In case I have insufficiently vented about this topic, the winter holidays are inconveniently located in the middle of our application deadline season. While I realize most of you have visions of sugarplum-coated dreidels dancing in your heads, or something like that, your guidance counselors are working desperately to get that last recommendation letter out that you accidentally forgot to request until this week, despite a January deadline. Without sounding overly like a suck-up, guidance counselors are the unsung heroes of the college admissions process. In between lunch and bus duty, class scheduling and discipline issues, they try their ever-lovin’ best to convince students everyday to look beyond the same three schools where every other member of the class is applying, help your teachers write better recommendation letters, and try to get their own out along with meeting hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of transcript request deadlines. They get very little thanks and praise, although they often give up most of their holiday trying to help you achieve your goals, even when they think those goals are wildly unrealistic.
Then, to make matters worse, they get ALL the blame. When colleges send out thousands of letters saying that transcripts and recommendations haven’t yet been received, even when they’re actually sitting in mail buckets in our office just waiting to be processed, it’s the guidance counselor who gets the frantic parent and student calls (over and over and over…). When you get in you celebrate with friends and family, but when you don’t it’s often your guidance counselor that tries to keep you focused on all the other options available to you, or who shoulders incredibly ridiculous accusations of having sabotaged your chances with insufficient support.
So, in the spirit of these dreadfully timed holidays, do something nice for your guidance counselor. It doesn’t have to be big, but it is richly deserved. Be seeing you.