Your high school guidance counselor can be an invaluable resource when it comes to the college planning/search processes. Many think that counselors only help with a student’s high school schedule, but most of the time their skills and experience can go far beyond suggested which classes someone should take.
A guidance counselor can help a student build a list of colleges based on their academic interests and strength, and guide a student on how to get from graduation to acceptance letter. They work hard, often with several dozens (if not hundreds) of students. So make their job easier by preparing with these simple tips.
Know WHY You’re Meeting with Them
If you’re scheduling a non-mandatory meeting with your counselor, you ought to know exactly what the meeting is for. Are you going in to discuss possible AP courses to boost your GPA and academic rigor? Interested in colleges with a certain major? Do you want to review or revise your current application?
If you set a clear goal, the meeting will be a lot more streamlined and helpful—for both parties.
Come in With Questions Ready
Much like the above tip, it’s always ideal to be prepared. Write down the questions you have and bring them with you to the meeting. Having them physically written, rather than just floating around in your head, will eliminate the chance of forgetting something.
Do Some Preliminary Research
Don’t go in totally blind. If you know why you’re scheduling a meeting, you can do a little bit of homework on your own. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a lot, just get some basic background knowledge so you can get right to the heart of the meeting with your counselor. Sometimes it helps to have some common knowledge to talk about.
Bring Note-Taking Materials
Folder, pen, notebook. Three simple things can help really increase the value of meeting with your high school counselor. You can write your questions in your notebook and jot down any helpful answers or subsequent concerns that pop up. Your counselor might print off information pages, or give you pamphlets, which you can store in your folder to keep everything neat and organized.
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