Chairlift Chats with Charlie

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Chairlift Chats with Charlie

Charlie Laube discussing college with Rachel Devlin on the slopes.

Charlie Laube discussing college with Rachel Devlin on the slopes.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Laube

Charlie Laube discussing college with Rachel Devlin on the slopes.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Laube

Photo courtesy of Charlie Laube

Charlie Laube discussing college with Rachel Devlin on the slopes.

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AHS College Counseling department offers Chairlift Chats with Charlie, an innovative way to step outside of the walls of the office and into a more familiar environment.

Chairlift chats with Charlie was an initiative implemented by AHS counselor, Charlie Laube, during the 2018/19 school year. Students meet with Laube on Saturday mornings to head up the Five Trees ski lift and discuss the college process.

The idea was derived from Laube’s experience working as a Ski Instructor at Lake Placid, located in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. A part of his training was learning how to destress people new to skiing by talking with them on the chairlift. Laube brought this into the counseling department as a way to combat stress for students embarking on the college journey.

“I saw the chairlift discussions rid people of their fear and anxiety of the task ahead,” Laube said. “The power of being outside and having something that can distract us from our anxieties gives less power to the fear of the college process.”

AHS Senior, Maxine Mellin, was the first student to partake in a Chairlift chat. Laube had proposed the idea to her after learning she was a skier and thought it would enhance her overall meeting experience.

“Having this unfamiliar topic [of college application] in such a familiar setting for me, because I am a skier, really helped relieve that college stress and the pressure of sitting down in a meeting. It’s such an incredible opportunity we have, living close to the mountains, and I am so happy that Charlie was able to take advantage of it,” Mellin said.

Part of Laube’s philosophy as a counselor is that students should live a balanced life, where college is not the sole focus of life, but a fraction of it.

“Choosing a college is a huge life decision, but it does have a disproportionate amount of power over our students as they are going through it. If we can frame it in a way that it’s not dominating one’s life, but rather it’s a part of a bigger picture, then I’m hoping it will help reduce stress,” Laube said.

Not only do Chairlift chats with Charlie alleviate stress and anxiety about college, but it also aids students in building a better relationship with their counselor.

Rachel Delvin, a senior at AHS, believes that the Chairlift chats with Charlie helped her develop a strong bond with Laube and made her feel that she had someone to rely upon for the college application process.

“Having such a supportive counselor made everything much more comfortable for me. I think this opportunity improved my relationship with Charlie. I know that I have a person to be there for me, and it’s just so amazing and fantastic,” Delvin said.

In today’s society where stress and mental health issues afflict a vast majority of the student body, Chairlift chats with Charlie provides students with the option to learn about college in a less demanding environment, thus lowering stress levels.

“We have the opportunity to shift the culture a little bit. We need to make sure we’re meeting the students where they are, and with mental health and stressors being what they are, we have to try thinking differently about this,” Laube said.

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