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As a high school freshman, you should make an appointment with your high school counselor. Many students overlook their school counselors as a resource, but they can help you with all things related to your classes, school activities, college prep, and mental health. If you’re not sure what you are going to say in your meeting, here are some questions you can ask. 

Which courses do I need to make sure I graduate?

When you meet with your high school counselor, make sure you’re registered for classes on the right track for graduation. Though you are only a high school freshman, it’s good to make a plan and know where you’re headed. 

When should I start college prep?

As a high school freshman, you don’t have to worry about testing or college apps, but there are other things you can do to start prepping for college. Whether it’s getting involved or focusing on earning good grades, your high school counselor will let you know how you can make the most of your high school career. 

Do you have a list of activities to get involved in?

Now is your chance to branch out, try new things, discover passions, and make new friends! Your high school counselor may have a list of all the extracurriculars offered by your new school. Take a look, and take note of the clubs and teams you might want to try. 

Which AP courses should I consider taking?

Most schools offer AP classes to students starting sophomore year. These classes are more advanced and allow you to earn college credit in the form of AP testing. Learning about AP classes early on, you’ll know what to do when the time comes to register for them. If your school does not offer AP classes, inquire about other ways you can challenge yourself and earn college credit.

Where can I get help if I’m struggling with a class?

There is no shame in asking for help. Most, if not all, students in high school need help with their classes at one point or another. (Especially high school freshman that are just making the transition into a new school!) Your school may have specific before-school or after-school programs, or some schools leave extra help up to the teachers. By asking your school counselor, you will know the ways your school helps its students succeed. Here are more tips if you’re struggling in class. 

What can I do to start thinking about my future?

This question is a bit more general, but your school counselor will likely have all kinds of insight for you. Thinking about the future can be scary, so it’s great to have someone there to guide you through that process. As a first-year student, you may not know what you want to do yet. That’s totally normal. However, there is no harm in thinking about all the possibilities of your future.

How should I start exploring different careers?

There are all different ways to explore your careers, sometimes through internships, volunteering, extracurriculars, and so on. Your counselor will likely have information about local opportunities for students at your school. Exploring different careers will help you get to know yourself, so it’s worth looking into!

No matter the questions you ask, establishing a relationship with your school counselor as a high school freshman will benefit you. They are there to help you! Don’t hesitate to make an appointment if you ever need a listening ear or have questions, school-related or not. You can learn more about the importance of asking for help  at this link!