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How to Have a Successful Meeting With Your College Counselor

Last updated September 27, 2021

Navigating college will be different from high school. There will be more classes, more people, and in general more options. It will feel like you don’t have enough time to figure things out. This is when meeting with your college counselor/advisor will be the key to ensuring you stay on track to graduate. Your advisor wants you to succeed as much as you do. Here’s how to use the time you have with your counselor/advisor efficiently and effectively.

Set an agenda 

The most successful meetings will have an agenda. Agendas help focus the purpose of your meeting. Start with what questions you have. If there were any action items from the last meeting, address those.

Bring relevant documents and notes to the meeting

Come prepared with any documents, notes, or insights. If you’ve worked on your class schedule ahead of time bring it. Your counselor will appreciate the work you’ve done and can help with scheduling conflicts, waitlist options, or other specific details.

Take notes 

Write down the answers to your questions or any important bits of information. This will help you retain information and you can run to your next class on time without forgetting anything important.

meeting with college counselor

Leave the meeting with action items

It’s pretty rare to leave a meeting with all the answers. Once you start talking you’ll find that you have more questions that may require more time to answer. Leave the meeting with action items. These could be: looking for and completing documents, doing some research, or checking in with a professor or your family for input on important decisions.

Follow up after 

After the meeting, follow up in an email with any action items or clarifying questions. You may even consider proposing a follow-up meeting to go over anything new or timebound. And always remember to thank them for their time and guidance!

Quick tips for virtual meetings

If your meeting will be over the phone or via video call, here are tips to ensure it goes smoothly:

  • Find a quiet place or let your household know you will be in a meeting and would appreciate it if they could be quiet
  • Be aware of the background in your video or set a virtual background
  • Wear headphones or a headset if you have one (test it first!)
  • Reduce or turn off any streaming services to help with the quality of the video
  • Practice using the video call program and screen sharing with a classmate
  • Be patient and encouraging while everyone learns virtual meetings

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