Let’s be honest, in the whole crazy whirlwind that is high school, going on to college and just growing up in general, it is much easier when you have someone(s) on your side. And let’s be even honest-er and admit that talking to that same someone isn’t always so easy. You have to run a lot of decisions through your high school counselor, from what classes you want to take to what colleges you want to apply to. They usually know a lot about you and their opinion and experience can be beneficial and help to guide you. It can also be rather crushing. And who wants to lay out their hopes and dreams only to have them crushed? To have to be told even kindly, that a second plan may need to be put in place and that you may need to work harder?
I know, I know, that probably isn’t very helpful, and you’re probably thinking even more anxiety inducing thoughts, right? But I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be; that your school counselor (or counselors) can be not only be your ally and resource, but a guide and helper.
First things first, in order to do something you have to have confidence.
Even if it’s just a little. And you may need more than others, you may have to psych yourself up for days, even where others would only need moments. That’s okay. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. What matters is that you find the courage to do it.
Second, know what you want to discuss.
Make a list if you have to, and jot down passing thoughts and notes. You can always give it to your counselor and have him/her get back to you with the information requested. You’ll also cover everything that may be forgotten in nerves and won’t be stuck remembering something after your meeting only to have to schedule another or forgo asking all together.
Third, don’t be afraid to be heard.
Or ask questions for that matter. Speaking your mind and voicing your goals can be intimidating and difficult, especially when it’s to someone you’re not very close to, but when it comes to your school counselor it’s rather important and even necessary. You see, they can’t help you if you don’t tell them what you want and are aiming for. Communication is also very important when applying to colleges. You need to be able to correspond back and forth to make sure that all documents are submitted and on time.
Fourth, use their resources!
Your counselor not only has contact with colleges, but they can also help you find scholarships, put you in contact with admissions counselors and even help suggest internship or job opportunities. All in all, it all comes down to asking and finding the courage to do so. It may be hard, but in the end, the reward far outweighs the cost (even if the cost is a serious case of nerves). Your future is worth it after all. 🙂