About Sam

Who I am

My name is Sam, and I’m the founder of My College Life Coach.  I started the company after years of working with students and parents as a school counselor.   As rewarding as that experience was, I quickly realized the limits of my profession: I was helping students choose the colleges they should apply to, but I didn’t have the time or resources to teach them to answer the bigger questions of college.

Questions like:

  • Why am I going to college?
  • What kind of life do I want to live in college?
  • What career am I pursuing?
  • How will paying for college affect me financially?

What I do

I help students and their families make decisions about college that make sense for their particular situations.  There’s no cookie-cutter prescription for life that’s right for everyone, and you deserve a plan that is as unique as you are!

You’ll benefit by

  • An individualized approach to college selection that prioritizes what’s most important to you.
  • Years of experience helping students and parents navigate the college process… while keeping the peace at home.
  • A supportive community of people just like you who are facing the same decisions about college, career, and life.

Contact me today

If you’re interested in learning more about working with My College Life Coach, click here to schedule a conversation.

My Story

Did I Do Something Wrong?
On a beautiful May morning I sat with more than 800 of my classmates on the quad at Bucknell University to hear speeches, to recognize achievements, and – most importantly – to receive our diplomas. I had completed my studies in four years, earning a cum laude 3.6 GPA. With my parents, grandparents, and friends from high school in attendance, I felt the expectation of the moment… and wondered why I wasn’t happier.

What had – or hadn’t – happened in the previous four years at a highly regarded university that left me feeling discontented and jaded? Why did I feel so unprepared for what lay ahead?

Sailing without a Compass
I set out on my journey to college brimming with confidence. School came easily to me, and my grades demonstrated my intelligence (with signs of an occasionally sloppy work ethic). Having scored well on my first SAT, I felt confident that I would have my pick of schools to pursue my pre-law degree. And so I began to target colleges and universities.

I had no one to guide me – a combination of a poor relationship with my parents and an uninvolved guidance counselor – so I choose schools that met two criteria: 1. High-status schools (using U.S. News rankings, of course) and 2. A reasonable chance of getting in. Oh, and I threw Michigan on the list because I was a huge fan of their athletic program. I visited only the University of Virginia, and that because my best friend was heading to the University of Richmond. And so I sent my applications and waited.

When the first rejection letter came (UVA), I was disappointed. The second (Penn) infuriated me. My list of schools – the building blocks of my future! – was quickly diminishing. Then Michigan’s acceptance came in, followed by Bucknell’s. Instead of being relieved, however, I was concerned: Michigan didn’t offer me nearly enough money to make attending tenable, and Bucknell was a safety school I didn’t really want to attend. And it was April, one month before the deadline to commit. In this one instance I listened to my parents and applied to a school they had hoped I would attend – Messiah College – and was quickly admitted. Just as quickly Messiah was out because they had already committed their financial aid to other students.

And so I found myself touring Bucknell University on a rainy day in May, having already submitted my deposit two days earlier.. An excellent college on a beautiful campus that felt like a consolation prize. Seeing no red flags during the visit, I resigned myself to attend Bucknell that fall and subconsciously deferred control of my future to them. After all, they had been educating students for more than 150 years, so I was sure they would help me get to where I wanted to go.

I entered college in the pre-law degree track, but quickly changed my major to History because of two timely lunches with judges the summer before that dissuaded me from becoming a lawyer. To my dismay I struggled to find a professor in the tiny department who inspired me… or even one whom I could imagine taking another course with. By my third semester, a lack of interest in my studies, an increase of responsibility in my work study program, pledging a fraternity, and working with the basketball team had a disastrous impact on my grades.

That wake up call led me to change my major (this time to English) and increase my work ethic, but little else was affected. I pulled up my grades despite a busy schedule and frequent partying, so one of the few measurables of college – GPA – signaled that everything was going well. But I was adrift – sailing without a compass – and would continue that way for years.

Finding the Blueprint
Much of my unfulfilling college experience remained a mystery to me after graduation. At odd moments the thought would pop into my mind: What went wrong for me in college? How could my time at a great school have yielded so little? When my job required that I begin a Master’s program, I was understandably hesitant. Should I expect more of the same? Was there any point in doing more than just muddling through?

I took a chance and used grad school as an opportunity to go about the process of choosing and attending a college in a new way, learning from my mistakes and using a seemingly simplistic but effective set of criteria.

And that has made all the difference.

Contact me today

If you’re interested in learning more about working with My College Life Coach, click here to schedule a conversation.

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