sounds like a great deal. But is it actually true?

Advanced Placement

Actually, Advanced Placement (AP) classes are the least dependable way for students to earn college credit in high school.

Shockingly, fewer than half the students who take AP classes actually end up getting the low-cost college credit they were promised.

This Atlantic article goes so far as to tell parents bluntly, “AP classes are a scam” and “AP students are being suckered.”

The well-respected Atlantic said that? Wow.

To learn which early college option tends to be far better than APread on.

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Kids Ages 12–26 Need a COLLEGE STUDY SKILLS CLASS. Here’s Why

The college study skills class I teach is called THE STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT. For more info on this class, scroll to the bold red writing below.

LIve class coming August 27th!

You already understand why college students and grad students need a high quality college study skills class. You can even see why it makes sense for high school students to take one. (Especially if they’ll be taking dual enrollment college classes in 11th and 12th grades.)

But why would I recommend that middle schoolers also take a college study skills class?

Something magical happens when a middle schooler takes a college study skills class. I’ve seen it a thousand times.

Here, 7 reasons why middle school (or as soon as possible after that) is a great time for your kid to take a college study skills class:

1. A class like this shapes the way the student sees herself and her future.

Middle schoolers tend to feel immensely flattered that someone—a parent, a teacher, or a middle school youth pastor—sees them as so intellectually capable that the topic of college is coming up already.

Oh, every student will initially object when an adult brings up the idea of a class like this—but once the student knows that attending is not negotiable, even a “low-to-average” achieving middle school student will secretly start to feel an internal glow of pride about it.

When middle school students attend a college study skills class, they begin to feel a subtle but distinct shift in how they view themselves and their future life. They start to see this line item being written into the overarching plan for their lives: “I’m going to college!”

2. Younger students eagerly devour this material.

After just about five minutes in my college study skills class, students are sitting straight up on the edges of their chairs, ears and eyes wide open.

The minute I finish explaining the importance of taking notes with pen and paper and not with computers, these students are taking page after page of detailed notes.

At the end of class—when I ask to see the notes they’ve taken and I marvel and exclaim over them, these students swell up with pride.

When I explain exactly how to review the notes later to lock in concepts in as little time as possible, they write down every word I say.

One 8th grade girl walked out of my college study skills class and told her mom: “Sorry, Mom—I can’t go get ice cream with you now. I’m doing a a systematic review method and I have to review these notes I just took.” And I wasn’t even giving her a grade for learning this material.

I find that middle school students are especially eager to listen, eager to take notes, eager to review, and eager to implement college study skills strategies after they’ve learned them. This presents an opportunity that is just too valuable for us to overlook.

Parents, if your kids balk at coming to this class when you first bring it up, pay them to attend if that’s what it takes. You’ll recoup the investment 100 times over later.

3. Every student loves it when I say these words:

“Some of you here today have never, ever worked up to your ability level in school. Some of you are the last people your teachers would ever think would go to college. Well, let me tell you something. Some of you sitting here today are going to surprise everyone. You know why? Because it’s not brains or genetic ability that make you good at college. It’s strategy and organization. Pure and simple. And anyone can learn that.”

4. Brain development research tells us that middle school is an ideal time for us to be talking about these things.

Middle schoolers’ brains are growing at an explosive rate—faster than at any time since infancy. Neural pathways are being pruned and strengthened, and so any experience they have during these years is likely to stick with them—in technicolor—for years and years afterward. Often for a lifetime. 

I want it to be during these years that they are first reached with the message of what it takes to succeed in college. 

If we are able to do this, the college success strategies we give them will be locked in in ways they will not be if we wait until just before or during college.

5. Students who learn college study skills early on do better in high school.

They get better grades in high school, they take and pass more CLEP tests, they succeed at higher levels in dual enrollment courses in 11th and 12th grades, and they tend to apply for and win more college scholarships between the ages of 13 and 26.

And after college is over? They’re the students who end up most likely to get their grad school paid for.

6. Students who take this path will walk onto their college campus with a 6-year track record of organizing their academics in ways that actually work.

When these students hear college friends talking about ridiculously ineffective college strategies like keeping track of due dates in their heads, or waiting until the last minute and cramming for exams, they’ll look at those friends like they’re completely out of their minds.

7. Students who learn high-level college study skills early on tend to feel greatly relieved of fear and pressure.

One bright, capable 8th grade boy recently wrote on my course evaluation for the college study skills class I teach: “This class has helped take away a lot of my fears about college.”

How much is that worth to a parent?

Whether your child is in middle school, high school, college, or grad school right now, don’t delay.

Sign up for my free weekly email newsletter now, and you’ll know the next time I’m teaching my 1/2 day  STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT class either live or online.

Want a discount on this class?

My TRIBE Members get this class for free. Learn more about my TRIBE Membership and join the waiting list here.

Learn more about my 1/2 day STRATEGIC COLLEGE STUDENT class here.

You can see students ages 12–26 raving about this class here.

Get a quick preview of one of my most popular college study strategies here.

Your young adult child is finished with college, not ever attending college, and not headed to grad school?

Your young adult child will not need this class!

Instead, have him or her read this book: The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Dr. Meg Jay. It’s a life-changer!

Help us spread the word on this!

Copy this entire article and paste it right into your school, business, or nonprofit newsletter. Put a link to it in your Facebook group! Just include the words “By Jeannie Burlowski.”

And if you’ve found valuable info in this article, please help by tweeting it out to the people who follow you.

Imagine your kids not just performing well academically—but also getting through college debt-free.

There’s clear, step-by-step help on how to do this in my book:

You can get 10-minute, fast-paced video instruction on how to use this book most efficiently at bit.ly/easylaunchinstructions.

You can see more than 100 reviews of it on Amazon at:

bit.ly/burlowski

(Tell your friends.)

You can see why financial advising professionals love LAUNCHhere.

You can see the top 9 questions parents are asking me about LAUNCHhere.

Read just one chapter of LAUNCH every 1–3 months while your child’s in middle school and high school, and you’ll know every viable strategy for debt-free college at exactly the right time to implement it.

And if your child’s already well past middle school? That’s OK; you can run to catch up. But the process of getting your kids through college debt-free goes more smoothly the earlier you start it—especially if you’re not planning to save up any money to pay for college.

What about you?

How old were you when you took your first college study skills class? Do you think you could have benefitted from taking it sooner? How so? Comment below or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook, find this post on that page, and let’s talk about it there.

Who is Jeannie Burlowski?

Jeannie is a full-time academic strategist, podcast host, and sought-after speaker for students ages 12–26 and their parents and grandparents. Her writing, speaking, and podcasting help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, Parents Magazine, and US News and World Report, and on CBS News.

Jeannie also helps students apply to law, medical, business, and grad school at her website GetIntoMedSchool.com. You can follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.

This article was originally posted on this blog on July 6th, 2017. It was updated on November 12th, 2020.

Sprint—Then Rest. 9 Surprising Ways to Achieve More by DOING LESS

This post was originally published on May 13th, 2015. It was updated on September 18th, 2019.

We’ve all had those days. You have a mountain of work in front of you that you genuinely want to get done, but you find yourself procrastinating. Struggling to focus. Failing to get tasks completed.

What’s the problem? It’s probably not that your time management system has failed. It’s probably not that there “just aren’t enough hours in the day.” Instead, you’re far more likely to be suffering from a crisis of energy. You may have drained all your energy by running yourself too fast and too hard for too long, and you’re long overdue for replenishment.

The good news? It’s fixable.

sprinterwithwords

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