Pictured (seated, l-r) Gunston seniors Kelby Booth (Denton), McKinsey Brown (Centreville), Damian René (Easton), Andrew Rich (Annapolis), Isabelle Wagner (Chestertown), and Autumn Watson (Centreville). Pictured (standing, l-r) Jaxon Booth ’25, Noah Cook, Steven Booth, Madison, Jennifer and Michael Brown, Jean and Katherine René, Peter and Julie Rich, Nicole Wagner, Jim, Heather, and Aidan Watson ’25 and Carrie York.
The transition from high school to college offers students the opportunity to both literally and figuratively expand their horizons and begin to see themselves as part of the greater world. The college admission process is a developmental one, in which students first learn about themselves by articulating their likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, needs and wants, and then seek out an institution of higher learning that will best facilitate their continued development and growth.
Throughout this process students will find their own voice and learn to use that voice to clearly articulate what it is they are looking to get out of their college experience. In many ways the college counseling process at Gunston is merely an outgrowth of our overall educational philosophy. In the classroom students are first given the tools required to thrive in the classroom. Once they have mastered the basics, they are encouraged to question the information that they encounter and use the skills they have developed to formulate their own original ideas. It is when students begin to move outside of their own personal comfort zones and take risks in the classroom that true learning occurs. By applying this same philosophy to the college admission process students will reap the benefits of their intellectual curiosity and find the college that best matches their cognitive, personal, social, and emotional needs.
This match between student and college is the most important concern of the College Guidance Office. The ultimate goal is to find the colleges that will provide students the best possible education and allow them to continue their development into successful, responsible, productive, and satisfied adults. Throughout this process, regular and honest communication is key. Everyone—students, parents, teachers and the College Counseling Office—must remain involved and in sync with each other. While the student is certainly the driving force behind the college admission process and must take ultimate responsibility for both successes and failures, the other players involved need to do whatever they can to help make the search as smooth and successful as possible.
When my daughter first graduated from Gunston, she walked onto a college campus and was able to organize herself without any stress and enjoy that first semester [and] she was comfortable advocating for herself, because Gunston had taught her how to be responsible for her work, as they have with all my kids, and to reach out to them and work with them if they need help.
-Derrika Baughman, P’16’22’24’26’26