By Fernando Cervantes
Although school counselors do what they are paid for, giving their expert opinion on what students should do academically, that doesn’t mean that they’re always right.
It is up to the students to find out most of the information for themselves. Although it may seem like a hassle to look it up when there is someone else who can do it, it might save a student a lot of trouble.
Starting from high school, there is a reliance on counselors telling students what to do, from what schools they say are good to what a student can or cannot afford. Chances are a majority of students will not look up any of the information for themselves as they think they are given everything they need to know from them.
There are many students on campus and the counselors can’t be asked to remember each student and the different goals they each have. This causes issues as it can’t be expected for a counselor to know exactly what each student needs to do.
In the end, the student has to deal with the decisions they make, not the counselor, so you have to be as prepared as possible.
Deciding a major is one of the biggest decisions in college since it will shape a student’s curriculum. It is important to try to attend a career fair and assess what a student wants to find in a job and find a major that could fulfill that role. Career cards or something similar can be a great way to see what interests someone.
Information on what schools are good for what majors, what is needed to transfer and what career might be good for someone can be found either online, in pamphlets or from calling campuses. Counselors can be asked on help reaching a student’s goal, but it does not mean you need to take everything they say as fact, but as opinion.
One common thing that happens is that a student is told by his or her counselor that they cannot do something or that they don’t need a certain class. Later on though, the student may find out they weren’t right and that the class is either a prerequisite for more classes or is a needed to either graduate or transfer.
The student is then left having to wait for it to reopen, some classes can be only fall or spring, and have to wait and delay their plans because of a mistake.
The counselor doesn’t lose out on anything and will hopefully be able to help the next person who has the same problem better. The student, on the other hand, has to deal with what happens after.
Remember they are counselors and they are there to give advice. Take their advice seriously, but don’t take it as fact. If they say a certain class is not important, ask the department if it is true, look up the curriculum and make sure that the decision is right before doing it.