Advice From Your High School Counselor

Your high school counselor wants you to start early, ask questions, and get the right start in life, but when is the last time you’ve been to your high school counselor?

High school advisers are there to help you make the most of high school and start their journey after school. Whether that’s straight into the workforce, a trade school, or college, they understand what you’re going through. Yet many students only see their counselors once a year to select the following year’s courses.

How often should you see your high school guidance counselor?

Flickr user Masa Israel Journey

No matter where you are in your high school education, this is some advice your counselor wants you to hear:

1. Start Your College Planning Early

 “Start early” refers to everything from getting to know your guidance counselor to applying to college.

Many high school students only see their counselors when they have required meetings in 9th grade, to create new class schedules, adjust their current schedule, or because they got in trouble. But you don’t have to wait for one of these instances to see them, and, in fact, you should introduce yourself as soon as possible.

Making a good impression on your guidance counselor will definitely make a difference. They will be more likely to help you during high school and when it comes time to search for colleges. Counselors can also be a great person to ask for a letter of recommendation – but how can they write this letter if they barely know you? Visit early, and visit often!

Guidance counselors also try to tell students to start their college search, savings, and prep as early as possible. Counselors often get busy with seniors who delayed the work until the last minute and appointments can be hard to come by. Start talking to your counselor about college when you’re a sophomore if possible.

2. Ask Questions

Asking informed questions is one of the best ways to make a great impression on your guidance counselor and be memorable. You could ask for their advice on your class schedule, courses they might suggest for your goals, help with classes you’re struggling in, tutors (or how to tutor others), college prep, college applications, and more.

Taking this extra step will pay off two-fold. You’ll leave the conversation with more information, but you could also open the door to new opportunities due to a close relationship with your guidance counselor.

3. Be Polite and Respectful

You should always go through life being polite and respectful to others. This includes your guidance counselor. They are there to help you, and they have years and years of experience of helping students through their education and plans after graduation.

If, for some reason, you feel your guidance counselor isn’t assisting you, you may want to talk to the guidance counselor office, a trusted teacher, or your school’s office for advice. It may be possible to get you switched to a different counselor.

Advice from you high school counselor: don’t put it off any longer. Now is the time to schedule an appointment with your guidance counselor. When will you be seeing them next?

If you want to make a good impression during the meeting: go in with a list of colleges you’re interested in hand by using College Raptor’s College Match. Your counselor will definitely be impressed you did the legwork and may offer you tips and recommendations based on your results.