Teen Life: By Students For Students

Ask a Counselor

It is one thing for students to send newcomers advice about relationships within the Concordia community, but it is another to receive guidance from a professional counselor who has experienced numerous encounters of students facing social issues in school. A high school counselor in Concordia talks about her perspective on relationships that she has heard from teenagers and the Ambassador program for new students.

One of the three high school counselors at Concordia, Ms. Lewis discusses her perspective on relationships at Concordia:

  1. From your experience at Concordia, what are the main relationship issues that you see in students' lives?

"I think sometimes what I have heard is students sometimes feeling pressure to share academic information... because students talk so openly about academic performance, they don’t realize that they’re pressuring students. And not everyone wants to have a conversation, that’s one thing that I have heard. For students who are transitioning in, sometimes because Concordia has a low transition rate in terms of a people transitioning out, a lot of friendship groups have already been set, and students try to figure out how to make their way into a group; it can sometimes be a challenge.”

  1. How do students solve the issues?

“I can honestly say that what students tend to do is a lot of trying to solve with peers. Like they sometimes will ask their friends for advice, or try to figure things out within themselves, and they will ask for help by coming to the counselor if they need extra help. They also go to their teachers when they’re trying to resolve issues and different things, so I feel like they have a healthy way of doing it."

  1. In your opinion, how do Concordia students receive new-comers?

“Very welcoming. The problem is [that] they’re very welcoming and talkative in class. But then, because they can sometimes be set in their friendship groups, [they] forget to include the [new] person on the weekends and after school. So coming back to school like on a Monday morning they will be talking about things they did with their friends on the weekend, and the person that is new may be like, ‘I didn’t get an invite’ and feel somewhat excluded.”

  1. What role does Ambassadors play in helping new students?

“Ambassadors are very important roles because they’re [the new students’] first interaction with Concordia. They’re contacting students during the summer to introduce themselves...and help them with any questions they may have, and

spend a little time with them. And then they’re contacting them during certain parts of the year - just to make sure they’re getting connected. A lot of people mistakenly believe the Ambassador is supposed to be a lifelong friend - that’s not the way that works. The role of the Ambassador is to be a contact for the student... to help them get connected to the community, to make sure that they have what they need in feeling like they’re helping transition.”