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Dr. Bill Stixrud and Ned Johnson are the co-authors of The Self-Driven Child: the Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives.  The main thesis of this incredible book is that the best thing you can do for your child is to give them the freedom to fail. Don’t be fooled by the term “child” though, the advice in this episode is extremely relevant to 18-25 year old Java Junkies!  Dr. Stixrud is a neuropsychologist who is specifically focused on the adolescent brain and the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation, stress, anxiety and technology on our brains. Johnson works with students and their families to prepare young people for tests like the SAT, ACT, GMAT, etc. and to help them manage the stresses that comes with this phase of life at his highly-regarded test prep company:  PrepMatters. Together, the two experts speak in depth about how young people can practice the self-care habits necessary to be healthy, happy, and successful in a time and place (college) where exhaustion and stress have become the status quo. In this super important caffeinated conversation, Andrea dives into some of the most important information that Java Junkies in college need right now in order to become the best versions of themselves.


  • What are the amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus and why college students should understand the role they play in their everyday lives
  • What is your special type of intelligence
  • Why you need to check out to learn about the 1,000 colleges that are ‘test score’ optional including: Bates, Bowdoin, Midddlebury and Brown!
  • What is the “mass psychosis” and how do you break free of it
  • Why the prestige of the college you go to doesn’t make a huge difference
  • What is ‘binge drinking’ and how it’s increasing your anxiety
  • What is sleep bulimia and how does college perpetuate it
  • What are the benefits of giving yourself “radical downtime”

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