Your High School Counselor Held You Back? Maybe It’s Time to Transfer Colleges

Don’t think your current college is a good fit? Maybe your high school counselor held you back. A study by Public Agenda, a nonprofit group, asked young adults to reflect on their experiences with their counselors in high school. The title of the study tells you a lot: Can I get a Little Advice Here? How an Overstretched High School Guidance System is Undermining Student’s College Aspirations. Just to highlight the main points, here are two of the study’s major findings:

Finding One: Most students, even those who successfully complete college, give their high school guidance counselors fair or poor ratings

Finding Two: Students who get perfunctory counseling are more likely to delay college and make more questionable higher education choices

As someone who graduated from a less-than-great high school of 2,000+ students, I am not at all surprised by the results. To put it more precisely, and harshly, my high school counselor was useless to me. Coming from a family with little education, I was completely lost when it came to the college application process. I just knew that higher education was the way for me to go, but I didn’t really know how to get there. Perhaps my counselor didn’t know, either. If she did, she was keeping a really big secret from me.

Fast forward from my high school years to my first couple months as an undergrad. I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Would I have been able to prevent this disaster had my high school counselor helped me? I can’t say for sure, but I think I would have been able to at least make a more informed decision. Somehow, I figured out that I could apply to transfer to another college or university and, gratefully, ended up transferring to Stanford, a university that I didn’t even consider in high school.

If you’re unhappy and getting nowhere at your current college, you can’t just sit around blaming your high school counselor, yourself, or anyone else. Learn from your experience. Look into how you can better your situation, possibly by transferring out. It’s up to you to achieve your goals in life.

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