TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Feb. 15, 2019, 10 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
STEM summer program

Whether you’re completely set on pursuing an engineering degree, wavering between biology and art history, or just curious what oceanography is all about, the summer is the perfect time to turn your STEM daydreams into a reality. But why should you skip the summer job or the chance to hang out with your friends for a STEM program? Consider these benefits: 1. Have an adventure Many summer STEM programs give students the opportunity to explore with the eyes of a scientist. So you won’t just be going somewhere new, you will be learning to see it in a new way. ...

Posted Feb. 14, 2019, 8 a.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
Teenagers studying under a tree outdoors.

Are you trying to decide whether you should spend next summer studying a textbook or rereading the Harry Potter saga? Spending time with the Hogwarts crew might sound like fun, but taking a college course for credit has some major upsides. “A college class can be a great option for students who desire a more rigorous academic challenge than what their high school offers,” says Nancy Polin, a college counselor who is the founder and president of Educational Excellence, which offers college planning and tutoring services. “It’s an opportunity for a student to get their first exposure to what a ...

Posted Feb. 12, 2019, 8 a.m. by Roberta Cannon | View Comments
Mother and teen son bow their heads to each other for a walk in the park

Throughout childhood, you’ve been your child’s advocate, making health-care decisions, picking up prescriptions, making sure medication is taken and that instructions from the pediatrician and specialists are followed. That all changes when your child turns 18. It’s a startling realization that, at 18, children are now adults in the health-care world, able to make their own health-care decisions and to keep that information private. It can be frustrating to parents, because health-insurance policies can cover young adult children until they are 26. Parents still get the bills but can’t call the physician’s office to ask any questions about charges related ...

Posted Feb. 7, 2019, 2:13 p.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
Teen Volunteers

You could spend your spring break playing Fortnite until your eyes glaze over, binging rom-coms on Netflix or sleeping like a bear in deepest hibernation mode. You could do that, or you could spend those free days volunteering. There’s no shortage of organizations and agencies that could use a helping hand and many of the tasks don’t require special experience. Where to find a community service opportunity? Hospitals, libraries, food banks, nature sanctuaries and animal shelters are among the places near you that need a steady supply of volunteers. Your parents, teachers and coaches might have some suggestions or connections ...

Posted Feb. 5, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
African-American Woman Using Mobile at Street

Social media makes it easier than ever to connect with colleges and admissions representatives because you don’t have to be on campus to make a connection. College admissions officers prefer students who are partial to their particular school and many consider whether a student is “demonstrating interest” during the admissions decision process. You can find out how much emphasis a college places on demonstrating interest by visiting CollegeData.com, typing in the college name, clicking on the admissions tab, and viewing the Selection of Students information. Bentley University, for instance, considers demonstrated interest as an “important” factor in college admission. But ...

Posted Jan. 29, 2019, 8 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Why A Gap Year is Important Before College

Do you yearn to be in the real world and discover life beyond a classroom? Consider a gap year before college. Whether you spend it volunteering, traveling, interning, or working, a gap year is the kind of experiential learning that gives young people the grit, resilience, and focus they’ll need to be successful once they get to college – and later in life. What is a gap year? Some people call a gap a year “off” because it’s usually spent outside a traditional classroom. But it’s really a year “on” for travel, community service, interning, research or field experience, language ...

Posted Jan. 29, 2019, 1:50 p.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Colleges for the “B” Student

Listening to the mainstream media, one might conclude that getting into college has never been a more competitive or harrowing venture. With the exception of a scattering of hyper-selective prestigious schools across the country, this notion could not be further from reality. In truth, today’s college marketplace greatly favors you, the buyer, more than ever before. For proof, let’s examine some basic stats. In 2012, 63% of high school graduates in the United States enrolled in 4-year undergraduate institutions; 75% from that pool report that they were accepted to their first choice college. You don’t have to be Fibonacci to ...

Posted Jan. 28, 2019, 3 p.m. by Emily Loring Good | View Comments
Gap Year Adventures

Choosing to take a gap year after high school may sounds a little rebellious, like you’re breaking from the formula you’ve spent years hearing about. The truth, though, is that college is not always best next step. Maybe you want a little adventure and a peak into the ‘real world’ before continuing your formal education? More and more students are choosing to take a year between high school and college to take a break, do a little exploring, or work and save up for college expenses. There are hundreds of great programs that can cater to your personal journey. From ...

Posted Jan. 25, 2019, 9 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
How to Promote Positive Teenage Behavior and Independence

The trials and tribulations of being a parent of a teen are regularly covered in the media. The message is the generally the same -- it's hard and getting harder. Whether it's college application time, dealing with accidents, drug addiction, or news of a suicide without warning signs -- it can all seem incredibly sad and difficult. In her book All Joy and No Fun, Jennifer Senior argues that changes in the last 50 years have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers. Children today are sheltered for long stretches of time and require much more schooling to ...

Posted Jan. 25, 2019, 8 a.m. by Katrielle Soussana | View Comments
Sleepy young woman yawning.

Writing this, I feel the pull of drowsiness at the corners of my mind. I slept only 5 1/2 hours last night – no wonder I feel so tired. My relationship with sleep has evolved and hit many obstacles over my 3½ years of high school. In addition to eating well and regularly exercising, getting enough sleep at night is paramount to maintaining your overall health. Teenagers need eight to 10 hours of sleep a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Seems reasonable, right? Maybe it is, for a teenager living under the right circumstances. However, leading up to ...

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