Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
As we ring in the New Year, many of us will take some time to reflect on our lives and note the places where there is room for improvement, the changes we’d like to make, and the things that we need to focus on more intently. This may mean resolving to spend more time with family, save up for a big vacation, or, that perennially popular resolution, hit the gym more often to lose the holiday pounds.
While the beginning of the New Year merely marks the middle of the school year, it's nevertheless a good time to think about the things you want to concentrate on and set some goals for your professional life. To help you get started, here are a few resolutions that college counselors might consider.
1. Stick to a schedule
Now is a great time to hone your time management skills. Procrastination and getting behind cause undue stress and anxiety. Avoid them like the plague!
2. Challenge your students
Push your students to strive for more than they believe they’re capable of. They’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
3. Network with other counselors
Have you joined the CollegeXpress for School Counselors and Independent Consultants group on LinkedIn yet? We also have a special Twitter account for counselors! Share your experiences and learn from the challenges others in the profession have faced.
4. Get feedback on your work performance
Ask a trusted colleague to honestly evaluate your work to help determine your strengths and areas that could be improved upon.
5. Volunteer your services
Nothing feels as good as giving back. Consider lending your knowledge of the college admission process to underprivileged students in your community. And encourage your students to find ways to donate their time and skills as well.
6. Continue your education
High school education and college admission are ever-evolving. Look for courses, conferences, training sessions, and webinars that will help you stay on top of them.
7. Join a professional organization (if you haven’t already)
You’ll be able to meet other counselors, stay apprised of industry trends, and gain access to a multitude of professional resources.
8. Update your counseling library
Get a head start on the next academic year and make sure your favorite counseling resources are up-to-date (we have a lot available in the CollegeXpress Store). And don’t forget to request current catalogs from the schools your students most often attend as they become available.
9. Find ways to maximize the time you’re able to devote to college planning
If you’re a high school counselor, you may only have a small amount of time to spend on college planning. Make the most of it by relying on comprehensive and easy-to-use resources like CollegeXpress.com. A few of our favorite things include:
- College Search tool
- Scholarship Search tool
- College Search Spreadsheet
- Scholarship Search Spreadsheet
- High School College Prep Checklist
- Career Prep Worksheet
- SAT Word Game
- COVID-19 Resources Page
10. Make time for yourself
Work hard, play hard, and rest up. Your students will reap the benefits of a happy, healthy, and energetic counselor.
Find more helpful hints in our Counselors and Consultants section, and Happy New Year from CollegeXpress!