Guidance Counselor Advice to Graduating Seniors

May 31, 2024
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By: Brittany Steward

We asked guidance counselors serving at our member schools what their best advice would be for graduating seniors. Here's what they shared. 

Kevin Wilson, Christian Academy School System, IN:


“To help prevent the post-high school spiritual drift that impacts a lot of students, I encourage students to get involved in a church and an on-campus ministry if they are going away to college. If staying at home, I challenge them to get connected to a college-age group in their local church or community. This is of course in addition to deepening their own personal time with the Lord.”

Lauren Cocke, Briarcrest Christian School, TN: 

“The biggest piece of advice that I would give a HS senior who is making the college transition would be to be a vessel. In Scripture, Christ refers to us as vessels, perfectly molded for His intentional purpose and glory. You’ll never have it ‘all figured out,’ nor will you be able to perfectly avoid mistakes and failures. Your vessel will gain cracks and chips along the way, but I’ve found so much beauty in allowing God to use those imperfections to grow my faith and the faith of others. College is a time to grow and learn more about how life works (again, we’ll never have it all figured out), but it’s so much sweeter when you surrender your life to being a vessel that is continuously molded and formed perfectly in His image."

Heidi Vals, Valley Christian High School, CA :

heidi vals headhsot

“Navigating the transition to college is something I wish counseling departments had more time to support. I strongly encourage my seniors to engage in honest, and sometimes hard, conversations with their parents during the summer months. Topics such as expectations about returning home, involvement in activities, weekend exploring plans, and financial matters should be discussed in detail before a student heads to college. Often, conflicts arise when parent and student expectations are not aligned due to a lack of communication. By initiating these conversations early on, they can not only ensure a smoother transition to college, but also students better prepare for the hard discussions they will inevitably face with roommates, friends, faculty members, and others while away at school. Being proactive and practicing fosters confidence and sets the stage for a smoother transition and successful college experience.”

Jill Blount, Christian Academy of Louisville, KY:

Jill Blount

“When meeting with seniors who are about to graduate from Christian Academy of Louisville, I stress the importance of finding a Christian community. For those going to college, I tell them to look for a strong campus ministry and a local church. For those staying local and going to work or trade school, I encourage them to find a small group at their church.  It is so important to find a Christian community at this stage of life.  To encourage this among our seniors, we host a Campus Ministry Day in the spring. We invite Campus Ministry Representatives to come to speak to them to create excitement about all they have to offer.”

April Jauregui, Briarcrest Christian School, TN :


“Transitioning from high school to college is a significant step, and it's important to approach it with proactive engagement in various aspects of college life. One of the most valuable pieces of advice I've heard from college students is to talk to current college students. They can offer insights into campus culture, academic workload, extracurricular opportunities, and even how to navigate challenges like staying true to one's faith and moral compass in a new environment. Building a friend group with common goals and interests can be a game-changer. These connections can provide invaluable support and motivation throughout your college journey, helping you stay focused and inspired. Getting involved with a local church or on-campus ministry can offer a support network outside of academics. It can be a source of guidance, community, and spiritual nourishment, contributing positively to your overall well-being during your college years. Establishing a good relationship with your academic advisor early on is crucial. They can offer guidance on course selection, major requirements, and career paths, helping you make informed decisions about your academic journey. Finally, being proactive in seeking internship and volunteer opportunities related to your field of study is essential. These experiences not only enhance your resume but also provide hands-on learning and networking opportunities that can be invaluable for your future career.”