A Decade Later

It was raining in Los Angeles on the morning of December 7th.  This phenomenon alone was enough to make the day upsetting. When you add in the fact that I was up at 6:30am to take a 5 hour standardized test, you know things have gone haywire.  At first, my decision to take the SAT a decade after going through the college process seemed like a fun experiment in professional development but, as I sharpened 12 number two pencils on a Friday night, it quickly became clear this was not my most fun idea. The College Board was very clear about the fact that there was no parking around the school site. When there was an abundance of parking (also not natural for Los Angeles), I was very skeptical.  I rushed from my car in the rain to the school to meet up with my colleague before the exam.  After checking in, we realized that all these kids had snacks and water.  They were prepared for the marathon.  We were not. I had anticipated sitting in a classroom with a desk and climate control. … [Read more...]

Wish Me Luck! I’m Taking the SAT!

Every year, before we begin file review, our office goes through a few days of training.  There is always a portion dedicated to standardized tests--to go over what they measure and how we should and should not use them in the application review process.  Our Dean typically leads this part and will always says that any of us are welcome to take the SAT for professional development purposes.  So I decided to. When I tell people this, 95% (especially high school students) are mortified and ask why.  The remaining 5% (mostly adults) are curious about the test that consumed a year or so of their lives back in high school.  Clearly, this test has no consequences on the trajectory of my life. There are no stakes for me (aside from potential mocking). And yet I am nervous... You can only have one account for College Board, so I had to call them to get my original registration number.  To access it, they needed my email address. Unfortunately, that address is no longer active (shoutout to … [Read more...]

A Month in the Life of a College Counselor

Fall is a crazy and hectic time of year in the world of both college admission and high school counselors.  I remember feeling like I put my life on hold each fall while I traveled for weeks at a time, leaving my routines, car, and husband behind.  This fall was a different, yet still quite hectic, time of year.  Now that the November 1 deadline is well behind me, I’m able to reflect on October and process what the heck went on during this incredibly long and often trying month.  Here’s a look at what my diary entries might have looked like from the past month: Tuesday, October 1: A bit exhausted today after last night’s 11th Grade College Counseling event where we spoke to our entire junior class and their parents.  I can’t wait to get to know them better so I can write amazing rec letters for them by this time next year! Mon. Oct. 7: What a great weekend!  So glad I was in town this year to celebrate my husband’s birthday for the first time since 2007. Thurs. Oct. 10: We had … [Read more...]