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  • Swati Chopra

Getting a jump start on course scheduling

The best part of spring semester is that it's a new beginning. If your student had a rocky ending to the fall semester, remind them that it's in the past and each semester offers a new curriculum, new grades, and new chances.

Each year, I have students who come in for hourly counseling and others who choose to work with me through the whole year. Not many counselors offer hourly sessions; I do so because I understand that sometimes, families just need an hour here and there and I want to meet families where they need help. If asked, I prefer comprehensive counseling packages since it helps me to get to know my students on a deeper level. Meeting freshmen and sophomores twice in the fall semester helps me guide them through extracurricular activities and make sure they're adjusting well to classes. Regular conversations with them encourage discussions about their likes and dislikes and their progress in school. Things we cover vary from student to student, time management and study habits are just a couple of things that come to mind. Even between meetings, we keep in touch and I'll keep them abreast of any new developments or any changes to anything that has to do with college admissions. Year-long packages also allow me to cover various topics depending on grade level needs. Picture a spreadsheet where I keep a running list of things we need to work on and we check off topics as the year goes by.

If you choose hourly sessions, you're in the driver's seat. It's beneficial to plan to meet once every semester or a couple of times in the spring and that also gives me a chance to keep in touch with your student. If we haven't had a chance to meet yet, please sign up for a free consultation. It'll help you better understand what I offer and how I can help you.

Next up in the counseling world is planning your student's classes for next year. Appointments start February 8th and run through the first week of March. Scheduling appointments benefit all students between 8th and 11th grade. Figuring out which classes to take can be daunting, especially if your student doesn't necessarily have a favorite subject or major. Understanding your choices regarding mathematics and electives now is fundamental in creating your four year plan..

Class of 2024: While most of us know that junior year classes are the hardest, many students will say sophomore year was the most brutal. That's mostly because many students jump into AP classes that aren't a good fit. Eager to get a grade bump, they dive headfirst into too many AP and Honors classes without having a three year plan. If you have questions about AP Euro History/AP World History vs regular classes, let's talk.

Class of 2023: You've survived sophomore year online and I promise next year will be easier as you get back into the classroom. Some of you survived some really hard classes and while you still have a semester to get through, I know you're up for the challenge. This is a good time to come in and talk about your SAT timeline. SAT subject tests have been canceled permanently but many universities including the University of California system haven't made a decision about SAT scores and whether they're going test optional for your class. Let's talk about your next steps in regards to standardized testing.

Class of 2022: Junior year is when I highly recommend signing up for a comprehensive package. I'm still taking juniors through mid-February so if you're interested, please reach out to me by February 15th. Since nothing is time sensitive, we can condense the entire year into 5 months and comfortably cover everything before summer rolls around. My juniors benefit from aptitude testing, major/career counseling, and college list building while also getting advice regarding extracurricular activities and academics. It's a great way to ease into senior year and students benefit from the work we put in before college application season starts.

Class of 2021: I'm so proud of these students! They've worked hard on their college applications and many of them are already seeing amazing results. Students have already received acceptance letters from San Diego State University, University of Oregon, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Arizona State University, and Purdue University. University of California sends out decisions starting mid March, so keep an eye on that inbox.


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