Opinion: What would juniors do without college counseling classes?

Mealani Nako, Staff Writer

It didn’t really dawn on me how difficult the whole college process is, at least not until I started going to college counseling with Seabury Hall’s college counselor, Stephanie Walsh, this semester. Although it may seem stressful and overwhelming at times, thinking about the tedious journey you have ahead, college counseling definitely has its benefits.

Without college counseling, I know I would be completely oblivious to the demands and challenges that inevitably come with the college application process. It has made me more aware about maintaining your GPA throughout your high school career, particularly your junior year, and performing well on the SAT and ACT tests.

Periodically throughout our class cycle, Mrs. Walsh makes it mandatory for the juniors to fill out an academic check-in paper. By completing this, they are able to find out what their grades are in their classes and devise a way to bring it up if needed. I find this particular part of college counseling to be very beneficial because it keeps students’ grades in check and helps them identify the areas they are weaker in. It also makes students take the initiative to ask their teachers what their current grades in their classes are.

In addition, during our second college counseling meeting, all the juniors signed up to take the SAT test in March and the ACT test in April. College admissions officers looks at a student’s SAT or ACT scores, which is why it is highly encouraged that the juniors be diligent about studying for them prior to taking the actual tests.

The SAT measures a student’s aptitude, while the ACT analyzes their knowledge in the subjects they have learned in school throughout the year. Those who take college counseling are mandated to take both, which is beneficial because it gives you two chances to achieve an ideal score you will be content with sending to the colleges.

If there was no college counseling offered for a junior, they would not be as aware of the significance the testing scores of the SAT and ACT hold in a college’s final decision making, or know how important it is to familiarize themselves with the material they will be tested on.

Seabury Hall’s college counseling also includes a one-on-one family meeting that serves to help juniors figure out what classes would be best for them in their senior year, as well as which SAT Subject Test they may want to consider taking (the SAT Subject Test tests a student on only one particular subject and all the juniors are encouraged to take it). It gives the juniors and their parents a chance to voice their opinions and make an ideal game plan for senior year.

A major part of college counseling is helping juniors trying to figure out what they personally like and dislike, and their priorities in life. It definitely helps juniors reflect on who they are as people, and ultimately discover what type of college best suits them.

The thought of college can be very intimidating, especially the process of submitting college applications and figuring out where you want to go. However, with college counseling, juniors are also able to feel more at ease as they begin the whole process.

Personally, I was overwhelmed, thinking about how difficult it would be to narrow down my choices for colleges. But now after beginning college counseling, I feel reassured that I will be thoroughly prepared when the time comes for me to select my college.