Archive for the ‘ Counselor’s Corner ’ Category

Counselor’s Corner: 1/29/13

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Many students have been asked that question for as long as they can remember.  For all of us, the answer tends to change as we grow older. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, many of us are still trying to figure out the answer even after decades in the workforce.  Continue reading

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October 29th, 2012

By Mr. Edward Marman

Over the next few columns I want to address different topics such a finding a career, picking out a college, and finding ways to pay for college. But to start with, I’ll start with a very basic question: Why go to college?

There are numerous reasons why you should go to college, but the key for most students should be that college leads to a career, which leads to a high quality of life. Not everyone needs to make a ton of money, but you should at least be looking at career choices that meet three very important criteria.

First, your chosen career needs to be something that you enjoy and that gives you a high degree of job satisfaction. There are a lot of people who, unfortunately, are stuck in jobs that they hate. Many times these are also low-wage jobs. Not a fun place to be.

Second, a career should allow you to live comfortably without the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. If you want an extravagant lifestyle, you’ll need to find a job that pays extravagant wages. Just keep in mind that many of these careers entail far more than the typical 40-hour workweek. Some people make scads of money but don’t have the time to enjoy it and sometimes work in very stressful occupations.

Third, there is something vital that is called job security. The question you must ask yourself is: are there currently and will there continue to be positions in a particular field? A degree doesn’t do much good in practical terms unless it leads to employment. It is important to try to work in fields that are necessary regardless of whether the overall economy is strong or weak.

How does going to college help meet these criteria? To help put it into perspective, in 1973 only 28% of careers required a college education. By 2018, it is expected that 68% of occupations will require a college degree.

Along with the degree comes earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 the median yearly earnings for a bachelor’s degree was $63,430 while a high school diploma fetched $34,180. That means that a typical college degree will pay for itself in less than five years. Over a lifetime of work, this translates to a college degree that will be worth about $2.1 million, while a high school diploma will be worth $1.2 million. Rocket science it’s not; paying for a college degree is money well spent.

Next time on Counselor’s Corner: How to start finding occupations that match your own interests.

September 4th, 2012

By Mr. Edward Marman

Though the year has just got under way, there are many things that come up quickly that different grade levels should be keeping in mind.

Juniors and Seniors:  Check the school calendar on our website. I’ll post information about college fairs and college recruiters. We’ve already got a few lined up during September and October.


Seniors:

SAT or ACT or Both?  First, if you haven’t taken either one yet and you are considering going to college next fall, get signed up for these exams. If possible, I encourage students to try both. Many times students will perform better on one than the other and colleges will generally accept either one and will use whichever one makes you look like a stronger candidate.

If you took an ACT or SAT last spring, it’s still not a bad idea to take it again. Frequently students will do better on a second testing so it’s worth a shot. However, taking each test more than twice doesn’t usually yield stronger results so I recommend saving your money if you’ve already tested twice.

Sign up links for SAT and ACT are on the school website’s calendar and all test dates and registration deadlines for the year are posted. I also have practice tests and books which can be checked out in my office. If you have any questions, please come see me.

Juniors:

Taking the PSAT exam is strongly encouraged for all juniors. This is an excellent way to find out what to expect on the SAT in terms of length, difficulty, and format. You also get to keep your exam booklet for studying for the SAT. The score report you receive in December will give a complete breakdown of every question on the exam. This test is also the ONLY WAY to put you in the running for the National Merit Scholar competition. The exam is only given once each year. We will be giving it here on Wednesday, October 17th, from 7:30 – 12:00 noon. Cost is $18 and you can sign up with Mrs. Kenner in the front office beginning on Monday, September 17th.

Sophomores:

Read PSAT information above. We should have room for 10-20 sophomores to take the PSAT. For you, it’s just good practice for taking the PSAT as a junior(when it ‘counts’) as well practice for the SAT.

Freshmen:

It is vital that you get off to a good start academically. GRADES MATTER!  I’ve worked with dozens and dozens of students over the years who have done a great job during 11th and 12th grades, but are kicking themselves for having a bad freshman year. If you want to have a strong GPA when you graduate, it starts by having a stong freshman year. If you are having trouble, talk to your teacher, ask questions, get tutoring. Don’t let things slide.