Working with Your High School Counselor
Your high school counselor has a pretty tough job. No. Not just because she/he has to deal with you… This college counseling thing keeps them pretty busy by itself, and it’s only one of the many duties they perform daily. She/he probably also helps you do pre-enrollment each semester, may sponsor a club or team, usually serves on tons of committees, coordinates efforts or helps with preventing drug use/abuse, drunk driving, teen pregnancy, dropping out, and teen suicide, also works with students pursuing technical or vocational training and those directly entering the workforce after graduation, always gets things dumped in her/him by the principal, and, oh yeah, has to always be available to help deal with discipline situations and provide personal crisis counseling! Oh, and they probably have a couple hundred other students to provide all those services to.
I list all of those activities so you’ll better appreciate the time your counselor spends with you. No matter how good they are – and most of them are pretty awesome – they can’t possibly have time to do all of these things AND spend as much time as they want to with each student going to college. Counselors have to rely on creating, publicizing and making available resources that help the masses, so their time spent with individual students is often short and sweet. This is the main reason I created CollegePrep-101 (http://www.collegeprep101.com) and the College Answer Guy (http://www.collegeanswerguy.com) – for when students want/need more assistance than their counselor can provide.
Now that you’re aware of those facts, I hope you’ll appreciate and respect your counselor and her/his time. Since this person is likely to be your main resource person throughout the college planning process, it’s important that that be a positive relationship. The following are some suggestions of strategies you could employ to ensure you have all the latest information without driving your counselor crazy to get it.
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