Going Away To College: Part 2 of 5

Going Away To College: Part 2 of 5 – Meeting With A Counselor
By Kimberly Despas
Why meet with a counselor?

The counselors at your school have all gone to college themselves and are trained to provide students with enlightening insight and beneficial advice. The counselor will try their best to get a sense of your lifestyle, personality and academic skills so they can recommend which courses would suit you best and help you map out your class schedule for proceeding semesters.

The following is a list of questions that you can take with you to speak with your counselor. Bring a pen and paper so that you can take notes! That, and in college, you’re going to have to get used to taking notes anyway.

1.)  How many units do I need to graduate?
  What is the criteria for my particular major?
Are there any high school courses that I’ve taken that will count towards my college credits?
What courses do I need to take to fulfill my general breadth?
How many units are recommended for someone during their first year of college?
I have not decided on a major, can I still create a student education plan that will allow me to complete my general breadth?
Are there any required assessments tests that I need to take? If so, how do I make an appointment to complete that?
Are there any courses you would highly recommend?
What teachers would you recommend that will accommodate my athletic schedule?
Discuss your strengths and weaknesses with the counselor.

Determine if there is a class that you believe may be tough for you/crash with your athletic demands and speak with the counselor to determine if there is an alternative course that you can take instead.

Meeting with a counselor only takes up about 20 to 30 minutes of your time on average and can greatly impact your experience in college. It’s also a good idea to continually visit a counselor every semester even if you have already created a 4 year course plan. This will allow you to meet with different counselors who may offer you alternative advice and provide you with other options to consider. In addition, it will give you a chance to revise your education plan if better opportunities have risen or there’s been a change in your lifestyle.