Twenty years ago, there was no internet. There was no Common App. There was no email.
When we wanted to know more about a college, we had to go visit. Or make phone calls. Or hope they would send us prospectuses in the mail. The summer before senior year would be akin to the month before Christmas: our mailboxes would overflow with glossy ads and catalogs. However, rather than enticing us to buy the latest Big Green Machine from Toys 'R Us, we'd be tempted by USC's men's water polo team or the Alabama's new chem lab.
Twenty years ago we were like townsfolk from 200 years ago. Never venturing outside our 20 mile comfort zone to see what else existed in our world.
The internet has changed all that. Want a university strong in biomechanical engineering and underwater basketweaving plus also has strong scaffolding for ADHD students? Just Google it. Want a small, private, Wiccan university with a great theater program? Google it.
However, here's the downside. With all of this information at our fingertips, we are now victims of the Tyranny of Choice: so many options that we can't sort the information and can't feel satisfied with our decisions.
This is where a competent counselor comes to good use. We are the filter that Google doesn't have. We can help students think through all that firehose quantity of data and just absorb the worthwhile sips. We can help students use the internet to not only answer the questions they knew to ask, but also answer those questions they didn't know they didn't know to ask.
How do I feel about the internet now with college and career counseling? I feel that I have a better handle how I can use it to help students. How I can help them step outside their 20-mile radius and explore--not all their options--but rather the ones that apply to them specifically. I have better set of filters at my fingertips--literally--that I can use to research quickly and directly.
Do I know more than I did before? No. Do I know how to access and use the material better? Yes.
That's what this class has afforded me.
A College Counselor who asks and answers the tough questions.