4 Things You Didn't Know About Guidance Counselors

Unique ways your high school guidance counselor can help you.

If you know anything about guidance counselors, you know that they exist to help you get into college. And they can answer questions about financial aid, standardized tests, and your high school schedule.

But this list is paltry compared to the number of things, on the whole, that guidance counselors can help you with. Here are some things you might not have thought of when thinking about your guidance counselor, and some tips on how to get the most out of each visit.

If you’re frustrated, sad or overwhelmed by something, you shouldn’t hesitate to talk to you your guidance counselor.

Guidance counselors will help you more if they know you.

Think about it. It’s a guidance counselor’s job to help all students, but they can’t force you to come in and ask for help.

If you get to know your guidance counselor, they will do more for you than for students who don’t show up very often. If they know you, they can give you better, more specific advice, write you a great letter of recommendation, find you better scholarships that they know are right for you, and they’ll be more likely to keep you in mind when they learn about special programs or unique money-saving deals.

You don’t need to become best friends, but say hello and talk to them about what you want to accomplish. Guidance counselors like helping students who are an active part of their own success.

You can go to a guidance counselor just to talk.

Even though it’s important to meet with your counselor about your college search, career counseling, and standardized testing, sometimes you just need to talk.

If you’re frustrated, sad or overwhelmed by something, you shouldn’t hesitate to talk to you your guidance counselor. If you want to bounce an idea off of him or use him to figure something out, schedule a meeting. If you’re happy or excited about something and just want to brag a little, see if you can pop in to your counselor’s office and share. He’ll probably love to hear your good news, especially if it’s about your school or college.

You can hire a private guidance counselor.

While it isn’t right for every student, hiring a private guidance counselor is always an option. They can offer individualized help for the SAT/ACT, help you with your college prep and applications, hold practice interviews and go over anything you might have missed.

Even though private guidance counselors can be beneficial because they are held more accountable for your success, they are usually very expensive, and they cannot guarantee admission into any school. Do your research on any private counselors or tutors, and make sure you’ve used the guidance counselor at your school first. There might be other, cheaper options to get what you need.

If you’re interested in education, your guidance counselor can be a mentor.

If you’re interested in being a teacher or maybe even being a counselor yourself, you know a person who knows exactly what you need to do to go into that profession. Take advantage of your guidance counselor as a mentor. Your counselor was once just like you. Ask him or her to share firsthand knowledge about what it’s like working in the education field.

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