Real College Talk

#KeepItReal Series Launch! (ft. CollegeFindMe) | Real College Talk Ep. 16

An episode of Real College Talk

By M. Heath-Powers & N. Namburi
About
Real College Talk is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. Our mission is to deliver real advice and true stories to make your post-graduation decision truly your own. Our guests include students attending top global universities, high school grads pursuing travel and work opportunities, esteemed counselors, and business professionals alike. Whether we're talking college apps, financial aid, student-athlete life, or college dropout life, trust in us to deliver actionable advice that will empower you and your future one episode at a time. #KeepItReal
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Real College Talk is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. Our mission is to deliver real advice and true stories to make your post-graduation decision truly your own. Our guests include students attending top global universities, high school grads pursuing travel and work opportunities, esteemed counselors, and business professionals alike. Whether we're talking college apps, financial aid, student-athlete life, or college dropout life, trust in us to deliver actionable advice that will empower you and your future one episode at a time. #KeepItReal
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DO NOT Make These Mistakes | Real College Talk Season 2, Ep. 6
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general.  Senior year can be a lot, and we don’t want you to go it alone. So this week, we dropped some of the do’s and do not’s for seniors, in hopes that your last year in high school can be fulfilling and memorable.  Nikhil kicks off with some advice that might get him a few angry calls from parents and teachers by discussing why you should miss a little class (0:55). Morgan follows up with her suggestions on how to avoid the senior-year slump by staying busy and getting out of the house (4:35). With graduation right around the corner, it’s easy to want to escape home, but Nikhil throws in a reminder not to be too ready to leave (6:58). Morgan had an extra year to gain perspective so she shares the feeling of cherishing the little things (8:25). To avoid building up the feeling of wanting to leave, Morgan  recommends that every senior tries something new (9:33), whether it’s academic, professional, or entirely personal. For the final tip, Nikhil and Morgan reflect on how your senior (and gap) years can discern what you want out of college/postsecondary life (13:39). Your hosts wrap up by calling back to an old episode with some of the best #KeepItReal advice on our platform (18:01). Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
20:32
November 26, 2019
Before You Hit "Submit"! | Real College Talk Season 2, Ep. 5
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general. Personal statements, supplements, resumes, oh my! In the heat of application season, Morgan and Nikhil are taking a deep dive into three main aspects of the Common Application, sharing proven tips, best practices, and personal advice sure to leave everything from your essays to your activities list in tip-top shape. The goal? Each of these elements should complement one another, uniting together to reflect YOU (1:30). To start, we’re talking all about the personal statement (1:48) and the various approaches to this aspect of the application (4:00). There’s no “right” way to write a personal statement, but before you hit submit, be sure that your approach to the topic allows admissions officers to understand a unique aspect of your authentic personality or a captivating transformation you’ve experienced (3:08), coming back around to why you would be an amazing addition to their college or university. Nikhil and Morgan share examples from their own personal statements to illustrate how to make this essay unique to you (5:22) with an emphasis on “show, don’t tell” (7:17). Next up, we discuss the two main types of supplemental essay prompts: one that asks you to speak directly to the ways in which you are a good fit for that college/university/program, and another that poses a personal (or seemingly random!) question meant to illustrate your values and intellect (10:03). These distinct topics should be approached uniquely, but we encourage you to establish a consistency between your supplemental essays such that they each reflect your authentic beliefs and personality (13:10). What do you REALLY love about that school? A particular set of courses or study abroad opportunity? The unique culture? How does your favorite book or movie connect to your choice of major? Can you bring your own flair to the supplement with a short story or unique writing style (14:53)? Before you hit submit, be sure to check that your supplementals strike a balance between answering the school’s prompt directly and addressing the deeper question of “how is this particular applicant a great fit for our school?” Finally, we spend the latter half of the episode exploring rudimentary aspects of college apps, such as the activities and honors lists, additional info section, and resume (16:22). To start Nikhil conducts a comparison between the activities and honors lists, while emphasizing that admissions officers care less about the amount of activities you’ve been involved in and more about the type of role or leadership influence that you’ve held in the extra-curriculars you’ve chosen to list (17:55). Be on the lookout to create synergy between your activities and your supplements: Are you a strong academic? A natural leader? A creative both in and outside of the classroom? A unique blend of it all? We discuss specific tips and word choice tricks to ensure you’re making the most of the limited word space for each activity (18:54) before wrapping up with a final checklist for your additional info section (23:41) and college resume (28:52)! This was a packed episode, but with each of these application elements locked in, you’re ready to hit “submit”! Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
36:39
November 18, 2019
Finding Your Identity (ft. Piram Singh) | Real College Talk Season 2, Ep. 4
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general. This week Nikhil is joined by a friend from high school DECA days, Fremont, CA's very own Piram Singh.  Piram introduces himself to listeners and guides us through his high-school journey (0:35) He follows up by explaining how his growth in high school, including the surrounding unhealthy obsession with excellence in Silicon Valley, shaped his academic and personal journey (9:44). That journey ultimately allowed him to find his new home at San Jose State University (11:48), even though he faced local pressures to avoid a local state university (15:26). He explains how he found his independence despite being so close to home and recommends high school seniors to think twice before turning down local colleges. Nikhil and Piram wrap up by reflecting on some of the shared lessons they've learned in college, both from 2,000 miles away for Nikhil and from 20 miles away for Piram (22:52), and any high school senior can be certain they'll be learning the same lessons very soon. Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
28:21
November 13, 2019
Could Your College Application Be Scandalous??? | Real College Talk Season 2, Ep. 3
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general. This episode just might be our most #RealTalk yet! We’re diving deep into the college admissions scandal with a focus on what it means for those of us still applying to and attending colleges and universities across the US. We start off with a brief overview of the scandal – "Operation Varsity Blues” – and the ways in which parents, applicants, college officials and athletic recruiters, standardized test administrators, and many more were able to conspire to guarantee certain students a spot at the elite university of their choice. Beyond the headlines, but we’re more interested in the underlying issues and disfunction that the scandal reveals in our society's approach to higher education (7:15): that we've become so obsessed with college lists, acceptance rates, and test scores that students, families, and institutions alike are compromising integrity in subtle ways, most of which don’t reach the news (7:45). For example, Nikhil gives us an in-depth analysis of college ranking lists and the ways in which these seemingly objective algorithms can be manipulated to inflate a school’s prestige and ranking (9:30). But despite the subjectivity and unfairness of the system itself, we as students and applicants must stand firm and hold ourselves accountable (18:02). If we want the system to be fair, we have to say "no" to cutting corners and instead choose to play fair by demonstrating high integrity in high school, in our applications, in college, and in the real world (26:50). In spirit of this important cause, we encourage you to share your college application experience, acceptances, and rejections alike on social media where the RCT Podcast began. Be sure to tag @RealCollegeTalk and use #KeepItReal on Instagram (28:41). THANK YOU! Together, we can encourage a more fair and sound college application system with less focus on “getting in” and more excitement for making the most of your unique post-grad decision. Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
32:55
November 5, 2019
Losing Your Inspiration (and Getting It Back) | Real College Talk Season 2, Ep. 2
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general.  Have you ever gone through a season where you feel totally on fire for life! Think of the excitement you felt at the start of the school year, the beginning of a new job, or that first week of summer! But other times, you might feel like you're hitting a plateau. Perhaps the classes, activities, or hobbies that used to excite you feel a bit monotonous. This is NORMAL and it is OKAY. But how do we get our fire back? Tune in as we dive deep into the ways in which many students face the "mid-year blues" during winter, as well as our best tips and practices for getting re-inspired.  Nikhil shares his own experience with re-establishing his goals, focus, and intention (7:07) as he goes into the second semester of his first year in college (4:30). He describes how he uses his planner to find "dead space" or empty time in his schedule when he might otherwise feel bored, homesick, etc., and recommends that our listeners fill that time around their classes and extracurriculars with activities that they enjoy and can look forward to (6:45).  Next, Morgan discusses what it's like planning your time and staying inspired in the midst of a gap year (9:33). She describes the importance of developing yourself outside of your work/school experience and even believes that those seasons when of feeling "sluggish" can be the best learning experiences if you take the opportunity to reconsider your priorities and pick up something new (11:40)!  Finally, we offer some rapid fire tips as to how high schoolers in particular can keep their inspiration up during the winter months (12:10). We talk all about how to nix brain fog, avoid procrastination, keep yourself accountable, and make the most of the inevitable busyness that comes with midterms, college apps, and more. We believe in you! Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
24:49
October 30, 2019
Top 6 Barriers to Success (and Overcoming Them) | Real College Talk Season 2 Ep. 1
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general.  Morgan and Nikhil tackle this week's episode on their own by sharing their top 6 barriers to success in high school and college and how to overcome them. To start off, Nikhil explores how a person's environment can shape their college experience (1:02). Morgan follows up with a detailed breakdown on the circles of influence that affect high school students (3:38) while Nikhil hones in on the influence that he believes affects the most students (7:37). Morgan provides a refreshing take on the oft-visited topic of time management, and you'll definitely appreciate her tips on organization and avoiding procrastination (10:42)! Many high school students are familiar with the pressures of the college application process, so Nikhil closes with an honest opinion on the phenomenon of comparison, especially among students from certain backgrounds (16:33), and Morgan dispels the myth that you have to choose an academic or professional path immediately (22:48). Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk (along with @collegefindme!) and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
29:34
October 24, 2019
Transfer Tips and Traveling (ft. Nick Matthews) | Real College Talk Ep. 20
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general.  On this week's episode, we welcome Nick Matthews, a sophomore transfer student at Michigan State University who had plenty to share on his unique college application process. Nick tailored his college plans to his position on DECA’s High School Executive Officer Team (1:26), so he definitely has good insights into how high schoolers can commit themselves to a plan before college even starts (5:36). Nick provides some valuable tips on the transfer application process (9:08) and specific details on the timeline of his transfer application (12:59). Things switch gears when Nick dishes on how he got an internship in New York City and the importance of starting as soon as possible (14:46). He learned quite a bit during his time in NYC, both from a professional (17:27) and personal (19:42) perspective.  Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk (along with @collegefindme!) and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
29:10
October 16, 2019
#KeepItReal with CollegeFindMe (ft. Meghna Chhabra and Alisson Martinez) | Real College Talk Ep. 19
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general.  In continuation of our #KeepItReal series with CollegeFindMe (https://collegefindme.com/), we’re joined by Meghna Chhabra and Alisson Martinez, CollegeFindMe’s Students Interns, to share their college application stories as current high school seniors. Alisson and Meghna start by sharing how they got started at CollegeFindMe (0:37), then each explain what factors are important for choosing colleges, such as Alisson's passion for creative outlets (2:37) and Meghna's favorite schools (3:39). They both discuss where they currently stand in the college application process (6:09), with Meghna revealing how the essays and applications of specific schools can show the character of colleges (7:07), and Alisson talking about the additional requirements in applying to design schools (7:48). There's also plenty to discuss in the realm of extracurriculars, where we get some insight on Meghna's work with the Possible Project (10:37) and Alisson's creative process for making her very own magazine (12:38). Then, Meghna walks us through some of their favorite activities (15:42), and Alisson explains the difficulties she has faced in choosing between her love for creativity and athletics (16:58). To close out the episode, these high school seniors get real on what makes them nervous about the next big step in their life (19:52) and advise their 9th grade selves on thriving in high school without the extra stress (22:53). Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk (along with @collegefindme!) and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
27:02
October 8, 2019
#KeepItReal with CollegeFindMe (ft. Samantha Savello) | Real College Talk Ep. 18
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general. In continuation of our #KeepItReal series with CollegeFindMe (https://collegefindme.com/), we’re joined by Samantha Savello, CollegeFindMe’s Digital Media Coordinator, to share her perspective on college and life since graduating from Brown University, changing her major, exploring gap years and career paths, and much more!  Long before encountering CollegeFindMe, Samantha experienced high school in a way many of us can relate to. She was very active and ambitious to explore a variety of interests, but was challenged to narrow her focus upon entering college (2:35). She eventually majored in Hispanic Culture and Literature (5:00), through which she was able to explore her Puerto Rican heritage and even studied in Granada, Spain for a semester! However, she wasn’t always sure that her sole focus would be Spanish. Samantha shares the importance of identifying what you truly love and are passionate about – in her case, communication and languages – as you navigate your education and career (7:00). Beyond the classroom, Samantha was an accomplished writer throughout her time at Brown University (12:41). We take some time to delve into one article in particular titled, “In Favor of the Gap Year,” and discuss how current high school and college students can assess if a gap year may be right for them.  We begin to wrap up with a broader discussion of how to approach the college search amidst societal pressures to judge schools based on selectivity and acceptance rates only (16:45). Our question: Does selectivity really matter? We discuss that while selective schools may have unique resources and valuable networks, you will find the most success at a school that truly aligns with your personality and goals in life, as opposed to a school that you select solely on the basis of its prestige. Samantha reminds us that regardless of where you go to college, what matters most is what you make of your experience, both in class and outside of it (18:25). Last but not least, Samantha shares some specific CollegeFindMe resources that she would have used during her own college preparation process to conduct her college search and choose the school that best fit her needs (20:20).  Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk (along with @collegefindme!) and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
28:23
September 30, 2019
#KeepItReal with CollegeFindMe (ft. Jeremy Caldwell) | Real College Talk Ep. 17
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general. As part of our #KeepItReal series CollegeFindMe (https://collegefindme.com/), we invited Jeremy Caldwell, CollegeFindMe’s Student Engagement Coordinator to share his unique perspective on the world of higher education.      To start, Jeremy shares his unique experience deciding to move across the county for college (3:00), while most all of his peers remained home to attend schools in Texas. Jeremy encourages students who are currently preparing for college applications to carefully consider what they truly want from their continued education before applying. He describes how he was on the search for a “spark of connection” (5:25) with each school that he visited, ensuring that he could truly envision himself as a student there. In fact, Jeremy points to specific CollegeFindMe resources that can help high schoolers identify the specific qualities they like and dislike in different colleges, and then connect them with the schools that fit what they’re looking for (8:15).      For students still unsure of what they plan to study or their future career, Jeremy explains the importance of building skills and character traits that can be applied across industries (10:25), such as public speaking, critical thinking, and team-building. As you explore different topics of study, career options, and learning opportunities, pay attention to the things you enjoy doing most! Or in the words of one of Jeremy’s college professors, “the things you do when you’re bored are the things you should make a career of” (12:26). Jeremy moves on to share his unique experience working in the admissions office and leading the tour guide program at Tufts University (14:00). He explains that picking a school that makes you truly happy is not just cheesy advice to follow – it just might be the key to your growth and success in college. Finally, Jeremy reminds students to be themselves in their applications (22:58) and to stand out by referencing specific things in their essays that they like about the school they are applying to. There is no right way to go about the process, but we believe that with just a bit of introspection and visualization (29:18), your college list and ultimate destination will be just right for you.      Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk (along with @collegefindme!) and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
34:48
September 23, 2019
#KeepItReal Series Launch! (ft. CollegeFindMe) | Real College Talk Ep. 16
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We bring the best of the best to our podcast to share both their personal and professional experiences and advice regarding all things school, college, career paths, and life in general. This episode is no exception – in fact, Real College Talk is partnering with CollegeFindMe (https://collegefindme.com/) to deliver a three-part series you won't want miss! Read on and hit subscribe to learn more about CollegeFindMe and what to expect in our first #KeepItReal collaboration series. You haven’t heard of CollegeFindMe? Then you’re in the right place because in this episode, their Digital Media Coordinator, Samantha Savello, and Student Engagement Coordinator, Jeremy Caldwell, are here to tell you all about how this organization can help you make your college application experience truly your own (2:13). Our favorite part? CollegeFindMe believes that every student has “something incredible to show off to colleges,” regardless of their exposure to college and career resources during high school. CollegeFindMe is intent on helping you stand out in the application process, far beyond grades, test scores, or the school you come from (3:35). Whether you’re looking to attend a top tier university, a commuter college close to home, or you’re just beginning with the research process, CollegeFindMe is a resource designed to step beyond college ranking lists to connect you with schools that truly fit your unique interests and personality (11:51). Get connected and visit www.collegefindme.com to join the platform and start using the app today (12:24). Their blog, newsletter, scholarships, prizes, college tours, student spotlights, and educational resources will support you if you're just beginning high school or are preparing to graduate as a senior (13:49). You can also follow “CollegeFindMe” on all the socials (12:38)! In the meantime, stay tuned for the next three episodes of this special #KeepItReal series! We’ll be inviting Jeremy back on (9:03) to share his unique experience interning in an admissions office and what advice he has for students who are researching and applying. Samantha will return (8:01) to tell us what it was like to switch majors in the midst of her college career and how our listeners can make the most of college, should they choose to go. Finally, we invite on two of CollegeFindMe’s top high school interns to share how they’re stepping outside the box in high school and what that means for their own post-graduation goals. Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk (along with @collegefindme!) and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
19:44
September 18, 2019
Kale & Kravings & Kollege Oh My! (ft. Sloane Elizabeth) | Real College Talk Ep. 15
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. This week, we welcome a very special guest who managed to become an entrepreneur, author, blogger, social media influencer, speaker, podcaster, yogi, wellness coach, and so much more…all while she was an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University? That’s right. Meet Sloane Elizabeth.    It’s no coincidence that Sloane (better known as “Kale & Kravings” online) is now traveling the world, running her own business, and working for herself from an office space that used to be her childhood playroom. Sloane shares her belief that our greatest passions and strengths stem from what we enjoyed the most as children (22:50). As a little girl, Sloane loved channeling her creative and nurturing energy by caring for baby dolls and brainstorming new inventions. Throughout high school, she ran a successful baking business known as “Sloane’s Sweets & Treats”, but it wasn’t until the summer before her sophomore year at Vanderbilt that she became reinvested in caring for her own physical and mental health as a college student. Kale & Kravings began as an Instagram feed of healthy, delectable, and college-dorm-room-friendly meals that Sloane enjoyed sharing with her growing audience. But it has since expanded to encompass all of the principles and practices that continue to power her personal success and positive impact on the world.    Firstly, Sloane is not a fan of the word “balance” (11:47). Instead, she coaches clients in prioritization and reminds RCT listeners that it’s okay to say no to what doesn’t fulfill you, to step outside of the status quo at your school or community (18:15), and to boldly work smarter, not harder (25:20) toward growth that will last far beyond a college degree.   To our college freshmen, Sloane has some specific advice for you (28:26), but be sure to get her book and listen to the latest release on her own podcast, Get the Glowdown, for even more tips, tricks, and advice for navigating that first year of college! Finally, Sloane believes that beyond physical health, “mindset is number one”, and she wraps up with some of her favorite mindset habits to help you discover your passions and start living an exception life in whatever school, job, or season you find yourself in (41:25).    To connect with Sloane for free content and life-changing resources, follow her on Instagram (@kaleandkravings), subscribe to her blog, and listen to the latest on her podcast, Get the Glowdown!   Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
52:26
September 16, 2019
我叫 Yun-Tsung: My name is Yun-Tsung (ft. Yun-Tsung "Jason" Liu) | Real College Talk Ep. 14
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. This week, the RCT crew pulled in our first internationally-born guest, Taiwanese student Jason (Yun-Tsung) Liu, from Tainan, Taiwan. In this episode, Jason recounts his inspiring story of arriving in America, with little command of the English language, and delving into the foreign system of American education (2:30). He addresses the isolation of international students from domestic students in American high schoolers, and how he broke the barriers that faced him (6:10). Jason doubles down on the importance of getting out of comfort zones, especially when it comes to building relationships in new places (9:12). He then shares how that helped him to take a unique approach to the college application process (11:07), how it landed him at Indiana University (12:35), and how it influenced his post-graduate aspirations (15:12). Jason closes out with some advice he’d give to his freshman self, as well as to all international students who are beginning the transition into a new and immersive education (17:48). Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
25:04
September 9, 2019
The Application Advice We've All Been Waiting For (ft. Shannon Harrison) | Real College Talk Ep. 13
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. In this episode, Morgan dives deep into the ins and outs of college applications (and deciding if college is right for you!) with her very own college counselor, Shannon Harrison.   You know a college consultant loves their job when they compare application season to “football season" (2:10)! Since becoming a certified college advisor, Shannon has supported hundreds of students in their matriculation to the nation’s top universities, amazing community college programs, and gap year adventures alike. In #KeepItReal fashion, Shannon opens up by discussing her firm belief in the value of higher education (3:10), but also shares that her first question to all students she works with is “do you even want to go to college?” She explains that college isn’t necessarily for everyone, and then offers some key considerations and criteria that high school students should account for when determining which college (if any) is the right fit for them. For students who decide to apply to college, Shannon emphasizes the importance of creating a “balanced college list” (8:55) comprised of schools which truly match the student’s unique interests, passions, goals, personality…and budget?That’s right. Shannon discusses a major shift that has taken place in the world of college counseling over the past ~10 years in that now more than ever, high school students must consider and establish realistic expectations of the financial commitment they choose to make to their education BEFORE applying. She offers actionable tips for students to use in gaining clarity, getting prepared, and making the most responsible choice for the cost of an undergraduate education. Last but mot least, Shannon offers some rapid fire insight on the best practices, mindset hacks, and habits of the most successful students she’s worked with in college and in life (21:35). Finally, we wrap up with a deep-dive in finding “fit” between you and the colleges you’re applying to, as well as Shannon’s top resources for additional information regarding college applications and life after high school. Visit the links in the episode's YouTube description for a collection of tools, databases, and platforms to help make your post-grad decision truly your own!    Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
48:50
September 2, 2019
Nikhil's Off to College! (ft. Nikhil Namburi + Teddy, the Teddy Bear) | Real College Talk Ep. 12
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. In this episode, we interview our very own, Nikhil Namburi, to share in the excitement and nervousness of leaving home for the first time as a college freshman. We talk about college life all the time here at RCT, but now Nikhil is about to live it! As Nikhil preps to head off to the University of Notre Dame, he shares his top packing tips for making a far-away college destination feel a bit more like home (2:10). We talk the logistics of dorm-room must-have's, how to determine if packing/buying/shipping is most cost-effective for your college needs (8:20), prepping to live with a roommate (11:00), as well as some unexpected necessities that you won't want to forget when moving away from home (4:40)! We then transition to a more serious topic of what it feels like to leave the familiarity of home to dive into college life. Nikhil shares how he decided to switch his major from computer science to economics and how this shift better aligns with his goals and ambitions in school and beyond (15:00). As excited as Nikhil is, he shares his nerves of moving to a different state to make his home in a new environment (17:25). The takeaway? Starting college or any new life chapter pulls us out of our comfort zone. It can be uncomfortable, challenging, even scary. But when we put in the thought and time to set ourselves up for success and happiness along the journey, the excitement of starting a new chapter makes up for all of the nervousness. Besides, everyone else is winging it too - keep it real :) Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
31:27
August 31, 2019
The Curse of Being Woke (ft. Curtis Haley) | Real College Talk Ep. 11
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. We’re dedicating this episode to the victims and affected communities of the El Paso and Dayton shootings. When tragedies like these occur, it’s no time to simply move on - it’s time to lean in and take what action we feel most called toward. So in efforts to #KeepItReal, Real College Talk will be matching any donations that our listeners make to the Dayton or El Paso foundations (or any related funds). To be a part of this movement,  share your support of these communities on your Instagram story with a personal message or screenshot of your donation. Be sure to tag @realcollegetalk and use the hashtag #KeepItReal. Together, let’s do just that. Keep it real.  In this episode, Morgan brings on a guest who knows a thing or two about leading himself and leading others toward success in college and beyond. Meet Curtis Haley. As President of the DECA Inc. Board of Directors and Director of Youth Development with TeamTRI Leadership Services, Curtis coaches, trains, and mentors the best and brightest emerging leaders in high schools and colleges across the country (2:52). Among the many things that make him unique, Curtis put himself through school at the University of Oregon with $0 in student loan debt and never completed a job application (3:00)! Like many of us, Curtis had no idea what his passions or future career might look like when he was in high school (4:00), but he learned some game-changing life lessons about independence and success early on. From his storytelling of first joining DECA, working on a golf course, running the Obama presidential campaign in three Oregon counties (as a 20 year-old!), and founding his own 501(c)(4) non-profit (www.makepoliticspositive.com) Curtis emphasizes the importance of seeking independence as a young adult (20:18). He reminds listeners that “comparison is the thief of joy” and that the key is to follow A path not THE path (21:10). Curtis closes by sharing what he calls the “Curse of Being Woke” (30:20) - that despite the overwhelming volume of information we have access to and seeming endless life decisions we are faced with, it's never one person's job to save the world (31:45). Instead, what makes a difference is many people staying dedicated to being their best selves and making a positive difference in whatever small or large way they can.    Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. Be sure to connect with Curtis through Instagram  too (@curtishaley)! We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
37:43
August 20, 2019
Twinning and Winning (ft. Kundai and Kudzai Kapurura) | Real College Talk Ep. 10
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. For the tenth episode, Nikhil brings in some special guests from his hometown of Salem and RCT’s first twin guests. Kundai and Kudzai Kapurura are no strangers to success, but it’s even more impressive how close they stayed through all their accomplishments. So it may come as a surprise that they are going in completely different directions for college, but their achievement has stayed constant (0:30). Going through high school as twins was a unique experience (0:53), so they share how that ultimately impacted each of their college and career choices (2:00), including Kudzai’s special early start at Boston College (7:45). The crew takes a break from the important college stuff to introduce a quick (and controversial) speed round on our shared passion of music (13:13). The twins tackle the issue of race in college admissions and society as a whole (17:48) then impart some parting wisdom to high school students (21:11). Stick around to find out how to connect with the podcast’s favorite twins and your favorite co-hosts (22:47). Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
23:33
August 15, 2019
Finding the Right Lane (ft. Luke Webster) | Real College Talk Ep. 9
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. Tapping into her network from the prestigious United States Senate Youth Program, Morgan introduces Nikhil and the audience to incoming Centre College freshman, Luke Webster. Kentucky's finest recounts his discovery of his passion for swimming (1:49) and politics (4:30). After delving into scheduling (7:00), Luke drops some major news about his brand-new podcast: The Bi-Partisan Podcast (10:22). The conversation gets roped back into exploring Luke's college activities (14:10) and the factors that got him to Centre in the first place (17:52). Luke concludes by reflecting on what he wants out of colleges and drops some knowledge for current high schoolers (24:05). Most importantly, find out how to connect with the Bi-Partisan Podcast (26:50)! Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
29:13
August 5, 2019
Global Aspirations (ft. Kenzie Hanson) | Real College Talk Ep. 8
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. For the first time since the second episode, Morgan and Nikhil join forces to interview their good friend, Kenzie Hanson. Hailing from Minnesota by way of Chandler, Arizona, Kenzie recently graduated from Arizona College Prep and chose Northern Arizona University as her new home (1:03). Everyone knows moving can be tough, and having made that transition just before her junior year, Kenzie recalls how difficult those adjustments were (3:20). She speaks on powering through and making the most of her high school experience despite the major stressors along the way (5:13). Kenzie walks through her deliberations in applying to college (8:45) and how that ultimately affected her current educational trajectory (11:40), potential international employment and study abroad pursuits (12:58), and some activities of interest during college (16:49). She dishes some advice for her 9th Grade self (17:54) and some final words of wisdom for our wonderful audience (22:00)! Find out how to reach Kenzie on all of her social media platforms and follow her promising journey over the coming years (23:43). Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
25:13
July 30, 2019
Is College REALLY Worth It?: A Princeton Grad's Take (ft. Karin Burkhardt) | Real College Talk Ep. 7
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. In this episode, we talk to Princeton graduate and financial expert, Karin Burkhardt, to ask questions like “Is college for everyone?” “Does it matter where you go to school?” “Is college worth the student loan debt?” and “How can we make the most of our college education?”    With perfect timing, Karin just returned from a trip to the east coast where she toured 11 top universities within 6 days alongside her family (including a rising high school senior!). Karin starts off by sharing some of the biggest takeaways she gathered from the trip and emphasizes the importance of looking beyond a school’s website and brochure to understand it’s in-person environment and personality (1:42). She shares her own approach to the college process (4:05), as well as some tips on what kinds of things are important to consider in yours (4:55). However, Karin also holds the unconventional belief that college is not for everyone (7:00). She encourages listeners to consider the “why” behind their choice to go to school in the first place (6:52). Karin discusses the growing issue of student loan debt (8:55), actionable steps you can take today to consider what schools might justify the cost (9:00), and also offers insight on the importance of looking beyond college stats (10:50) to understand what you’re really getting from a university before submitting your deposit. We discuss the importance of balancing practicality with doing what you love when it comes to work (16:20, 22:20). Finally, Karin closes by reminding us that there is no ONE place that will make you happy and successful. Instead, it’s up to us to make the most of whatever school, job, program, or path we choose (24:50). For more advice that will make you feel both prepared and reassured (model budgets and personalized spreadsheets anyone???), reach out to Morgan via Instagram and ask her to put you in contact with Karin!    Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
26:49
July 22, 2019
The REAL College Experience of a Vanderbilt Freshman (ft. Trevor Pearl) | Real College Talk Ep. 6
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. This week, Morgan gets together with her longtime friend, Trevor Pearl, to dig into some of the biggest lessons he learned through his own college application experience and first year at Vanderbilt University!    Trevor starts by sharing that while he always knew he’d go to college, it wasn’t until he toured Vanderbilt (2:25) that he started getting real about what he’d want in a university. Trevor acknowledges that while he did wait quite a while to start his college applications, the schools he did apply to were places that he “really really wanted to go to on a fundamental level”. Amidst rising levels of pressure and comparison surrounding the college acceptance process, Trevor offers useful insights and actionable tools to help you rise above the opinions of others and stay true to who you are throughout the journey (6:33).   As Trevor looks back on his freshman year at Vanderbilt, he now sees college not only as a clean slate and fresh start, but also as a “golden opportunity to do something new” (15:00). Trevor urges listeners to be open for growth and new opportunity in college by not clinging so tightly to the interests, habits, and goals that were familiar and comfortable in high school (16:45). Trevor describes what he means by being a “people person” (24:04) in college and how you can be intentional about making the most of your school network. Trevor shares with us some of the habits he’s working to build over the summer in preparation for next school year (30:57) and closes out with some rapid-fire words of wisdom (35:43) that are sure to leave you feeling more equipped that ever for a post-graduation experience that’s truly your own.    To connect with Trevor and follow along with his continued journey at Vandy, follow him on Instagram at @trevpearl. While you’re at it, be sure to connect with the clothing brand @588clothing that he’s founded alongside his brother – website launching soon!   Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
48:48
July 16, 2019
Real Everything Talk (ft. Bailey Hittner and Ana Coronado) | Real College Talk Ep. 5
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. Nikhil takes it back to the long-gone high school days by introducing his classmates and friends Bailey Hittner and Ana Coronado, who share what led them to branch out with their life after high school (0:30). Ana and Bailey tackle the issue of establishing individuality in high school, especially when there’s pressure to follow the mainstream (7:53), and how that ultimately impacted each of their career choices (9:58). They discuss the balancing act of academic and social life, particularly among students who are highly-driven and academically successful (13:05). Finally, they brought to light the negative perceptions that many successful athletes face in the classroom (19:10) and their parting words of wisdom for current high school students (22:57). Bailey would’ve never forgiven Nikhil if he forgot about social media shoutouts so jump to the end to find out how to get connected with @baelizzle (25:30). Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
26:21
July 8, 2019
Nix Your Limits (ft. Scott Mathie) | Real College Talk Ep. 4
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. While Morgan is busy going everywhere we would rather be, Nikhil connects with fellow podcaster and personal development professional Scott Mathie (0:30). Because we talk a lot about college here at RCT, it only felt right to look back at Scott’s college experience (3:25), how it led him to found the “Nix Your Limits” platform, how he broke through barriers in his own life (10:30), and how students can nix their limits (15:35). Scott and Nikhil then shift to a more psychological discussion, where they dive into the prevalence of mental health challenges that high schoolers and college students face surrounding academics and college applications (18:06) before closing with opportunities to connect with Scott’s platforms and their amazing missions (25:00). Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
27:07
July 2, 2019
Make the Most of Your College (& Coffee) Experience (ft. Shelby Glaister) | Real College Talk Ep. 3
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. In this episode/coffee convo, Morgan Heath-Powers connects with recent college grad, Shelby Glaister, on what college is REALLY like.    Meet Shelby - recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno and coffee enthusiast. Shelby has her sights set on one day owning her own specialty coffee shop (cool, right??? 3:58), but the road that led her to find that passion was a combination of big lessons learned, both in and outside of the classroom (2:44). Shelby reflects on her own experience applying to schools and what she wishes she would have known before having to give up her dream university for the local state college (10:56). After encouraging current college applicants to consider ALL factors of a school before getting their hopes up, Shelby tells of the big leap she made in transferring to UNR (15:03). There, she found herself in a city and community that supported her personal growth and big dreams. Shelby encourages college students to get a head start on life by pursuing work experience alongside their schooling (8:50); an experience that taught her just as much, if not more, than her classes (6:55). Finally, Shelby discusses the importance of having high hopes and an open mind going into college (26:03), but never at the expense of your personal values (22:01) and aspirations. Her encouragement to stay focused on your studies (26:03) in college assures us all that the social life, fun activities, and inspired career path will fall into place.    Whether you’re gearing up for the college app process, living the college life right now, or already graduated, we’d love you to join us in continuing the conversation. To catch every Real College Talk episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. Give @shelbyglaister a follow while you’re at it and follow her lead by sharing your story on the podcast as well! We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
31:55
June 23, 2019
Fighting Comparison and Changing the World (ft. Lily Sethre-Brink) | Real College Talk Ep. 2
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. In this episode, co-hosts Morgan Heath-Powers and Nikhil Namburi, welcome their first guest to the podcast!    Meet Lily Sethre-Brink (0:25) - a graduating high school senior living just outside of Austin, Texas who’s making a big impact far beyond her hometown. Lily shares her unique high school experience scattered with several moves to new states and different schools (2:40), how she discovered and channeled her passion for human rights (8:00), and the path that brought her to choose Rice University after being so set on heading to the east coast for college (18:30). Lily offers experience-backed insight and advice as to how you can “step outside of the box” in high school (15:06), not only to do well in your college apps (12:30), but to get a head start on your own personal development as well. We talk about how to cope with and avoid comparison (21:40), create a culture of support and encouragement in your social groups throughout the college application process (28:33), and the ways in which you can make the most of your college experience whether you’re attending an Ivy League university or a local community college.    Your co-hosts wrap up (29:30) by sharing how you can connect with them and Lily (31:48) to continue the conversation and get involved with the Real College Talk movement!!   Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. Give @lily.sethre a follow while you’re at it and follow her lead by sharing your story on the podcast as well! We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
33:58
June 7, 2019
Keep It Real (ft. Morgan Heath-Powers, Nikhil Namburi) | Real College Talk Ep. 1
Welcome to Real College Talk! RCT is your destination for honest and relevant college and postsecondary conversation. On our first episode, co-hosts Morgan Heath-Powers and Nikhil Namburi introduce the Real College Talk platform (0:00). After reflecting on their high school experiences (3:50), Morgan and Nikhil discuss the factors they looked for in colleges (15:10), where they ultimately applied (22:00), and their reactions to their acceptance (and rejection) letters. They also provide some helpful tips for the application process (36:30) and the resources that eased the process (46:50). Your co-hosts wrap up by sharing how you can reach out to them and get involved with the Real College Talk movement (49:50).  Real College Talk is a podcast that you won't want to miss! To catch every episode, make sure to hit the subscribe button and turn on our notifications. You can follow us on Instagram @realcollegetalk and follow our co-hosts @morgs__anne and @nikhil.vn. We are always working on new content, so be on the lookout for our latest episodes. In the meantime, Keep It Real!
57:06
June 1, 2019
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