Every high school that is public in America has a counseling center of some sort. The counseling center has counselors assigned to the students, and each counselor is charged with helping their assigned students in various ways. However, most students either do not realize, or do not know how to utilize the counseling center to take the fullest advantage of it possible. The following are some tips for taking advantage of the counseling center:
Tip one: Use it for class scheduling and help. Your counselor is invaluable when it comes to getting into the classes you want, and getting the schedule that will be manageable and something that meets the requirements for graduation. Take the time to talk to them about your goals, and desires. The more they know you, the more willing they are to help you get what you want.
Tip two: Use it for college preparation and selection help. Counselors often know a lot about colleges, both local and far away. They can tell you what schools are known for what programs, what is going to be required of you academically and with your extra-curricular in order to get in, and they are going to be able to help you narrow down your choices and decide where you may want to apply, and how to work during high school to ensure acceptance at those schools.
Tip three: Use it for aptitude and future path help. Most high school aged kids do not know what it is they enjoy most, or what they want to be or do when they leave high school. Most are money driven, so paths like doctors, lawyers, and international business persons are appealing, but they are not always right. So, a counselor can help you find what you will enjoy. They can administer aptitude tests, introduce you to programs to help you see what your interests are, etc.
Tip four: Use it to get scholarships. The counselors at your school should have a file of potential scholarship opportunities, and should make you aware of when new scholarships are available, the requirements to attempt to secure one, and the deadlines to do so. Ask, they do not make this as public as they maybe should, as it is a lot of work. So, if you want money for school, get your counselor to help you find it!
Tip five: Use it to deal with social or academic problems. A counselor is not just there to help you with getting into classes and colleges, but to make it easy for you to get through high school. They are there to guide you, advise you, etc. So, if you are having trouble with other students, with a teacher, with a subject matter, etc. they can step in and help. So, use them if you need to.
The best thing you can do to make high school smooth, and get on the future path that is right for you is to get to know your counselor and have them get to know you.