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Do you feel overwhelmed? Does your life feel like there’s just too much going on it right now for you to handle?

Welcome to club. You’re not alone, but even better, your anxiety and overwhelm doesn’t have to be permanent.

So before your start drowning in your anxiety, use this checklist to stand up and see if you’re just freaking out in shallow waters.

Are you taking basic care of yourself through the fundamentals of sleep?

  • If yes, have you been getting 8 hours of sleep consistently every night for the past week?
  • When was the last time you drank water?
  • How many…


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Because many people have more than enough resources, but it doesn’t mean they will leverage it. One of the clearest examples of this is young people, students who have twice as much intelligence as other kids, but the other kids end up succeeding because they have fives times as much motivation and drive. They other kids don’t relish in the praises of potential, but instead lean towards taking initiative and away from hesitation.

Rather than wait for a golden opportunity to be given to them, they go out and make their own.

I’ve seen kids write with a level of…


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When you just do it daily.

You know whether you wrote today or you didn’t because the process to get to publishing is so palpable in emotion and effort that you won’t forget that you did it, that you put in the work for the day.

But you’ll certainly know if you didn’t do it too. That when the moment arrived to decide whether or not you would show up today — tiredness aside, regardless of how you felt about the endeavor in that moment — you let it pass by you. Like a fish slipping through your fingers.

Today…


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Completing Running Marathons

While training to run 21 km in blazing tropical sunlight with humidity as thick as a steam room, I heard advice from a former Marine to help extend our endurance. The trick wasn’t to demand that we endure the remaining entirety of our run. The trick is to focus on finish lines in front of you.

“You see that lamp post over there? Just focus on reaching there. Then, once you reach it, focus on that noodle cart right beyond it. And then once you get there, focus on the cafe at the end of the block.”

Eventually, those series…


The least inspiring majors (and thereby students) I consistently encounter as a college admissions consultant are the ones who want to major in Business and Economics majors. It’s a default for students who have no deep interests or genuine curiosities about the world that they’re willing to take action upon.

Just FYI (for your information), here are all the other majors at Harvard since Harvard as a college is one of the most coveted of all institutions. …


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We emphasize the significance of the first draft so much that we never even complete a first draft. Instead, we expect perfection.

But really our goal should be to get to the second draft as fast as possible, but only so that we can get to the third draft and then the fourth. Even if our first draft was the best we could do, we should still endeavor in a second and third and the fourth just to see if we can do better.

Honestly, the second draft might not be better than the first. And truthfully, the third might…


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Whether you’re running a mile or a marathon, each distance will require a set amount of steps. Because your stride stretches only so far, the real variable for how long it will take to complete either distance will depend on the pace that you run at and how much time you invest running in the right direction.

So how long does it take to master a skill?

The answer? It’s up to you.

Whether it’s writing a 500 word short story or a 50,000 word novel, the first draft will still require meeting that word count minimum. Every word after is an attempt at a new draft, an endeavor towards…


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It’s a whole lot easier to keep pushing forward instead of questioning if you’re moving in the right direction. You only have to focus on the micro and do what you’ve been doing, what’s most familiar, remain in the narrow view of your comfort zone.

As much as I’ve applied productivity techniques for my day-to-day work and one some days even felt like I was flawless in my application and execution, I would still be running the risk of focusing on the wrong work if I refuse to reflect. …


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Taking the result for granted. Thinking that the result inherent. That it’s innate. That just because you’ve always received praise that somehow your greatest ambition is guaranteed just for being you.

In a word: hubris.

After working with a multitude of students apply to college and witnessing who gains admission into the most selective colleges such as Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Duke, and more, the difference between those who make it in and those who don’t is really leaving nothing to chance.

It’s being demanding of themselves and others who help them to squeeze every bit of quality out of their…


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The way we are tested on reading in traditional schooling has failed us, even when we earned A’s on reading comprehension exams. It’s quite easy to remember information you read, but the real measure of comprehension and — perhaps more important — courage and conviction is applying what you read.

As I read non-fiction nowadays, I have 3 specific notes I take that reveal the true aim and benefit of reading, each of which has its own shorthand to streamline note-taking and reviewing.

#1 — IR (“Important Reminder”)

An “Important Reminder” note is to remember a specific passage, detail, idea, or insight. One that I…

Jason Lam

Head of Admissions Consulting | Point Avenue

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