If you have already begun the college process, you probably know how much of a pain in the rear counselors can be. If not, you are lucky, and if I am the only one, you are all wrong. Any who, my experience with my counselor is, to say the least, special. 
(I don't really have advice for EA or ED since I failed miserably, but there are plenty of Youtube videos that I am sure you have already watched, good luck my friend.)
Ok, so I had the same counselor from my Freshman year to my Junior year. That's all fine, right? Wrong. The beginning of my Senior year we get a new counselor. I didn't think anything of it, but as college season came around, I realized she knew absolute nothing about me! Literally zero, I hadn't even gone in to talk with her because I was never on campus (I was almost always at my local college studying). Don't get me wrong I have nothing against her (I really hope she doesn't read this) because it's not entirely her fault I wasn't able to apply to any other school other than UC's, but...
FUN STORY (skip to USEFUL INFO if you don't want to read my horror story with my counselor)
Briefly, because I can write about this forever. Series of events:
1) I wanted to apply out-of-state to a 4 year (Carleton College, YIKES, see MY 2 CENTS)
2) I had never seen my counselor, so when I went in to have her submit transcripts the day they were due, she wasn't there, bigger yikes.
3) Luckily, the registrar, my BEST FACULTY FRIEND, could upload them for me.
4) UH OH, she had to submit a personal statement as the counselor, which she said she would do but never did, I do not blamer her.
5) She never submitted it so my application was never "received" (thank god).
6) As application season came around I needed the counselor to do many things, submit transcripts, the likes.
7) However, the registrar was still "the counselor" according to CommonApp, and all they had to do was talk to one another and designate themselves the proper roles after I CALLED the common app.
Yes, my Counselor was Meryl Streep.
8) Long story short, they never took a minute out of their day to do so, and all of my applications to 10+ schools were never "received."
So, I had originally planned to apply to many T20 schools and others but could not because of this issue, luckily the UC apps require ZILCH from my counselor and I those were the only apps accepted.
After writing this, I feel like I was in the wrong ~.~, what do you think?
Ok, regardless if you are a rising senior or even a rising freshman (I once saw a 7th grader ask about something in A2C, I hope you're doing well), you ARE NOT BEHIND. Some people recommend talking to them like 2 years in advance about colleges (???) no. At the beginning of the year, the first thing you want to do is talk to your counselor. Do not make the same mistake I made by not talking to them. Even if your besties, lay out your plan and what you should expect from them:
"Hi, I just wanted to talk about [COLLEGES] and if I can have you submit [letters of rec, sometimes, transcripts] anywhere before [WEEK BEFORE APPS DUE]" Short and cute.
Do NOT listen to any of the bull they say if they say something along the lines, "Maybe you should look at this [NOT THE COLLEGE YOU ARE APPLYING TO]," unless its a state school and you want an Out-of-state school then see MY 2 CENTS.
Now, bother them.
Email them MONTHLY, harass them (not really, but really, you feel?). It might seem like you don't want to bother them, but once you're done with HS you are DONE and you will never see them ever again, unless you're related, then... idk. By doing so, you are securing you will have said documents ON TIME. Best of luck!

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