Interview with Dr. Irena Smith - Author of The Golden Ticket: A Life in College Admissions Essays
IECA Conference - Helping Students Develop Intellectual CuriosityDr. Morgenstern Speaks at National Conference on Helping Students Develop Intellectual Curiosity

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

What a treat it was to converse with Dr. Irena Smith, author of the newly published memoir, The Golden Ticket: A Life in College Admissions Essays, about celebrating your child’s unique strengths earlier this week!

In this webinar, Irena and I discuss:
– The relation between the lure of elite admissions and the symbolism of “the golden ticket” (in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and elsewhere in literature and culture)
– How this “golden ticket” affects teen and parent mental health
– What parents can do to lower the temperature around going to college and planning for it.

We’ve got some super concrete tips for parents as we conclude our discussion!

And we also touch how helpful it is for parents to have private time with an expert strategist to work through their admissions hopes and concerns outside of the earshot of their child. That’s why we, at Blue Stars, set aside separate time just for parents in designated private meetings. As admissions becomes more complicated and competitive, we recognize that everyone needs a safe space to process the intensity of experience that comes with college planning.

A hearty thanks to Dr. Irena Smith for her excellent book and stimulating conversation!

Free Workbook for Students

Blue Stars College Planning Foundations Workbook

Start today! Go through these strategic exercises to help you sketch out your plans for all four years of high school.

  • Learn key traits important to top colleges.
  • Write your first personal narrative
  • Branch out, exploring interests and defining activities.
  • Set goals and create your 4-year college planning timeline.

Fill out the form to get the workbook.

About the Author: The Blue Stars Team

Blue Stars Admissions Consulting
The Blue Stars Team made up of Amy Morgenstern, Helen Ingerson, and Jennifer Turfler have over 50 years of college admissions experience between them and have helped countless of students get into their dream school.

Resources to help teens and their families navigate the college admission process



Live Webinars

Our collection of stories, interviews, and tips provides insight and strategies to navigate the complex college planning and application process.

Learn, be inspired, and cultivate personal growth. From campus tours to interviews with former Blue Start students, choose the video that resonates with your personal journey.

Join us in our next webinar about college prep and other college related themes.

Make the college application process less stressful and more successful

Start early.

Find out how we can help