Is One College Counselor Enough or Too Much?
By Kendell Shaffer
“No C’s senior year!” says Sydney’s high school college counselor as she helps students navigate college options and keeps them on track with applications.
“It’s important to build a strong relationship with your college counselor so that they can write the best recommendation possible,” Sydney told me.
My daughter is extremely lucky to have such a hands-on college counselor at her school, but not all students take advantage of this opportunity. “Some kids just don’t care,” Sydney added. Others at her school feel one counselor is not enough. They find outside counselors to lead them through the process and read essays, etc.
Sydney did not get an extra counselor but she did ask her relatives and teachers for help throughout the process. Sydney noticed that some teachers got the message of her essay more than others and she was able to incorporate their suggestions to make it as polished as possible. “But too many suggestions can be overwhelming and stressful,” said Sydney, “Don’t lose your voice.”
Sydney went on to add more suggestions, “Write your essay early on in the year, preferably during summer. Have your college counselor and one other trusted mentor read it first and get their general opinions on the content and structure of the piece. After you make those comments send it to a new person and see what they think. Ignore a comment if it is totally unrelated to what other people are saying.
“Try to get a college representative to read your essay (this is so helpful!). And lastly, do all the edits but keep your very first original essay untouched. After all the edits are done go back and read your first version and make sure that you feel comfortable that your individual voice is still there.”
It’s an insane amount of work, but with the help of a counselor who keeps you on track and a supportive family your student can do it all and still manage not to get C’s senior year.