TeenLife Blog Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted May 29, 2015, 8 a.m. by Elly Swartz | View Comments
Get it Done Over the Summer: 9 Tips to Tackling the College Essay

The college essay looms dark and foreboding like the legend of the Loch Ness Monster. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a path to tackling the monster and the essay. And, it begins in the heat of the summer. I promise you that this is possible even if you’re working as a barista, attending sports camp, or volunteering at a school in Peru. All you need is some planning and guidance and you’ll be on your way to walking into your senior year with the first draft of your college essay complete. So, here are some ...

Posted May 28, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Colleges Still Accepting Applicants

I have never liked deadlines. My own personal motto has always been: I work best under pressure. But when it comes to the college admissions process, deadlines are everything. Miss a deadline, miss a test. Miss a deadline, you aren’t part of the early admissions pool. Miss a deadline, your financial aid is compromised. The good news, however, is all is not lost. There are hundreds of colleges who are open to late applicants. There are also colleges who have a rolling admissions policy—apply anytime for admission. According to U.S. News Education, there are more than 220 colleges who are ...

Posted May 27, 2015, 8 a.m. by Tracy Morgan | View Comments
6 Ways to Boost Your Teen’s Creativity

If you cast your mind back to when your kids were little, the need to encourage creative play or inventive thoughts was rarely necessary – to small children, thinking outside the box is as natural as breathing and brings with it imaginative and artistic activities. As teenage years approach, children often become self-conscious and wary about stepping outside of their comfort zone. However, all is not lost - it’s never too late to re-inspire them! 1. Lead By Example The best way to encourage your teen’s creativity is to lead by example. Perhaps you once had a passion for writing, ...

Posted May 26, 2015, 8 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Out of the Darkness – Walk to Prevent Suicide

Madison Holleran had always been a happy kid. In high school, she was a varsity athlete (track and soccer) and an A student. Madison was looking forward to attending a top tier college and running for their track team. Her father Jim Holleran recalls, “After her first week at school she tweeted about college, ‘This is the greatest place on earth.’” But the transition from high school to college was difficult for Madison. She missed home and her family. The academic and athletic demands were intense. Madison was used to being a high achiever in the classroom and on the ...

Posted May 25, 2015, 8 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Does My Teen Need to Take SAT Subject Tests?

My daughter spent several months preparing to take her SATs. After two tries, she was happy with her scores and relieved to be done with the standardized testing portion of her college application. That is, until her guidance counselor recommended she take several SAT Subject Tests. What are the SAT Subject Tests and does your teen need to take them? SAT Subject Test Overview SAT Subject Tests (formerly known as SAT IIs) are hour-long subject tests that give students an opportunity show off their strengths in specific subject areas. There are 20 different SAT Subject tests offered in 5 categories: ...

Posted May 23, 2015, 8 a.m. by Tracy Morgan | View Comments
Happiness: What Does it Really Mean to Be Happy?

Happiness is often a word that is hard to define; it means something different to every individual person, as we all have distinctive and unique requirements. However, according to the latest World Happiness Report recently published by the United Nations in partnership with Columbia University, there are many common denominators that determine whether someone is happy or not. Gathering Data The nature of happiness, and the fact that it is an emotion not particularly easy to measure, might have some people wondering about the validity of trying to calculate how happy a country, and its inhabitants are. However, the people ...

Posted May 22, 2015, 8 a.m. by Pallas Ziporyn | View Comments
5 Clever Ways to Eliminate Student Loans

You sign a piece of paper and suddenly you owe thousands of dollars. It’s a small price to pay, right? You’ll get a college degree and your future will be secure. Sorry. The average student takes out $30,000 in loans. Many students take out more, some well into the six-figure mark. And it takes most of them more than two decades to pay this money back. Want to travel for a couple of years after graduation? Too bad. You owe hundreds of dollars every month. You need a regular paycheck. Always wanted to work in the arts or for a ...

Posted May 21, 2015, 8 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
May is Mental Health Awareness Month

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 1 in 5 children aged 13-18 currently have, or have once had, a mental health disorder. Despite the incidence and widespread research of mental health conditions, stigma and misconceptions still surround those struggling with mental health issues. May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month across the nation to help combat stigma and educate others on mental health. One way to show your support is to make a StigmaFree Pledge through the National Alliance on Mental Illness. From eating disorders and depression to how to help teens cope with stress ...

Posted May 20, 2015, 8:19 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Later Start Times for Middle and High School Students

Every weekday morning at 6:35 am, I go into my 17-year-old daughter’s room to make sure she has heard her alarm clock. I usually find her with the covers drawn over her head. I shake her lightly and she groggily says, “I’m up,” followed by, “I’m so tired.” I wish I could let her sleep later, but her bus arrives at 7:05 am for classes that begin at 7:40. Our situation is fairly common. Most parents of teenagers will agree that getting them up in time for school is a challenge. The reason is straightforward: teens go to bed too ...

Posted May 19, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Working at McDonald's or Starbucks—More Than a Fast Food Job

Your friends are making plans for summer. You have chosen to work at a fast food job to save money for college. That’s a responsible decision on your part, but did you know working at McDonald's or Starbucks can score you college tuition? Starbucks In a recent announcement, Starbucks says its workers are now eligible for four years of tuition for an online degree from Arizona State University. Previously, only two years of tuition were covered by the company. Starbucks’ latest decision is part of the latest effort by companies who are rethinking their treatment of low-wage workers. The Seattle-based ...

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