Hello, Failure

Posted on: April 9, 2014

If you’ve been following everyone’s advice on this blog (and my, there’s an awful lot of good advice floating around this corner of the internet), then you’ve spent some of your sophomore year putting yourself “out there.”  The safe cocoon of your Customs Group is a distant memory; perhaps you’ve even left the meal plan and you’ve fended for yourself at Main Line grocery stores for months.  On a deeper level, you’ve set yourself a more coherent academic plan: you’ve declared a major, or looked into off-campus opportunities that can focus your academic pursuits to a laser-specific set of research questions.

Maybe not, though.

Maybe others around you seem like they’re zooming off, getting accepted to competitive programs and landing fancy internships in exotic-sounding locales like “Oaxaca” or “Philadelphia.”  Maybe you also applied to these programs, you also crafted and fine-tuned your essays, you also put your name in the hat and raised your hand in class and showed up to office hours and went to that one networking event and generally followed the advice that people gave you.

And maybe you didn’t stick the landing, maybe you failed a little. (Or a lot.)

There are two main strains of failing: the first is Continue reading

Paralyzed by Choice?

Posted on: December 16, 2013

Hello, sophomores!


Maya Nojecholwicz and Sara Jaramillo as farm education interns in Philadelphia. Sara went from this internship to a semester abroad, because she planned so much better than me during her sophomore year!

True story: when I was a Haverford student, I was never organized enough to pull together a CPGC application. Given that I now advise students on CPGC applications, this is a little embarrassing to admit. 

Today, I’ll be sharing advice that I could have used when I was a sophomore. I often felt paralyzed by a mountain of Possible Cool Things To Do in the Summer, and so I put off making summer plans. Here, my loss can be your gain!

Paralyzed by choice?

I get it. Despite all the hype about technology minimizing distance Continue reading