If you didn’t already know, your junior year is your time to shine! It can be stressful, overwhelming, and scary all at once. Thankfully, your school counselor is available to help put your mind at ease by guiding you through the process and help you overcome some of these challenges. Not sure where to begin? Start by making an appointment and consider these questions when working with them.
1. Am I on track to graduate?
This should be the first question you ask every time you see your counselor. Why? Well, it’s kind of the whole point. Prior to making an entire gameplan about college planning and test prep, make sure you’re on track for graduation. You counselor is the one person with the access to transcripts and schedule to remind you where you stand.
2. Which electives do you recommend for me?
As a high school junior, your studies are KEY for success. This time next year, you’ll be swimming in college applications, final classes, and creating memories with your peers as a senior. For that reason, consider taking your challenging classes this year. Your counselor can evaluate your GPA and course load from transcripts and help create a balanced, yet challenging schedule.
3. How should I study for the SAT/ACT?
Junior year is the year to prep and sign up for the ACT or SAT. (Sometimes, both!) Your counselor likely has some test materials with strategies to help you practice. Don’t be afraid to ask about free resources as well, like how to take the test for free with fee waivers. The ACT and SAT have some free materials as well like Khan Academy and test prep centers.
4. Should I be attending college planning sessions or college fairs? If so, where?
You high school likely has college fairs or college planning events for you to attend – score! These are SUPER beneficial to get you started on your journey without making you feel overwhelmed. The more prep you do now, the smoother your senior year experience will seem. Don’t forget to find your best outfit to join in!
5. What if I don’t feel like college is right for me? Do I have options?
Success isn’t one-size fits all! If a four-year college program doesn’t feel right for you, then be sure to ask about other options. Some other options include community college, certificate programs, trade schools, gap years, going straight to work, and more! Remember: do what’s best for YOU.
Asking these questions as a high school junior will not only impress your counselor but will also help set you up for a productive, rewarding school year. Don’t forget to stop by and thank your counselor with a fist bump and maybe some of their favorite iced coffee next time you pass the front office for all their hard work and care!