“Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.
“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.”

On that note, let’s see how our friends – Ashley, Brad, Caitlin and Justin – are proceeding with their college search planning.  Shall we?

Ashley – “After taking the Backman/Dykstra test prep formula, and a summer course in Latin, I was able to increase my SAT reading score by 70 points.  I have re-calculated my chance for admission at each institution, as well as my expected scholarship and grant awards from each of my safety and target schools.  How about you, Justin?”

Justin – “I think most schools are probably alright.  That’s what I think.  But some are more right than others.”

Brad – “I think schools are too elite.  I don’t expect to get into any of my first choices.  Why do test scores matter so much?  It’s just not fair.”

Caitlin -“Did you know that the word ‘college’ comes from the Latin word for “one chosen to work with one another”?  The opportunities, Justin, for someone with your academic record might be somewhat limited.  But, I do believe there is opportunity to find others who would have similar…”

Brad – “I think you’re just setting Justin up for failure.  He and I should be realistic about our opportunities.”

Justin – “I’ve always had an interest in animals.  I would go to the zoo and draw pictures of them for hours.  And, as I got older, I started taking cell phone shots and posting them on my Facebook and MySpace pages.”

Ashley – “But, Justin, what are you going to do with that?  You don’t have the grades or test scores to go pre-vet.”

Caitlin – “The Veterinary field actually has suffered as a profession due to the economic downturn.”

Justin – “Oh…:

Brad – “I just don’t see how my parents can afford to send me to college.”

Justin – “I like the people I met at HAWCC.  And they have programs in art, photography and animal science.”

Ashley – “Hundred Acre…” (she said, aghast)

Caitlin – “Many fine leaders have come from HAWCC.  Such as…”

Brad – “I probably should fill out my application to HAWCC, too.”

And they debated the merits of HAWCC, Test prep and 529 plans,  from page 32, right through to page 51.

Ashley – “How many applications have you submitted, Justin?”

From his long pause and his averted eyes, she knew the answer.

Justin –  (Defensively) “”You know, one of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.  At least, I read that somewhere.”

Mr. Szarek?

Yes, Justin?

What do you think?

Justin, what I think is this. One day, you will no longer need College Counseling for the Rest of Us.  And, one day, you will graduate from Hundred Acre Wood Community College, and – from there – you may even go on to Heffalumps University.  But, there is something – through all of your adventures – that I hope you never forget.  You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions.  Please feel free to email me at info@cc4therestofus.com, call or text me at 908-403-3819, join me on Facebook on “College Counseling for the Rest of Usand join me on Twitter at @MichaelCCR. 

“Lots of people talk to animals,” said Pooh.
“Not that many listen though.”
“That’s the problem.”

Before beginning a Hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.
— Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

NOTE: Winnie the Pooh and the Tao of Pooh are not mine, I don’t own them, and I used and paraphrased quotes and ideas from both the wonderful “Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff and from the original Winnie the Pooh books and films.  All credit belongs to A.A. Milne and Mr. Hoff, and all rights belong to Disney, Dutton, Penguin and whoever owns such rights.