A Virtuous Life, a Rich Life—In Just 30 Seconds

As for me—I’d love to live a virtuous life. A rich life.

I got great help from this diagram—in just about 30 seconds!

I love it.

A virtuous life is one of balance between deficiency and excess.

Interesting.

This is thought-provoking—and worthy of putting up on the bulletin board, I think!

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Tech School and College? Both—? Wow!

You’ve heard that two years of tech school education could get your kid straight into a well-paying career as early as age 20.

Still, you hesitate to even suggest it. Mostly because you’ve always thought of your child as college material.

How about this radical idea—doing college and tech school both.

In many states, it’s possible for a student to earn a 4-year college bachelor’s degree and a two-year tech school degree—both—by age 22.

Students who do this can earn extra job qualifications that put them in hot demand for well-paying jobs for a lifetime.

(Plus—help the world overcome its dire shortage of workers skilled in the trades.)

How can students complete both tech school and college by age 22?

tech school

Students, consider this strategy:

1. While you’re still in 10th grade, find out if you can take dual enrollment college courses while you’re in 11th and 12th grades.

Do this, and you could earn two years of high school credit and two years of real college credit at the same time. (In many cases, with the state you live in footing the entire bill!)

Many students who do this are able to walk across their high school graduation stages with 2-year associate’s degrees already completed—debt-free at state expense—while still enjoying the full high school experience.

No one ever asks these high school students if they’re college material—because at age 18 they’re already halfway to the 4-year college completion finish line!

(To learn your state’s rules regarding dual enrollment, google the name of your state along with the words “dual enrollment.”)

If you’re already past 10th grade and you wonder if it’s too late for you to use this strategy, do this.

Whatever age you are now, go to your nearest high school guidance counselor and ask, “Can you help me figure out how I can squeeze the maximum number of dual enrollment college courses into the rest of my high school career?” (Be prepared to argue that AP is not the same as dual enrollment.)

2. Start thinking early on about what kinds of tech school programs might be fun to pursue.

Quit worrying about “following your passion.”

Watch the short video here to understand why “follow your passion” is some of the worst career advice ever.

Go to a tech school near your house and ask what kinds of skilled job training programs they have available. (Tech schools have a wide variety of offerings you’ve likely never thought of before.)

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Try Not To Embarrass Your Kids

Parents, if you can—try not to embarrass your kids.

embarrass your kids

But if you just can’t help yourself—go ahead and do it up big!

Because nobody knows and loves your kids like you do.

I’m Jeannie Burlowski, and I’m the author of this book:

It’s a reference book, so nobody reads the whole thing all at once—but even if you did, it would only take you 7 hours.

Pick out what you need to read in it using the fast-paced, 10-minute video instructions here.

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How to Keep Your Brain Wired for Energy and Creativity

Many of us have been repenting, in tears, of our own lack of action—lack of paying attention—when it comes to racial injustice. Now we wonder, “What can I do?”

One thing is—remain engaged. Not grow weary in well-doing.

We can’t let our fiery conviction that change MUST HAPPEN dissipate with the next news cycle because we’re getting tired.

shine it

I understand that the constant barrage of vitriol and negativity we’re hearing all around us is energy-draining. It saps the creativity we so need to think of empathetic, kind things we could do that could actually help bring about beautiful and long-lasting change.

If you’ve been feeling drained in this way, today might be a good day to listen to this funny, enlightening, high-energy 12-minute TED Talk by Dr. Shawn Achor, instructor for the most popular class ever in the history of Harvard and leader in the positive psychology movement.

Dr. Achor helps us understand how we can keep our brains wired for the energy, productivity, and creativity that will help us make a positive difference in the world.

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Launching a Teen Into Adult Life—Is Like Launching a Canoe

If you’re in the long process of launching a teen into adult life, you know the wobbly, unstable feeling.

launching a teen

Your teen’s about to embark on a journey that’s going to be exciting.

It’ll be a combination of breathtaking beauty and—at certain times—hair-raising, adrenaline-skyrocketing danger.

The safely of the shoreline is no place to spend the rest of your life, and so your teen has to go.

Launching a teen into adult life can feel like launching a canoe.

It’s a time of transition.

You hold the gunwales while the child you love goes from standing confidently on solid ground, to placing one foot on a wobbly, unstable surface.

Then stepping gingerly—holding on—trying to find balance, trying to get to a seat without tipping.

Sometimes this canoe holds multiple teens all doing this at the same time, with scant experience or skill, their every move throwing your whole family off balance one way, and then another.

Launching a teen can be like launching a canoe—for 7 years.

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Heartbroken

Friends, I’m heartbroken over what is happening in Minneapolis and around the United States.

I’ve been fighting against income and education inequality as hard as I can for 10 years. Thank you to all who have helped me. I am redoubling my efforts—if I can just see past the tears in my eyes. I am wrecked.

I am also looking for hope—and I saw some today.

In Minnesota—a lot of us are Scandinavians who don’t know what to say when someone we care deeply about is overcome by grief and heartbreak.

And so what we do is, we bring food. That is happening today all over Minneapolis.

Hopes for healing and love and 5 loaves and 2 fishes in a sea of brown paper bags—after Minneapolis’ Sanford Middle School asked for 85 bags of groceries to feed students.

There are at least several thousand bags here! And traffic stacked in every direction, for blocks. (The extra will go to food shelves.) One man said he waited in line for over an hour to donate $500 worth of food and groceries.

What you can’t see in this photo is that heartfelt, heartbroken prayers—for healing and systemic change and for justice to roll down like a mighty river—are even more abundant than the bags on this sidewalk.

I believe that a good army is rising up. I believe that help is on the way.

Together, friends—let’s fight for what’s good, and beautiful, and right.

Love, Jeannie

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, and she is the author of the book LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Though College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward. 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, NerdWallet, 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.

On Memorial Day, 2020—We Pledge to Make a Difference

On Memorial Day, 2020, we remember those who have risked their lives, and given their lives for us.

And we as adults pledge to make a difference.

We pledge to help build courage and character into the teens and 20-somethings we care about—so much so that they’re able to help bring about a more peaceful, more caring world.

memorial day

If we’re able to do this, we can make every future day a Memorial Day.

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It’s Catch-Up Week! Which of These Haven’t You Seen?

I’m spending Memorial Day having as much fun as I possibly can—and I hope you are too.

Whenever I take time off like this, I like to point you to some of my most helpful recent articles that you may have missed. This gives you a chance to catch up—right on a week when you may have a little extra time yourself.

Hear Me Interviewed on the FamVestor Podcast
See me live in my living room in Minnesota! Lots of ideas for parents of littles and older kids too. Listen while you’re cooking dinner.

Urgent Info for Parents of 9th Graders
Parents, do this now—and set yourself up to get way more financial aid money in 3 years.

Financial advising professionals—my understanding is that you should be able to send this article on to clients without creating a compliance issue, as long as you’ve discussed this topic with the client beforehand, and, when you send it, you include the suggestion that you meet to discuss it further on a future date. Thanks for being a hero to these families!

Applying for Scholarships During the Pandemic (ages 12–26)
This is a good idea, and I make it easy. Kids who see 4 minutes of my video will be hooked.

Hope for Your Kid’s Future During COVID-19
An academic strategist explains why it’s going to be OK.

And then the big one:

MUST-HAVE Student Loan Info for During the Pandemic.
(This one may be the most important one for you.)

If you’re currently paying down student loan debt—or if you’ve cosigned for someone else who is—I urge you—please click above and listen to the “Student Loan Lady,” Betsy Mayotte, being interviewed on the Death, Sex & Money podcast.

The interview takes just 25 minutes, and it’ll provide you the most current information on whether you do or do not have to pay on your particular student loans right now. (Betsy may keep you from making a mistake that could cost you thousands later.)

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A Kid You Care About Has ADHD or Behavior Problems?

This is a very long article—but if you love a child or teen with ADHD or behavior problems, you’re going to want to read the entire thing.

I did not write this. It’s an unedited, lengthy rant from a mother who has been in a situation very much like yours—and found life-changing answers. 

Is your child exhibiting signs of ADHD or behavior problems?

There’s a chance that it could be related to a sleep disorder.

ADHD

I ran the following information by a medical doctor with ENT specialization, and she told me, “Yes—what is described in this article absolutely does merit specialized medical attention.”

This mother’s rant—unedited and in her own words—is below.

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How Will You Get Her Through College Debt-Free?

How will you get your daughter through college debt-free?

Step by step.

The same way you’ve gotten her through every other thing in life.

college debt-free

For clear, step-by-step help getting your kids to one of life’s most monumental goals, it takes only 7 hours to read my book: 

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

Hear my best strategies for parents of little kids in my interview on the FamVestor podcast.

You’ll find it here.

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