As senior year starts, the feeling of being the “top dog” in high school is finally starting to set in. Then it hits: college; the big decision looming over every senior’s head. The question on everyone’s mind: are we on track with their search for the perfect school, and where can we find help if we need it.
The seniors in our HBHS community are making big decisions this year, and the counselors are playing a big role in helping to advise them along the way. One of the new additions to our HBHS family, counselor Chantel Klardie, can offer some insights with fresh eyes. However, not everyone reaches out to their counselors when they have questions. “There are some [students] that I feel like they’re nervous, or maybe apprehensive to reach out to their counselors. I feel like [the students] reaching out as much as possible for a resource to get your questions answered is the best thing. This is what we’re here for,” said Klardie. When the college process is overwhelming or confusing, the counselors are the best bet for clearing up worries and getting seniors back on track.
Another factor of getting ready to apply to college is the essay: a short, but comprehensive paper that is supposed to encompass the most important parts of who you are. No pressure at all, right?
One teacher who stands out the most for helping many of the seniors to complete these “mini-memoirs”, is Ann Melim, an English teacher here at Hollis Brookline High School. With deadlines approaching and students working on their essays, Melim is also feeling the pressure: “I’m under just as much pressure to write 35 college recommendations, so I feel the pressure just as much as they do,” said Melim. “The biggest thing for me in helping the seniors is that their essays really portray who they are, so that they give they give the best of who they are to that college,” Melim stated.
Knowing if you are ready for college is a hard thing to grasp as everything happens so fast. Suddenly, you’re waist deep in decisions you have to make that will determine the rest of your life. A senior here at the high school, Ashlyn Mansfield, who is currently working through the college process, speaks from a student’s point of view. “I feel that they [school counselors] really set us up for success. They make sure to let us know that there’s resources everywhere, we just have to take the initiative to ask for help,” said Mansfield. And as we know, many students don’t take advantage of their counselors as they should.
There are so many resources available if students are ready and willing to seek them: counselors, teachers, etc. Counselors are always ready and willing to help if you let them. The college essay is scary, but very doable, Melim tells us, and the students know about the resources that are available, but are not taking advantage of them as they could. And remember, the college visits are always posted outside the school counseling office.