You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.


Worth a hundred tutoring sessions, may it lead scores of young people to new perspective on their educations, their choices, and the possibilities of their lives

Lucy Crawford, Author of “Early Decision: A Novel”

The Mindful College Applicant offers an alternative approach to shifting the untenable stress in the competitive U.S. college admissions process. Given the current reality of the process, it introduces us to a more mindful approach to college admissions – one that is grounded in emotional intelligence and emphasizes resilience, wellbeing, and compassion.

In a time when crossing guards are posted to prevent high schoolers from jumping in front of trains and parents shelling out $100K for packaged college applications, education has become a mad race to grab the Ivy ring. Based on experience in admissions with the Ivy League and other highly competitive universities, emerging scientific evidence on the impact of emotional intelligence and mindfulness, and discussions with admissions officers, students, families, and high school counselors, this book is a guide on how to go through the existing, however brutish, college applications process with less stress and anxiety, and more joy and mindfulness. Equipped with the powerful tools of Emotional Intelligence (EI) and mindfulness, The Mindful College Applicant acknowledges the reality of what the process is, and challenges you to reach for a more meaningful ideal for yourself.

Table of Contents

Introduction: You’re Going to Make It

I: From Anxiety to Awareness: The Case for Emotional Intelligence

1 Will Meditating Help Me Levitate?

2 The Brain Behind the Brain

3 Educating My Emotions

4 It’s Not Just About You

5 A New Education

II: Inside the Ivy Tower: The Myth, the Legend, the Truth

6 It’s Only Getting Worse

7 The Rumor Mill and the Gossip

8 Rolling the Dice and Betting on the House

9 Worrywarts and Worry-Nots

10 We’re Only Human

III: Coloring Inside the Lines: What Has Been Still Is

11 Academics: Are You Ready to Take It Up a Notch?

12 Testing: Everyone’s Favorite Saturday Pastime

13 Leadership: Queen Bees, Worker Bees, and Busy Bees

14 Accolades: Someone Thinks You’re Special

15 Spirit: Showcase You, Don’t Tell

IV: Charting a New Course: Whole-Being Well-Being

16 Awareness: What You Feel Is Not Who You Are

17 Thinking: Like a Jedi, Be

18 Listening: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

19 Alignment: Peak Performance at the Optimal Time

20 Self-Compassion: You’re Pretty Darn Awesome

V: Go For It: Embracing Peaks and Valleys

21 College 101: What Your Prereqs Won’t Teach You

22 A Preference for Manual Driving


About the Author