Learn to Ask Great Questions

Have you ever walked away from a conversation and thought, “I wish I would’ve asked more questions.” You don’t want to bypass an opportunity because you did not ask the right questions. Asking questions is a skill, and it is an important one to master. It shows that you care, can spark the exchange of ideas, and build trust. When you are just starting out, asking clarifying, open-ended questions will help get you closer to your goals.

As with any new skill, it is essential to practice. Before starting any conversation, think about what you want to learn. What is your purpose in the discussion? Then identify the right tone, types of questions, and sequence.

For the tone, most situations benefit from a casual approach.

Open-ended questions can go a long way to helping you learn new information. You can also build further questions into your plan based on the responses you receive.

For the sequence of questions, if you are trying to develop a relationship, you may need to ask less personal questions first to build trust. If you are in a confrontation, consider starting with the tough questions, since you don’t know how long the conversation will last.

Asking questions will open doors and allow you to discover new ideas and concepts. It may introduce you to a part of yourself that you didn’t know what there.

As Albert Einstein said, “Question everything.” I couldn’t agree more.

Hats Off To the Class of 2020

Last week, I finally mailed my senior gifts. I could send the gifts straight from Amazon and cash in on the free shipping, but I am a bit old fashioned.  I think there is something special about receiving a wrapped gift. Something personalized and significant.  More important than the present, I send each student a hand-written note. When they text me to say, “Hey thanks for the gift,” they always say more about the card.

I want them to know how proud of them I am.  I did not focus on the fact that the entire second semester of senior year was canceled.  The Class of 2020 did not need reminders that they didn’t have prom or graduation.  They didn’t need to know that their first semester (or year) of college is not going to be what they envisioned.

No.  My students needed to hear who they are beyond all of the “challenges” and “uncertainty.” I told one how I was proud that she went beyond her comfort zone to explore career options (and it led to some fantastic connections).  Or how one student repeatedly used her voice to fight for social justice (we need more people like her in the world).

I told them how they taught me about light pollution, the importance of creativity in video games, and how an old car can be rebuilt again and again (with lots of determination).

I admired how they overcame challenges, such as dyslexia, being the only girl on a football team, moving to a foreign country, dealing with heart arrhythmia, or conquering ski mountaineering at an international level.

They showed me the importance of caring for others by helping friends through tough times or standing up for people when society categorized them as “different.” One fought for a mentor who was being deported.  Another showed compassion as she taught a student struggling with learning differences how to write sentences.

One showed me the significance of questioning something she always believed so she could learn and grow.  Another had the brightest smile, and I always picture it when I am feeling doubtful. And one showed me the significance of “releasing control and trusting the outcome.”

The College Mindset Class of 2020 received 110 college acceptances after submitted 164 applications.  Collectively, they received 45 scholarship offers totaling over $2.7 million.

They reside in 4 states, and one student worked with me from her home in the Netherlands.

The colleges and universities below are so lucky to have these students for the next four years.

Arizona State University

Colorado College

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Furman University

Miami University, Ohio

Northwestern University

Purdue University

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, San Diego

University of Colorado, Boulder

University of Texas, Austin

University of Vermont

University of Wyoming

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

While they did not throw their graduation caps into the air in the traditional sense, they have proved that they are worth celebrating beyond the usual pomp and circumstance.  I believe that nothing will hold these students back.  They will be the future problem-solvers, negotiators, and peace-makers our world needs.

I am so honored to have played a small role in helping them plan their future. The lessons they taught me will stay with me always.

College Visits 101: Planning the Perfect Campus Visit

Now that you know which schools you want to visit, do you know how to plan your trip? Katherine has visited over 100 colleges and universities all over the country. In this video, she’ll give you all of her tips and tricks for planning the perfect college visit.

Now that you know which schools you want to visit, do you know how to plan your trip?

Katherine has visited over 100 colleges and universities all over the country. In this video, she’ll give you all of her tips and tricks for planning the perfect college visit.

 

Do you want more tips for the college process? Check out the College Mindset Ideal College Planning Timeline!

College Visits 101: 3 Types of Campus Visits

Did you know there are different types of campus visits? Katherine will talk you through each type of visit so you can be sure you will get the most out of visiting a college or university.

Did you know there are different types of campus visits?

First-year and sophomore high school students should be planning “practice” campus visits.

Juniors, you need to be moving towards “intentional” visits.

And Seniors, you are now visiting campuses as an admitted student- which changes everything.

Katherine will talk you through each type of visit so you can be sure you will get the most out of visiting a college or university.

Do you want more tips for the college process? Check out the College Mindset Ideal College Planning Timeline!