Ask teens about their guidance counselor experience

By Erin Cochran
The last time I was in a high school guidance counselor’s office, I was 17 — 19 years ago. I had seen the guidance counselor in the hallways during the three years I had been attending University High School. Although I hadn’t spoken to him during those years, he seemed to have a friendly smile and face.
When I was brought into his office to talk about my plans for college, he looked at my grades and then looked at me like I was the most offensive creature he’d ever encountered.
Although I have no recording of this, his words were close to, “You shouldn’t even be thinking about going to college with these grades.” To be honest, I was stunned.
It was the first time in my life an adult had shocked me into silence and into partial self-loathing. Even though I knew my grades weren’t that horrible, the way the man made me feel … well, today I think you would probably say I felt harassed. I felt that the man had the intention of disturbing me and upsetting me. I don’t recall much else that he said.

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