The Benefits of Personal Goal Setting

Setting personal goals is an important skill to develop as a student and continue to hone throughout college and your career. While everyone’s goals are different and what works for one person may not work for everyone, there are some basic tips that can help you to follow through on your personal goals.

Write Your Goals Down
Take time to think about your goals and put them down on paper. This will help you to focus and identify priorities, isolating your top personal goals for the next week, next year, and next five years. Being able to see these mapped out can help many students to focus and feel good about meeting their future personal goals.

Break Your Goals Down Into Manageable Steps
A big life goal, like being a lawyer, can seem overwhelming when you’re in high school and looking just at that end goal. When you break it down into pieces, it seems a lot more manageable. For example, you could set a goal to keep a certain GPA in high school and perform well on your SATs so you can get into your first choice college with a great pre-law program. At that point, your goal becomes doing well and studying for your LSATs so that you can get into your first choice law school. Then your goal will shift to law school and passing the bar. Broken down into steps, your goal will help you track your progress and keep your dream in sight.

Make Yourself Accountable
Sharing your goals, whether big or small, with a trusted friend, teacher, or family member is a great way to keep yourself on track. Knowing that someone else is aware of your goals and rooting for you to make them happen can provide a great dose of encouragement. When you feel that you have someone to update on your progress, it makes it more exciting as you make progress.

Continue to Adapt
While goal setting is important, it’s also a good idea to revisit your goals every so often and make sure they’re still a good fit. There’s no shame in adjusting your goals as you grow and learn more about yourself and who you want to be as a student and as a person. Changing goals is a natural part of goal setting.

How to Utilize Your High School Counselor

Many students travel through their high school years without ever making use of one of the best resources available–their high school guidance counselor. Guidance counselors can be a wonderful resource for students and it’s worth finding out early on all of the ways that they can help. By the very nature of their job, high school guidance counselors wear many different hats and can help you with a number of different things.

Information at High School
Guidance counselors can be your one-stop for information as you plan out your high school years. They can answer questions about scheduling and classes, suggest activities, and help you to manage your schedule. One of the best things you can do is make an appointment to meet with your counselor just to get to know each other. The more your guidance counselor knows about you and your interests, the better equipped he or she will be to offer you assistance and make you aware of opportunities.

College Information
Your guidance counselor can be a big help in your college search process–from the very beginning through the day your acceptance letter arrives in the mail. He or she can help you to narrow your college choices and identify top schools, contact admissions offices and arrange for visits and interviews, and provide assistance answering questions as you prepare your applications. The guidance office can also be helpful when it comes to finding financial aid opportunities. They can help to answer questions about eligibility, help prepare applications and paperwork, and suggest things you may miss. High school guidance counselors have the benefit of experience–many have helped class after class of seniors to find their perfect college. This can be a great way to quickly learn about the process and feel prepared as you move through the application process.

Counseling
Guidance counselors can also provide counseling and help you with any number of challenges during the high school years. They can help to mediate conflicts, be there for you to talk through problems at school or at home, and refer you to a psychologist or specialist outside of school if you need more assistance than they can offer. Guidance counselors are experts at the high school age group and familiar with the many challenges facing young people today. Taking advantage of this resource can help you learn coping skills, work through problems, and enjoy a healthy and happy high school career.

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What You Should be Asking Your High School Guidance Counselor?

The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to make time to speak with your high school guidance counselor. Guidance counselors can be a great hub of information and a wonderful resource throughout your high school career and college application process. The more information your guidance counselor has about you and your goals for the year and for the future, the better he or she can help you to succeed.

For underclassmen, guidance counselors can be very helpful in planning out your courses for upcoming years. Ask them what they recommend based on your past transcript and what you are interested in studying. Guidance counselors can often help you to find information about college requirements for high school courses and help you to put together the best schedule to meet your needs. They can also help you to build good study skills and be sure that you have the right tools to do well in your courses.

When it comes to SAT preparation, guidance counselors can be a great place to go for advice. They can help you to identify goals and organization skills to develop a preparation plan. A good plan for test prep will ensure that you can come away with the best SAT score possible. Guidance counselors have helped many students through the process and can be a great source of advice.

Guidance counselors are a great resource when you are applying for colleges. Not only can they help you to prepare the best application possible, but they can help you to work through the college search process and weigh the various options available. Based on your transcript and SAT score, counselors can also help you to be sure you are applying to a range of schools to provide you with good options.

If you can communicate openly with your guidance counselor about what you are looking for in a college experience, he or she can help determine if your current schools are a good match. Ask if there are students from your school who went on to your college, they can often help answer questions about the application process and the experience they have had in college so far.

Having an open and positive relationship with your guidance counselor is a great step to success in your academic career. He or she will be able to advocate for your needs, support your decisions, and help you to make good choices about college and career plans. Making an appointment and asking the right questions can make all the difference.


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