Interview with Ms. Hirschy

Lydia Zhou, Staff Writer

I recently interviewed La Jolla Country Day’s guidance counselor, Ms. Hirschy. I was eager and curious to meet her, as I started at LJCDS freshman year and have never met her before. I wanted to gain a more in-depth knowledge about what specifically her job is, how to access her, and her background. 

This year marks Ms. Hirschy’s eleventh year as a high school guidance counselor, working with students from New York, Colorado and, now, San Diego. She had always been interested in a psychology-related career, but it was through an internship at the Academic Advising Center of the university she attended that she discovered counseling. Spending a year and a half helping her fellow college classmates with their mental health, she knew this path was her calling. She came to La Jolla Country Day for the chance to work with students purely for social and emotional health, as opposed to other counselors who work with students for academic reasons too. The great and unique perk about having someone like Ms. Hirschy who specializes in a student’s well-being, rather than one person who simultaneously changes their school schedules and acts as a college counselor. Also because we attend a small school, Ms. Hirschy mentioned how there are so many opportunities and connections for every student. In a bigger school, these opportunities get lost because of the size of the student body. She encourages us to take advantage of whatever opportunities we come across. 

On an average day, Ms. Hirschy usually sees eight to ten students, although, the number does vary depending on the time of the year or season. She facilitates both quick check-ins and longer meetings. When there are times one student really needs her, she might spend half a day or one full day with them. She expressed that this variation and unpredictability is what she truly enjoys about her job: that “you never know what to expect on any given day, and you never know what you’re going to walk into.” Ms. Hirschy shared that common stressors for many high schoolers include lack of sleep, academics, pressure, family life, relationships, and friendships. She welcomes anyone who is struggling with these issues or any others. 

To access her if they are interested, students should come to her office behind the amphitheater. Another way to schedule a meeting is to shoot her an email or scan her QR codes that are located around her office. Once you scan it, you will be directed to her calendar, and it shows you what times are available to book a meeting. I had never been to her office before, and I always thought there was some kind of requirement to go in and see her, but Ms. Hirschy clarified this popular misconception: you don’t have to wait to meet with her until the issue is dire. Most students don’t want to talk to a counselor because they believe their issue isn’t that bad, but she could have and provided guidance before the situation gets even worse. No problem is too small, so do not be afraid to talk to a counselor: you will never get in trouble with the office. Ms. Hirschy’s office is a safe space where you can be yourself, open, and honest. 

She mentions how it can be “an odd experience talking for hours about yourself.” But, it takes time to get used to it. Never keep your feelings bottled up—it is a recipe for lots of stress and chaos. Keep in mind that everything you say in her office stays for the most part in her office unless there is a problem of safety. If she is concerned that you might hurt yourself or others then the situation is no longer private, but she would always let you know if she shares anything outside of the room and has your best interest at heart. Thank you, Ms. Hirschy, for taking the time out of your day to talk to me! I encourage all students if feeling stressed or overwhelmed to reach out and make an appointment with her.