My high school guidance counselor was also a complete moron. High school was the first time I went to a public school, so it was a big change. I could have used some good advice. Instead, she told me to take classes that were really below my level, so that once I knew what was up I had to take extra classes to play catch-up. Also, you'd think that your guidance councilor would act partially as your advocate with the school, but instead she always fought me on everything tooth and nail. She resisted every time I wanted to take harder levels of classes. My school had the policy that if you missed more than x days of a class in a semester you would lose credit for that class, no matter how well you did. I had really, really severe allergies to the point where I stayed home from school sometimes, and I was just often sick otherwise. So I exceeded the x days, and I lost credit for two classes (in which I got an A and a B). Rather than taking up my side, or at least being understanding, she backed the school 100% saying, "They don't owe you anything."

Now, here's the kicker:

At the beginning of my junior year we took the PSAT/NMSQT (the second part is for "National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test" which will be important). When we got them back, I had gotten a pretty high score. In fact, I had qualified to be a national merit semifinalist...only, apparently my guidance counselor and the others who were running the thing gave us the wrong test. There was a Tuesday test and a Saturday test, and they gave us the Tuesday test on Saturday, so the results were invalidated by the National Merit Scholarship people. They said we could count our first try at the SAT as our National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, but I didn't do nearly as well on that. (I found it takes me a few tries to get into my "groove" on a standardized test, so I did eventually do more than well enough on the SAT but not the first time.) Now, it's unlikely that I would have gotten a National Merit Scholarship, but some schools will admit you and even give you scholarships automatically on the basis of being a semi-finalist. Since I didn't have much money or good grades, I sorely need this, but I was denied due to my guidance counselor's incredible incompetence.

On a final note I'll say this: I don't believe all guidance counselors are bad. There must be some good ones out there, but it would be a hard, frustrating, and often unrewarding job. I'd just say that if you're in high school, don't implicitly trust your guidance councilor. Get a second opinion. Learn whether he know what he's talking about or he's an incompetent bitch. Finally, there are good guidance counselors types out there. The advisor I had in college as an undergraduate (a staff member, not a faculty member) was phenomenal: She was very nice and genuinely cared, everyone loved her, and she could get almost anything done in about five minutes. She was a goddess! But sadly, she eventually left.