One of the most recognized and respected high school counselors in the country posted this comment to colleagues on a college counselors’ Facebook group yesterday:
What you do matters, folks. #finishstrong
I spend most of my space here speaking to the anxieties of kids and parents going through this process. But one of the many unfortunate side effects of college admissions anxiety is that it can bring out the worst in some of those very same kids and parents. And that worst often lands right on the counselor’s desk, from irrationality, to unreasonable demands, to misplaced anger and even blame.
This process can be difficult for everyone. It’s difficult for the student filling out the applications. It’s difficult for the parent trying to help without hurting. It’s difficult for the admissions officer who travels, reads, and lobbies in committee for months on end. And it can be especially difficult for the counselor.
For those counselors who are working hard on behalf of your students, no matter where or for whom you’re doing it, thank you. The work that you’re doing is important, which is one of the reasons it can be so difficult. I know that you know it; otherwise, you’d likely be doing something different. But when I read that comment, it was a nice reminder from someone who’s been there—and is there again right now—that what you do matters.
[Ed. note: I didn’t share the name of the counselor who wrote the comment because (1) it’s a closed group, and (2) I didn’t want to bug him to ask permission during what’s already a crazy time.]