How many, among the college-bound crowd, remember the TV game show Password, let alone Allen Ludden, the show's host (also known as Betty White's husband)?

That's all right. How many students applying to college actually remember the required passwords -- let alone user names -- for all the websites they visit?

Passwords. The bain of the Internet age!

"Oh, no worries. My computer saves all my passwords." Yeah, except when it doesn't. Or it crashes. Or it conjures up a laundry list of user names and passwords, none of which seem to work.

"Ha. I use the same password for every site." Sure. Except when you can't. As in the website that insists you use a combination of caps, characters and special symbols, or creates a password for you comprised of hieroglyphics. And what about that "unique" password that no one else in the universe could possibly have -- until you are admonished that "this password is already in use." Damn!

Yes, the scourge of the password. You'll need it for almost everything you do in furtherance of the college application process. Common App. College Board (just try to remember that correct user name/password combo when you're in a rush to send your SAT scores the day before deadline). Scholarship search engines. The pesky college websites themselves (like you'll ever need those). And the list goes on, virtually endless.

Trust us. You will lose, forget, misplace and/or incorrectly enter logins and passwords (for which you will invariably blame mom, dad or your younger sibling, who, evidently, ate the post-it note upon which the password was hurriedly scrawled).

How to avoid the frustration of the, "What was my login again" syndrome? Easy. Get a composition notebook (or, for the environmentally conscious, a decomposition notebook :-), and write down your user names and passwords for EVERY site you visit.

Then, you'll never miss a beat -- or an opportunity -- saving time, effort and quite a few gray hairs.

And with so many pages to fill in that notebook, there will be plenty of room to pen a page for each college you apply to, every scholarship website, all the sundry places you will go on the world wide web, but can scarcely remember, even when they've been bookmarked.

Computers and space-age gadgets are great -- when they work. True. But there's nothing like that old-fashioned notebook (not unlike that pocket calendar) when it comes to preserving that most critical information -- let alone your sanity.

So, do yourself (and your college counselor, who, while you sit there fumbling for that errant password, will think to himself, "I told you so") a favor. Go out and buy that composition notebook today. [Disclaimer: Neither The College Whisperer nor College Connection hold stock or any pecuniary interest in paper or notebook commodities.] You will, without a doubt, thank us later!

Plan. Prepare. Prevail!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of The College Whisperer.

Who knows what peril lurks in the college application and admissions process?
The College Whisperer knows. . .

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