Tips for Meeting With Your School Counselor for the First Time
The myOptions Team
Your school counselor is an awesome resource for ensuring you have a good high school experience and setting you up for success beyond high school as well. You may or may not have had a school counselor in middle school, but chances are in high school you will have a school counselor and even a college advisor who you will be assigned your freshman year. It’s really important that you meet with your school counselor early and often because they are there to help! As much as they love to help and have the biggest hearts in the world, they are very busy people. Did you know the average school counselor in the United States has 491 students assigned to them?
To get the most out of that first meeting, bring a notebook with some questions written down. Chances are your counselor may answer some of these during your meeting, but it’s good to have a reference point for the info you hope to gather and a place to write everything they tell you down. Here are some ideas of initial questions to ask:
Will I have the same counselor all 4 years?
This is super important when thinking about college because your counselor will write one of your letters of recommendation. If you will have a different counselor each year or a separate one for freshman/sophomore year and a different one for junior/senior year, then it will be very important to connect with different counselors each year. If you have the same counselor all 4 years, you’ll want to start developing your relationship early on.
How often will we have required meetings?
Some schools only have 1 mandatory meeting per year to discuss the following year’s schedule.Others have them more frequently. If you’re able to, the more you can meet with your counselor, the better. Obviously, a strong relationship makes it easier for them to write you a glowing letter of recommendation for your college app. They’ll also be able to make better recommendations on appropriate courses, scholarships, and colleges to add to your list. Try to meet at least twice a year to go over your schedule in one meeting, and discuss whether you’re on track with your college prep checklist based on the types of schools you’re trying to apply to.
How can I make an appointment with you?
Some counselors have walk-in hours, some have secretaries who make all their appointments and you either have to go in in-person or can make an appointment via email. It’s important to know how to make an appointment because your counselor is the person you should always feel comfortable talking to when you have a problem in class, at home, or with friends.
Hopefully, your initial meeting will be productive and set the stage for a great relationship with your counselor! Always remember, they are your number one fan and want to help you succeed, so be sure to utilize them as a resource.