7 Questions to Ask Your Guidance Counselor

Hello people, it is I. Elizabeth. (grammar cringe) 

Okay, so meeting with your high school guidance counselor may not be on your fun-parts-of-Senior-year list. But believe me, guidance counselors are way cooler and far more helpful than we give them credit for. 

It's literally their job to help you get into college and decide on a career path. So let them help you.

Side-Note: My guidance counselors were awesome. It was in my senior Guidance Counselor's office that I learned I had won an awesome scholarship from MC! 

Even though I am an avid believer that ALL humans should get counseling in some way, a guidance counselor is not going to sit you down on their couch and psycologize you. They are not shrinks out to hear every secret about your life. But they do want to hear your hopes and dreams so that they can help you embark on the next steps after high school.

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If your guidance counselor is like mine, she may hover outside your classroom window to make sure you're in class and STAYING in class. But in all seriousness, guidance counselors are not to be feared. They are on your side!

To help maximize a meeting with your guidance counselor, here's a few few go-to questions: 

1. What are some colleges that fit my dream school? Dream big about where you want to be after high school and tell those dreams to someone who can help you achieve them! Don't be embarrassed. Make a list of qualities you're looking for in a school and show those to your counselor. You can look up potential options together. 

2. How much financial aid do I need? You should probably talk to your parents about this as well, but get a ballpark figure so you know how much scholarship money is necessary. 

3. Where are the scholarships? Every year, there is a huge pool of scholarship money that goes untouched because no one knows about them! Even though scholarships from your University are great, there are also tons of small scholarships out there from businesses, organizations, and even famous people. You've just got to find out WHERE they are! 

4. When are college apps due? Ask your guidance counselor to help you put together a timeline of important dates from all the schools and scholarships you're interested in. That way you don't miss any deadlines! 

5. What should I put on my resume? Fun fact: Employers spend about 15-30 seconds skimming a resume. So you need some concise, dynamite facts on there. Your guidance counselor can help you decide what to put and how to say it! 

6. What will stand out in an application essay? I don't know about you, but personal statement essays were always so hard for me. So, don't try to do it alone! Have your guidance counselor give you some pointers and help you set personal goals to make yourself stand out. Most likely, this isn't their first rodeo. They know what sells! 

7. What is a career that I will love? Whatever you do, do something you love. Don't know how that translates into a career? That's okay. You don't have to know right now. But you do need to talk to older, wiser people who can help you discover jobs that you will love and thrive in. 

These are just a few ideas. I hope these suggestions help you think of more!

If you use your time and resources wisely now, then pretty soon this could be you!! (hint: me at my graduation. Class of 2011!) 

Later people, 

- Elizabeth, high school grad, red gown wearer, school-is-cool mantra-chanter 

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