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Posts Tagged counselor

Got Mentors?

jesse-85I always thought that college wasn’t an option for me. I didn’t really know anyone who had made it to college and no one in my family had gone either, so it seemed like college was nothing but a fantasy for me. Not having a mentor can leave you without a sense of direction- you need someone there to go to for advice, to keep you motivated, and to help you out in times of need. It is very important to find this person in your life early on so they can help you make the right decisions from the beginning.

A mentor can be anyone- a counselor at school, a teacher, a youth group pastor, or a sports coach. It doesn’t matter what they do; what matters is how well you can open up to this person and their ability to give you good advice on things that they know something about. This is why mentors are usually older and wiser than you are.

I found mentors in a number of environments and each one was able to help me out in a different way. The mentors I found at Reality Changers and at my school were able to help me feel confident about my ability to go to college, and they even helped me with the college application process. I spent countless nights in the Reality Changers building working on college applications and it sure did pay off! Reality Changers explained what I needed to know about financial aid and scholarships and even helped me fill out the forms!

Mentors are important, get yourself one! Not just anyone, find the right mentor for YOU.

Sometimes you get lucky and you run into someone who would be a great mentor, but most of the time, you have to go out and search! Schedule meetings with your counselors or teachers, just drop by before or after school, or even ask to have lunch with them. Show initiative- get to know them! This is the only way you’ll know if they’re right for you.

If you feel like there isn’t anyone that you can relate to at your school, look in your area for programs like Reality Changers to help you out. You are not alone. There is guidance out there, you just have to look for it.

gobble gobble!

tereza-85It’s already 2 weeks until Thanksgiving and I know most of you high students are looking forward to it because that means a 4 day weekend! I remember thinking that last year and couldn’t wait for it to come.

What I also remember about this time was that I was getting ready to start my college application process and I hope all of you high school seniors are too. If you have not started yet, don’t worry it’s not too late to start.

There are so many colleges out there and some students are probably wondering “Which one do I want to go to? How can I pick?” What I suggest doing is making a list of everything you look for in a college and go off of that. Some sample questions would be:”Do you want to stay close to home? Do you want to be in a city or in a college town? Do you want to go to a big school or a small school? Does diversity in your college matter to you?” and more questions similar to that. By answering a bunch of questions like that can really help narrow down your search and make it easier to pick which colleges you are interested in. I myself answered questions like that to help me narrow down my search because before I did that I was feeling kind of overwhelmed by how many colleges there where and this helped me eliminate some. For questions which you could go either way on like “how big do you want your school?” just apply to both because then you can never have too many options.

I would also suggest to at least apply to 5 schools. Every school will offer you a different financial aid package and different things and like I said before, keep your options open!

Try making a time line for yourself especially when applying to schools that have application deadlines. You do not want to miss an important deadline. Some schools may have rolling admission so there really is not a deadline but it is always better to apply sooner because then it’s more likely you will get a spot!

If you have not already figured out which teacher you would like to write you letter of recommendation it would be good if you made that decision soon so then you can ask that teacher. Also so then they could get started on it if necessary because just how you don’t like doing papers at the last minute, they don’t like doing letters of recommendation at the last minute.

You should probably begin creating a personal statement if you have not already started and I highly suggest you have someone else read it and help you with it! They can help you improve it and make suggestions that you might have not thought of before.

After you have all these things done all you really have left to do is wait to hear back!

To all you freshmen, sophomores and juniors, you can do all of these things too because it is never too early to start college preparation. Of course you cannot apply to college yet but you can have everything ready so that when you are able to apply for college all you have to do is fill out the application because everything else is already done. Also make sure that you take the ACT/SAT and make sure you are prepared for them which means study!

I wish everyone the best of luck and if you need help or have any questions don’t be afraid to ask your parents, teachers, counselors, coaches, or even me! Just leave me a comment after you read my blog.

“A la mode” means with ice cream!

jesse-85Good news! I finished my philosophy paper! It felt great finally submitting it. You know what else was great? I had some pecan pie for the first time on Tuesday; it was delicious AND I had it a la mode. I had it at the Faculty Dinner where you invite a professor, advisor, or proctor to eat dinner with you to get to know them outside of the classroom or lecture hall. My friend and I decided to invite our 2 professors from our Anthropology course. It was great! The four of us ate dinner and got to talk about our backgrounds. It was a fantastic way to get to know them better. It’s important to get to know those that teach you.

So anyways, I know what’s on your mind. It’s November. The first round of applications are due in a few weeks, you must be excited. Even if you are not a senior in high school, be aware that it won’t be too long until your applications are due.

Hopefully, you seniors are prepared to work REALLY hard on those applications and get those personal statements in order. If you do not have anyone to help you at home, try talking to your counselors or teachers at school about helping edit your personal statements. They can give you some very useful tips on how to structure your essay and how to make it better. Do not be afraid to ask! They want you to go to college and if you approach them and show that you’re really serious about it, they will help you out.

And for all those juniors, sophomores, and freshman out there- remember, it is never too late to get ready. Develop those relationships with your teachers and counselors early. Talk with them, connect with them, and get to know them. Not only will they be able to give you advice on school and personal things throughout high school, if they actually know you they’ll be able to write you a personal recommendation letter that is actually genuine and not superficial.

Also, the more they know you, the more they will be able to help you decide which college is right for YOU. There are a TON of colleges; it just comes down to choosing which ones to apply to. Get on top of this, guys!

So, quick recap:

–Develop relationships with your teachers and counselors EARLY

–If you need help with personal statements, other essays, or even just understanding a concept – go to your teachers and counselors for help, they will like your proactive approach and see that you’re really putting in the effort

–Start looking for colleges that are right for you. Do not just look close to home- branch out and look for colleges all over the country. There are lots of private schools that will help pay your tuition!

P.S. Save the Myspace and Facebook for AFTER you finish your homework. Trust me.

Pick Me, Pick Me!!

ashley-85

As I see the colors of the leaves change and hear the chit chat of the tours through the hallway I realize it is a critical time for high school seniors, so I have some advice for you. If you have heard it, good. You are more likely to remember it. And for everyone else I have something for you to. :]

 
Narrow things down.
This time last year I had my choices barely narrowed down to three and I was still curious about all the other schools our there.  I was getting new information everyday. I hadn’t even began filling out my applications. While it is okay to look, you should really have an idea of where you want to go. If you find something you like more after you have already applied, that’s okay too. I applied for Truman University at the end of February. And make sure you have back ups just in case.

 
Follow Through
Think of applying to college like applying to a job… you want to follow up on your applications and make sure there are no questions. After I applied I e-mailed my admissions counselors and asked them to inform me when they got notice that my application made it through. I also kept hard copies (I applied online) of all my applications in case something went wrong.  Any important document that a college may need from you, always follow through so you don’t get penalized for being late.

For you non-seniors:
Start looking at schools now.
Figure out what you are looking for.
Visit local schools to get a feel for it all.
Talk to your high school counselors and college admissions counselors.

*Have questions?  Let me know what you want to know more about!