Questions Seniors Should Ask High School Guidance Counselors
Taken from “5 Questions Seniors Should Ask High School Guidance Counselors” by Brian Witte.
Guidance counselors can help high schoolers know which college-level skills to develop during senior year, the best universities to apply to and the best scholarship sources available to you.
High school guidance counselors are a unique and valuable resource – in fact, their primary responsibility is to help students excel. If you are beginning your final year of high school, this is a great time to ask your counselor these pointed questions. Please note that these questions to your guidance counselors are just a start, there are many other questions you and your parents can ask your guidance counselor.
In Jamaica we are accustomed to having guidance counselors as a parent or religious figure, while not recognizing that they also play the role of career coaches, resume experts and financial aid extraordinaire. they are the first to know of a new tuition funding and or an internship opportunity. Don’t be afraid, just ask your high school guidance counselor.
What remaining graduation requirements do I need to meet this year?
Even if you are a near-perfect student, graduation is not a guarantee until you complete all your requirements. And if you have requirements remaining, the beginning of your senior year is the correct time to determine this fact.
This is a worthwhile question to ask even if you believe you have finished all of your requirements. Especially at high schools with many electives or specialized classes, it can be challenging to puzzle out what counts toward graduation. Your counselor, however, is likely an expert in this area, and can give you peace of mind as you head into the home stretch.
What college-level skills should I work on this year?
Counselors are dedicated to helping their students succeed in high school and beyond. Not only are they fantastic resources for admissions information, they also have insight into college-level success.
While there is some crossover between high school and college success, college is often much more rigorous, with a greater degree of self-direction – and you pay for the experience. A great counselor can assist you in recognizing where you are already strong and where you can improve.
How can I begin transitioning from high school to college?
Doing well in college is about more than just academic skill. For instance, if you are moving far from home, you will face the challenge of living on your own. Your parents will not set your schedule or take you to club meetings or sporting events. You will need to do this while also exploring a new social circle and attending class.
Even if you are matriculating into a school close to home, you will be much more independent than ever before. This can, frankly, be a shock to the system, but your counselor can help you find ways to ease your transition.
What he or she suggests should be tailored to your needs and personality. If you are normally shy, your counselor may ask you to reach out to future classmates via social media. If you love sports, he or she may encourage you to research intramural leagues at your future home.
What is one piece of general advice you would give to all graduating seniors?
Even though each student is unique, there are certain similarities among high school experiences. Your high school counselor has worked with many students and likely has some perspective on post-high school life.
This is an open-ended question, so your counselor may have a scripted answer that he or she gives to all graduating seniors. Or your guidance counselor may tailor this piece of advice specifically to you. “Remember that college ends” is one such piece of advice. While this is obvious, it is easy to forget to live purely for the moment.
What career advice can you share?
College does end, and you will one day have to take that degree and parlay it into an employment opportunity. Senior year may be too early to plan your career, but it is not too early to begin thinking about it. Simply earning a college degree will not guarantee you a place in the world, although it does help a great deal. Many of the steps toward a great job start while you are in college.
Internships, independent study and professional connections will all play major roles in your future career. Your high school counselor can assist you in creating a plan to maximize the value of your time in college. There are numerous lessons you can learn from someone whose only job is to help you succeed. A guidance counselor may nudge you, but he or she will not grade you. Take advantage of this help, and position yourself to launch from your senior year of high school into college.