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A Scholastic Guide

Maclay’s New Upper School College Counselor Lauren Furman Leads Students to Success

Photo by Blair Bayliss/Maclay Andalusian

An experience where every teenager transitions into more complex classes each year in order to get into a college they have hoped for. They must figure out their future career path at a young age and struggle to find who they are as a person to make their life decision. Fortunately, Maclay school provides a guidance counselor to support students during this time. New college advisor Lauren Furman continues her career at Maclay school. When her husband found a job in FSU, the couple moved from Pennsylvania to Tallahassee, Florida in 2018, she had a new opportunity to find more job opportunities. Luckily, she found Maclay high school, perfecting its college advisory field. Furman turns her skills into service, guiding Maclay students to a bright future.

“When I had the opportunity to apply for the position here at Maclay [I knew] my whole job was going to be helping students through that process,” Furman said. “[And] it was just an opportunity I couldn't turn down.”

Her dedication to provide guidance for students is what drew her to Maclay. She is passionate to continue her career to help students reach their goals.​​ However, Furman's path to becoming an advisor was not always her first choice. Many professions confused her, as she was interested in every major. 

“I don't know if I ever knew that I wanted to pursue this career. I was a psychology major in college and really thought I would go into private practice [such as] psychologist, or therapist,” Furman said. “Somewhere around my junior year I panicked a little bit and didn't want to go to grad school so I did admissions until I could figure out what it was I wanted to do. All of a sudden 10 years went by. So, it's a career I kind of fell into, but something keeps me in it.” 

Seeing her peers excel in their careers and meet their goals is what inspired Furman to stay in the field she is pursuing. She knows the significant importance of an upper level education degree, and strives to implement that onto her students. 

“I just really believed in what a college education can do for somebody,” Furman said. “How it can change their life and open them up to new experiences and new ideas.”

Not only does Furman love being a college advisor, but she shines in seeing her students succeed. She is by each student’s side to guide them through their high school experience. As an advisor, Furman has gone through many ups and downs during her career, but always manages to find the light within her job, and loves what she does. 

“Watching it click for students, watching them figure out what matters to them, and then helping them feel like they have some agency in this process [is so rewarding],” Furman said. “So much is left up to the colleges, but to help students get to tell their stories and watch them get excited about that so far has been my favorite part.” 

Mrs. Furman's day-to-day lifestyle not only affects her school-life, but her time out of school as well.

“You learn to complete tasks in short bursts and just be open to whoever's gonna walk in your door,” Furman said.

From her past experiences, Furman has realized that many teenagers come into her office for college-related questions yet struggle to understand their own interests. She provides insight of what she has observed in other students, and shares tips about how to find things that interests when preparing for college. 

“I wish that students did more self-reflection before they got to the college process,” Furman said. 

“Thinking about what they've liked about their high school experience, their learning style, [and] what's important to them. I’m always happy to do that with students in the process.” 

She believes that all students should take some time to self-reflect and learn about their own interests.​ This is  beneficial for deciding future jobs. 

“But coming with some idea of who you're becoming, not necessarily who you are, you're in high school, you're still [going to] grow a lot,” Furman said. 

Maclay is more than happy to have Furman in the college advisory unit as she helps every student meet their wants and goals during their high school experience. She provides support and comfort while young individuals learn their path to the future. Furman will continue to navigate students through their academic journey and watch them flourish in their own environments.

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Andy Poll

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