(First off, thank you for the comments yesterday; I will get to them!)
Elayna had her college prep meeting with her guidance counselor today.
Her guidance counselor continues to be worse than useless.
"She says I don't have to do anything about my applications until January," Elayna says, quietly bristling at me reminding her that we're going to start work on them this Saturday.
"Uh, NO. We aren't waiting til the day before the absolute deadline."
"It's just that she thinks I shouldn't rush myself to apply early."
"Right. But you know that if you leave it til the last minute, it is going to freak you out. The sooner you do it, the sooner you don't have to deal with it anymore."
Because I know my kid. Given her druthers, she will wait until the day before the deadline, fire off a merely-okay essay in the midst of her panicflail, and then have meltdowns about the fact that she didn't do her best. Whereas if she starts now, she can write the best essay she can write, get this whole thing off her plate, and enjoy the next few months. She has the fall play and spring musical coming up, and her senior thesis project. She should take the time now and get this neatly out of the way.
Which her guidance counselor would know if she bothered to fit the advice to the kid instead of just handing out the same advice to everyone.
Further case in point: she recommended two colleges today that Elayna hadn't looked at. Elayna came home and told me about thess recommendations. One of them does not even have Elayna's major (which was also the case with the counselor's prior recommendations). The other one? Was UMASS Boston.
The most important things to Elayna, besides the presence of her major (elementary education), are small to mid-size campus and small class size.
So if you know anything about my daughter, why would you recommend a school with 16,000 undergrads and 100-person classes?
Answer: You don't know anything about my daughter; also, you are not even remotely doing your job.
Sorry. I am just over correcting everything this person says to Elayna. I'm sure UMASS Boston is great for people who do well in large classes and schools, but Elayna is not one of those people. I'm sure some kids do fine just farting out a college app two hours before the deadline, but that is not the way my daughter works. Every single guidance counselor visit we go through this.
Elayna goes to a not-large school with a not-large graduating class. Last year's graduating class was 153 students, per the internet. There are four guidance counselors. So let's say each counselor has ~39 kids to counsel. Not all of the kids go to college, so it's probably less than that, but we'll go ahead and assume the maximum. These sessions happen over a span of two to three months. So you're telling me that you can't take a few minutes to sit down with, at most, 20 kids per month and actually ask them what they're looking for in a college, and tailor your responses to them? Instead of just recommending the same four schools that gave you a T-shirt and a coffee mug in exchange for you shilling for them?