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text 2019-09-03 08:56
5 Tips for Ivy League Success - Admissions Consulting in Boston

I really have some mixed feelings about discussing Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the context of education and the Ivy League in Michigan, but I think this one time it’s worth it. This past weekend we had as big a shocker in the MMA world as we’ve ever had: Holly Holm knocked out Rhonda Rousey. Holm dominated Rousey with a perfect game plan, executed flawlessly, backed by a brilliant skill set. If you can look past the violent nature of the sport for a moment, I’d like to share with you what I thought was the most inspiring part of the whole event: her post-fight speech.

Here are key takeaways and tips for helping your son/daughter on his/her road to the Ivies:

1) “… if you’re not aware of what can happen…”

You have to face reality and address the key concerns, weaknesses, risks and problems. Too many parents, in an attempt to encourage, motivate or instill a false sense of confidence in their children, gloss over problems. I understand the feelings behind those actions, but the end result is always bad. Students know they’re being deceived even as they go along with it, which actually leads to lower confidence, and, of course, they’re not prepared for the challenges; that naturally leads to failure.

Tip #1: Confront challenges head on.

At IvyZen, one of the first things we do with a new student is show the college application: the activities section, that section where they ask to attach an art portfolio or research paper, the Stanford essay question that asks “What matters to you and why?” Be encouraging, laugh, put an arm around them as you go through it together and try to make it fun. But look squarely and clearly at the tasks that lay ahead of you.

2) “… didn’t perform well, sat in my car, upset and I cried…”

Frustration, pain, anxiety, disappointment and failure are all part of the process of getting better. Disappointment and frustration comes from the disconnect between desired performance and actual performance, right? So these negative emotions are natural and good. It’s actually helpful to vent at times and get it out of your system. It helps to accept the new reality you’re in.

Tip #2: Get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Learning a new skill by definition means doing something you’re not sure of, don’t know very well and are very bad at. You’re in the uncomfort zone and it’s not going to be pleasant. The worst thing you can do is to pull them out of there. Instead, tell them it’s ok. Let them know that they are safe, nothing bad will happen. It’s simply because you’re trying to get better.

3) “… you know what if I perform like that, that’s not gonna get me a win.”

Holm knew exactly when she was not performing well. Her camp, Jackson’s MMA, is renowned for smart, leading-edge training and coaching. Greg Jackson is considered a guru and deliberate practice is one of his mainstays. In everything they do, they get very specific about what is a good outcome and what is a bad one.

Tip #3: Make crystal clear performance measures

Students shouldn’t have to be confused on top of all the other things they must deal with. You can eliminate this by doing some work ahead of time getting the help of teachers, coaches and mentors. Every skill should be clearly defined and performance measures should be simple so student’s know exactly if they are getting better or not.

4) “So I’m gonna come back tonight and I’m gonna perfect those things, I need to get better. ”

Tip #4: Be positive.

Negative feedback is a necessary part of getting better. You have to know what to improve by seeing that you’re doing it wrong. However, the entire goal is to improve, to master a skill. And through deliberate practice, you will improve. Reinforce this message constantly. Your child may be scowling, upset and even direct some negative energy towards you. Ignore it. Be strong for your student and continue to project confidence that they’re on the right track, are progressing and will come out on top.

5) Holly Holm is not considered a super talented fighter, certainly not as talented as Rhonda Rousey. She has a lot of flaws in her game that people discussed openly before the match. Did it matter? No. Because as Geoff Colvin says, “Talent is overrated.”

Tip #5: Don’t worry about talent. Focus on deliberate practice.

Many believe that talent is necessary for success. What Colvin does so great in his book, Talent is Overrated (New York: Penguin, 2010), is to show that what we thought was due to talent was actually due to deliberate practice. Many believe you’re destined for Harvard from birth… horse shit.

Just contact IvyZen to get any knowledge about admissions consulting in Boston. We helping students prepare for and gain admission to the nation's most competitive schools by providing top-quality educational consulting services.

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text 2019-08-20 06:13
7 Extracurricular Activities that isn’t as great as They Tell You: Dead Weight

If you’re serious about Ivy League admissions, you must take a strategic approach to your student’s extracurricular involvement. With over 40,000 high schools around the world and over 3.5 million students applying to US colleges every year, you can bet the “outstanding,” “coveted,” “prestigious” club at your school is being replicated 40,000 times over at other high schools. Unfortunately, the popularity of many common activities makes it hard for even the best students to stand out and be unique in the eyes of Ivy League admissions officers. We have collected her the seven most popular activities that you should consider carefully before your student commits fully to them.

Nearly every Ivy League university has reported the number of applicants who were accepted early this year. Check out the Ivy League acceptance rate here at IvyZen!

Model UN :- Model UN is fantastic for students seeking a future in diplomacy, public policy, or politics. However, it can be time consuming, travel intensive, and competitive. Before you devote all that time and energy to preparing and traveling, consider the extent to which Model UN supports your theme. Even then MUN suffers from its own success as most high schools have strong MUN teams and applications are replete with essays about MUN accomplishments.

Debate:-  Joining the debate club is a great way to get used to public speaking and forming and delivering arguments. But much like Model UN, debate is time intensive and competitive. While it is true that award winning debaters can make compelling candidates for top colleges, if you’re not at that top level, your time is probably better spent on different ventures.

Community Service :- Community service for community service’s sake is a beautiful thing. Community service for the purpose of padding your resume in order to appear involved is transparent, expected, and to be honest, cliched. If you choose to build a community service project, it should be specific, genuinely-intentioned, and a significant investment with tangible benefits or results. Christmas carols at the retirement home or picking up waste on the side of the road should be services done from the heart and are better left off of your resume.

Download our free Success Stories PDF for 6 success stories (with full student profiles) of students who gained admissions to Columbia, MIT Caltech Dartmouth and more!

Internship/Work experience If the experience:- is related to your major of choice, it could be a good use of your time. If it is for the purpose of extra cash or simply for the experience of working, then it is not the wisest time investment and can often prove distracting to an otherwise diligent student.

Theater:- The performing arts are great for building confidence and blowing off steam but if you aren’t planning to go to college for the arts, then all those hours of rehearsal and theater class should be refocused.

Music:- As with theater, music takes many years of patience, practice, and diligence to become good. While music is a wonderful and enriching activity, it is not so helpful for getting into college for an unrelated field of study.

Journalism :- Are you going to school to be a journalist? If not, then you should forget about the school newspaper or yearbook. While journalism provides good exposure to different types of content, it is also time consuming and unrelated to most other majors.

Now, just to be clear, students involved in these activities are better off than students who have no activities. However, you’re involved in these clubs, your applications may be in danger of just fitting in with the crowd and not getting noticed.

In order for you to be noticed at big name Ivy League Michigan schools, you need to specialize your application with a theme, and choose appropriate, unique activities, such as writing a research paper, or founding an Amnesty International or DECA chapter at your school.

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