TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted April 25, 2019, 11:30 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Listening parent

Labels for different parenting styles have come and gone for just about as long as there have been parents. Since the college admissions scandal made headlines last month, there has been a lot of talk about the perils of “snowplow parenting” -- clearing a path for children by shoving obstacles to the side. Like the tiger mothers and helicopter parents who came before, snowplowers are highly involved parents who take a proactive and often authoritative role in their children’s lives. Any parent can understand the desire to do everything in their power to make their kids’ lives better. And, with ...

Posted April 23, 2019, 2:20 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

Teenage community service is more than something that your mom insists will look good on your high school resume. It can point you to new interests, new friends, and if you’re really lucky, maybe even a lifelong career. And yeah, okay, it’ll also look good on your resume. But where to start? “Volunteering” is a big word. How can you be sure you’re finding opportunities that are right for you? There are always easy entry points, like the service clubs at your high school or religious organization, but beyond that, the options can get overwhelming. TeenLife is here to help! ...

Posted April 19, 2019, 3:42 p.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Essay Writing

You’ve studied the math, grappled with grammar, and worked on your reading comprehension. But then there’s the essay, looming over all your test prep, so uncertain and subjective. So what do you need to know about the essay? And how much does it even matter? We’re here to help. What you should know about the SAT essay 50 minutes to complete Your mission: Read a nonfiction, persuasive passage and write an essay analyzing the strategies and techniques the author uses to build an argument. Think structural elements, reasoning, data, and emotional word choice. How you’re scored: You will receive three ...

Posted April 16, 2019, 2 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Gap Year Program Guide

After spending 12 years working toward high school graduation, perhaps the thought of heading back into the classroom for another four years has you feeling a bit restless. Maybe you’d like a break from books, teachers, and homework assignments, a chance to explore the world outside the classroom. A gap year -- a year between high school and college dedicated to work, travel, or service -- might be what you’re looking for. And to help you explore the possibilities a gap year can offer, we are proud to announce TeenLife’s 2019 Guide to Gap Year Programs, newly updated with even ...

Posted April 12, 2019, 1 p.m. by Emily Loring Good | View Comments
Computer coding

When I decided to be an English major in college, a lot of people told me I was crazy. They’d ask, “What do you want to do with your life?” I didn’t know; I just liked books and writing. As time went on, I realized that course after course full of non-stop essays was giving me a skill students outside of my major lacked: written communication. More specifically, academic papers taught me how to change up syntax, engage with new ideas, and mae thoughtful arguments instead of summaries. What does this have to do with coding? Not to be cheesy, ...

Posted April 9, 2019, 8 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Taking the ACT

The ACT has a science section. It’s a simple fact that many high school students find puzzling and even daunting. While the SAT sticks to math, reading, and writing, the ACT adds an additional challenge -- and an additional dose of anxiety. The good news: You don’t really need to memorize the periodic table or be able to regurgitate the steps of meiosis. The science section is actually designed to test students’ knowledge of the skills that go into doing science, not the detailed facts of physics or anatomy. As the ACT people themselves put it, “The ACT science test ...

Posted April 5, 2019, 8 a.m. by Karin Klein | View Comments
Data Choosing College

It’s a bewildering place, the world of college admissions. Students don’t know where to apply, or they pin their hopes on one or two “reach” schools that stand a good chance of letting them down. Whether it’s a yearning for a big-name university or a search for the school that will be “the right fit,” the decisions of which colleges to apply to and attend feel like the lynchpin that will determine whether these students are headed toward a happy future or a miserable life. This phase of life would be far simpler and more relaxed if applicants and their ...

Posted April 2, 2019, 8 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
residential treatment centers

Just about every high school student goes through some hard times, grappling with insecurity, anxiety, and relationship issues. For some teens, however, there is nothing standard about their adolescent challenges. When your student is more than moody -- when they are self-harming, sunk in depression, or abusing drugs, for example -- it is time to seek outside help. There are a range of options available, from outpatient therapy to in-patient treatments. For the most serious cases, a residential treatment center might be the most appropriate option. What is a residential treatment center? A residential treatment center, or RTC, is an ...

Posted March 29, 2019, 8 a.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
Marijuana-Talk

Pot smoking isn’t what it used to be. For one thing, it’s legal in a growing number of states, making it more accessible than ever. For another, marijuana itself has changed over the years, and today’s cannabis is a lot more potent than what the Woodstock generation smoked. Add in the availability of pot-based gummy bears and other edibles, and the marijuana scene can be a confusing one for today’s parents. How do you handle this tricky landscape? The risks of teen cannabis use First off, medical researchers and addiction specialists are largely in agreement that the best threshold for ...

Posted March 25, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Considering second-choice school

The college admissions offers have all arrived but, sadly, your student’s dream school was a no. Or perhaps, the first-choice school came through, but the financial aid didn’t. It looks like it’s time to re-evaluate the colleges lower down on their application list. Of course, deciding to attend a college that wasn’t a top choice might initially seem like letdown. However, with the right mindset you can transform this disappointment into a higher education triumph. Reconsidering Second-choice Schools As you begin to reconsider your options, remind yourself of these five realities to keep positive and maximize your chances of finding ...

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