TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Dec. 12, 2017, 8 a.m. by Barbra Weidlein | View Comments
5 Reasons To Be Brave Enough To Major in Music in College

Are you apprehensive about majoring in music? Are your parents worried about a performing arts degree or trying to convince you to go in another direction? Here are the top five concerns music students have shared with me over and over again as they approach their college applications. If any of these ring true for you, addressing them directly will help you get to a place of making better choices and decisions that will serve you well in college and beyond. Some of these questions are applicable to any performing or visual arts student who is trying to decide on ...

Posted Dec. 11, 2017, 1 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Eastman Immersion Year at University of Rochester: Amber Johnson

Amber Johnson spent her gap year in the Eastman Immersion program at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester. Why did you decide to study vocal music in the Eastman Immersion gap year program for musicians? I knew I wanted a music career, but I wasn’t ready to commit to four years. So I decided to take a year and better prepare for music applications while being in the loop of performing. This program doesn’t feel like a gap year, but a learning experience. At first, I thought one year just couldn’t be enough, but now I ...

Posted Dec. 11, 2017, noon by TeenLife | View Comments
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Gap Year: Samantha Whitlock

I took the Environmental Sculpture class at School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and it was one of the most enlightening art classes I've ever taken. Not only is the SAIC campus an alluring space, but it has some of the best teachers I've ever had. The faculty doesn't just teach you how to create art; they teach you to think like an artist. In this particular course, they also taught us how to collect materials and how to seek inspiration from our surroundings. Of course, you are welcome to use all the amazing visual arts resources they have, ...

Posted Dec. 11, 2017, noon by TeenLife | View Comments
American University Gap Program: Nicole Iannella

Nicole Iannella spent her gap year with the American University Gap Year Program in Washington, D.C. Why did you choose to participate in a gap year program? I chose the American University Gap Program in Washington, D.C., because I still wanted to learn and get some sort of college experience during my year off. I had always been interested in politics, so that’s what initially drew me to this program. I was intrigued by the unique gap-year internship, considering that not many 18- year-olds have the opportunity to intern three days a week in the middle of such a major ...

Posted Dec. 7, 2017, 4:20 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Chaya Ellenbogen Inward Bound Mindfulness Education

Chaya Ellenbogen spent part of the summer with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education. Why did you choose to participate in a high school summer program? I think my Mom had suggested it as something I might be interested in and might find helpful. How did you decide which program or camp was right for you? I was looking for some new tools and experiences to help me in my life. The first retreat I went on, I was ready to run for the hills! But I started to get interested in that feeling, and it was the first time I had ...

Posted Dec. 6, 2017, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
5 Mistakes That Could Cost You That College Scholarship

Applying for scholarships requires a commitment of time and a dedication to persevere. It is a job in the truest sense of the word. You will most likely spend hours upon hours applying for scholarships hoping the time will be rewarded with money to pay for college. Spending two hours on an application and winning a $1,000 scholarship is a huge payoff ($500 per hour!). But the payoff won’t come unless you take the time to apply for scholarships or if you make these five scholarship application mistakes. 1. Not following directions. Scholarship judges look for students who know how ...

Posted Dec. 5, 2017, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
This List of 10 Priorities Eases College Admissions Stress

It’s easy to become overwhelmed with college applications during high school. With test prep, college visits, college applications and financial aid, students and parents often wonder how to prioritize tasks and which should be at the top of the list. Here’s a list of college application priorities from one to 10, starting with the most important: 1. Get organized and stay focused. Stay on top of paperwork, information and important deadlines. Create a college landing zone for all college-related information and start a filing system for the important paperwork. Use a large wall calendar or calendar app to stay on ...

Posted Dec. 1, 2017, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
What To Do When College Early Decision Is A Rejection

Early Decision and Early Admission offers from colleges to high school students start rolling in during the first part of December. For many households, this is a stressful time. These college choices are at the top of the student’s college list. They are usually their dream colleges and not receiving an offer of admission can put a damper on holiday celebrations. Every parent wants their child to attend the college of their dreams; but what happens when the college they want to attend doesn’t want them? How do you help your high school student handle those feelings of disappointment after ...

Posted Nov. 30, 2017, 8 a.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
Is Medicine Your Calling? Find Out in These Summer Programs

If you’re a high school student, becoming a doctor is about a dozen years away. That’s a long journey requiring a big commitment of time and money. How can you be sure that medicine is right for you? Your best bet is to spend a summer getting a close-up look at medicine, either as a volunteer or as a student in a medical program for high school students that provides an in-depth look at the world of medicine. Either way, you won’t be performing surgery, but you will get a much better sense of what a career in health care ...

Posted Nov. 27, 2017, 8 a.m. by Susan Moeller | View Comments
How to Take a Gap Year and Help Save the Environment

If you’re a high school student thinking about a gap year before college, you may want to spend some of that time saving the environment. Or, at least some small corner of it. A gap year is time in between high school and college that’s for seeing the world outside of academics. That could be the world thousands of miles from your home, or around the block. The important thing is to use the time – usually a year or semester – to discover, explore and focus. A gap year program can include working, travel, interning – almost any activity ...

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