Meditation and college applications

Last weekend, I headed to a meditation retreat. 


I’ve had a meditation practice for years, but had fallen out of consistency and routine. 


I still meditate before every talk or speech, but my daily practice has been sporadic – and I know it affects my focus, concentration and personal regulation – especially as I juggle different demands.


In truth, I might have been avoiding the retreat – I was initially supposed to go in December, and postponed it for this past weekend. The timing ended up being perfect.


Once I was there, my first thought was: why have I been avoiding this? Just being there offered concentrated time and effort towards a personal goal.


The first night I was fidgeting. It was hard. I felt like there were cobwebs I was sorting out. By the end of the third day, though, I felt a calm, an ease, a quiet confidence had returned. 


You might be wondering how this relates to the college application process. Or the work we do in our office in general.


Over the weekend, I met several people who had never meditated before – I was surprised, until one man explained how it felt easier to have a concentrated time to focus and learn and progress with guidance. 


I came to understand what he meant. By the end of the weekend, I saw how I had made such strides in such a short time, and knew even if I had the motivation I wouldn’t have been able to make such progress without the expertise,  guidance and wisdom from an outside source. 


It reminded me of the work we do with students in our organizational work, and especially with rising high school seniors on our four-day college application bootcamp. 


Right before the retreat, I received a note from a parent whose daughter had worked with us on the entire college application process. They signed up right around this time last year, and the daughter completed all her applications before the December holidays. Her essays were extraordinary, and the entire process was wonderful. Her summer work started with the four day bootcamp. The last paragraph:


“I want to say thank you — this was a remarkably calm and smooth application experience for [our daughter] and for us.  There was never any breakdown or freak out on her part.  We did not have any conflict with her around the process.  And so far she’s happy with the decisions she’s received.  So we’re very grateful!!”


In some ways, the college application bootcamp is like the retreat for someone who is just starting their college applications, which is likely why in the last three years, 100% of high school seniors said they were glad they took the Bootcamp last summer.


Registration for 2024 College Application Bootcamps Open Now


The College Application Bootcamp is a thoughtful curriculum, paced over four days, where students reflect back and realize they’ve gotten so much done in such a short amount of time. Just like I felt at the end of the weekend.


Space is limited. We limit each Bootcamp to eight students to a session so we can provide personal attention and individual questions. Bootcamps are virtual and students join from all over the world – the timing is 10 am-2 pm PST/1 pm-5 pm EST on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of the workshop week. Local students are welcome to come into our Los Altos office M-Th of their workshop week. 


Here are the dates for our 2024 College Application Bootcamps (for rising high school seniors):


Session One: June 3, 4, 6, 7

Session Two: June 10, 11, 13, 14

Session Three: June 17, 18, 20, 21

Session Four: June 24, 25, 27, 28

Session Five: July 22, 23, 25, 26

Session Six: July 29, 30, August 1, 2 


Sign up for College Application Bootcamps Here


Warm wishes,


Ana + Green Ivy Staff


PS. Early registration through 1/31 is $200 OFF. Register here now.

PPS. If your family is in need of financial support, please email us at


Other links of interest:


The New Campus Politics (NYTimes)


The Misguided War on the SAT (NYTimes)


Two studies find admissions scattergrams reduce applications to elite colleges (KQED)


More than half of Americans no longer believe college is worth the cost. Paid internships could help (Fast Company)

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