High school counselors have always been there for students in need of assistance, support and direction, but their roles have expanded even more in today’s age. Counselors at high schools around the country are expected to help defuse conflicts that might arise within the student body, offer personalized counseling services for students considering higher education and even talk with pupils about any difficulties that might be mounting in their personal lives. Many students graduate high school remembering the vital roles their counselors played, with some even attending colleges such as Wake Forest University, where they are able to study to become certified counselors. Here are five important ways that high school counselors continue to help students grow.
1. Career Development
You may remember being a teenager and having no idea of what you wanted to do after graduating high school. Alternatively, you may have had a very good idea of what you wanted to do professionally, but you might not have known what steps you had to take in order to get there. High school counselors help young people to determine what they are good at, what they love to do, and how they can attain their goals.
2. Emotional Support
When students ask to visit the counselor at school, they often have personal issues that they need to talk about. High school counselors are able to provide advice to students, but more importantly, they give students tools to help come up with the answers to their problems themselves. Learning how to deal with peer pressure, bullying or even conflicts with parents can help students to learn how to manage and cope with stress as they grow into adults.
3. College Application Process
Many students know that getting into college is not an overnight process. In fact, if you wait until your senior year of high school to start the college application process you might not end up getting into your dream school. This is why high school guidance counselors start working with students early in their high school careers.
4. Setting Academic Goals
Some students need to hear words of encouragement in order to do their best academically. This might apply to students who have not been meeting their full academic potential, while others might need to be steered in the right direction after going through personal crises.
5. Lending an Ear
At times, students simply need to talk to someone that they know is going to really listen to them. Having a support system in place during adolescence can reduce anxiety and panic attacks, and it can also help teachers to better manage their classrooms. If your plan it to become a trained high school counselor, be prepared to listen to students, their goals, dreams, issues and crisis on a regular basis.
High school counselors have long been a staple in modern school settings, but now their roles are more widely understood. While you do need to attend college in order to become a school counselor, the training and preparation you receive will prepare you to deal with almost anything that students, teachers and parents can throw your way. If you want to help the next generation of students, becoming a high school counselor will certainly cement your presence in their lives and minds.