It’s kind of crazy to think we started this site writing about cool swaddles and baby carriers, and now we’re thinking about…college applications. (Insert sobbing emoji x 100000.) And yes, it’s stressful. So we turned to one of the most knowledgeable, supportive, calming role we know for college advice and wow, is this an incredible episode of Spawned!

Take a listen to our chat with Betsy Cadel, a college coach, the successful founder of College Essay Helpers, and a member of New York State Association for College Admissions Counseling.

As a former ad agency copywriter (and a former CMP contributor!) she combined her professional writing and marketing skills with her own experience of helping her son navigate the college application process, to help make things easier for students. And, for their nervous parents. Including us. (Admittedly. Just a little.)

Whether you have a ninth grader and don’t know where to start, you have a tween and are wondering if it’s too soon to start thinking about a “college track,” or you’ve got an upperclassman who’s deep in the heart of the process and freaking out about their SATs, their test scores, what the heck “test optional” means, and where to even apply in the first place — we think you’ll all be reassured by this conversation.

Taking stress out of the college application process: Advice from counselor and essay helper Betsy Cadel | Spawned Parenting Podcast


Here, just a sampling of more of Betsy’s excellent wisdom:

“Seventh graders…none of them are begging to take a PSAT unless they have been programmed by their parents that that’s where their self-worth is.”

“If there’s something they’re being graded on, chances are that’s not their passion.”

“We’ve been indoctrinated to believe it’s so hard to get in college…know the majority of colleges have an acceptance rates of over 66 percent.”

“We’re trying to create successful human beings who can thrive when they get to school…the end game [is not] that acceptance letter.”

See? Very reassuring! And hey, she’s funny too. She has to be, to have worked with us, right?

Take a listen now and learn more about helping to create a positive, supportive, child-led process that gives your kid agency so they can get through this feeling excited, not completely stressed out. That goes for you too, parents.


Be sure you’re subscribed to the Spawned Parenting Podcast on Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode.

And definitely check out College Essay Helpers — Betsy helps so many students from all over the US tell their own personal story so they can stand out among college applicants. You can also check out her weekly Friday 4PM ET chats on Clubhouse and you don’t even have to be a member to join; she posts the links to all-access chats on her Facebook page each week.


Our cool picks of the week:

Funny candle for a cool Mother's Day gift for mom's home office, via Feel the Burn

Betsy: Rocketbook Fusion smart notebook keeps you organized and on task

Liz: Here for the Burn candles are kind of hilarious. (And smell nice too!)

Kristen: The food huggers we shared in this post on favorite affordable kitchen gadgets are saving her money and eliminating food waste!

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