Some students already have a great relationship with their guidance counselors, while others have had minimal or no interaction with their counselors during their high school years.  If you fall into the second category, spring is a great time to change that and get to know your guidance counselor.

Admissions still require a recommendation letter from guidance as part of the application packet, yet many students often miss the opportunity to influence what goes into that recommendation letter.   If you want to make sure that every component of your college application is top-notch, then you must take some steps to shape the recommendation letter that guidance writes on your behalf.  To do that, students must develop a meaningful relationship with their counselors as early as possible, and supply guidance with the information needed to compose an effective recommendation.

So, what can you do if you are a sophomore or junior and your guidance counselor still does not even know your name? Stop in during lunch, or make an appointment to meet before or after school. Start off by stating that you would like some help creating your college list and preparing a road map for college applications.  Plan regular check-in times with your guidance counselor throughout the school year.  During your meetings,  take some time explaining your academic interests, hobbies, extracurricular activities, and community service involvement. Apprise your counselor of any awards or recognitions you’ve received, and offer him/her a copy of your resume. Once you have established a rapport, your counselor will be in a position to personalize your recommendation letter, utilizing what he/she knows about you and your accomplishments.