TeenLife Blog Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Aug. 27, 2015, 8 a.m. by Alicia Blaisdell-Bannon | View Comments
tips from a college professor

When I was a college freshman at Syracuse University, I got two good tips from my favorite professor: First, bring a pen to class. Second, make sure your parents take you to Danziger’s Restaurant for roast beef sandwiches when they visit. Good advice, of course, but, as an adjunct professor for several colleges in and around Boston, I believe I can do better. Here are seven things students should know as they begin their college careers. And for those of you not quite there yet, these tips, according to my daughter, a high school teacher, are applicable for you, too. ...

Posted Aug. 26, 2015, 9 a.m. by Nicolaus Jannasch | View Comments
teacher college recommendations

When submitting a college application, one of the most important components is the recommendation letter from one of your teachers. The reason being is that colleges want to get to know you for more than just statistics and grades. A solid recommendation letter can show college admissions what sort of candidate you are and if you are the right fit for them. The most common mistake seniors make in asking a teacher for a recommendation letter however, is that they don’t have a real personal relationship with that teacher. This could lead to the teacher writing a very generic letter ...

Posted Aug. 25, 2015, 8 a.m. by John Bergin | View Comments
make a big campus feel small

I go to a big school. No, really. With an average undergraduate population of 40,000, I go to a BIG school. That sort of number can sometimes frighten people and make them think like this: “How will I make any close friends when there are so many people?” “Will I lose myself in a sea of faces?” “Do any of my social choices have any true bearing or will they be forgotten like the hundreds of other people who’ve made those same choices in the past?” So let me provide you with a short list for how to make a ...

Posted Aug. 24, 2015, 8 a.m. by Tracy Jackson, PhD | View Comments
what to expect in high school

“I can’t believe my child is going to high school!” said a close friend of mine. That sentiment is true for hundreds of thousands of parents across the country right now. As school districts prepare for the beginning of the school year, here are some things to remember about how high school will be different than eighth grade. 1. Courses with upper classmen While core subjects (English, science, social studies and math) usually are filled with the same grade level of students, there may be an occasional upper classman. These students either failed and must repeat the class, or perhaps ...

Posted Aug. 21, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
10 Ways to Ruin Your College Admissions Chances

College. It’s not a done deal until it’s a done deal. It’s a tough road and one that can be finalized with offers of admission or rejection letters. It’s not a task to be taken lightly and it will require all your hard work and stamina at the beginning of your senior year. If done right and taken seriously, your hopes will be realized. But, committing the following fatal errors, could dash any offers of admission: 1. Spout Off on Social Media In an article in the NY Times, a student attended an information session with a college and began ...

Posted Aug. 20, 2015, 8 a.m. by Tracy Jackson, PhD | View Comments
new school

Perhaps your family moved (as if that weren’t stressful enough…). Or perhaps you just needed a new academic venue. Either way, going to a new school with its unknown polices and procedures can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you follow these simple rules: 1. Investigate before you move This may be a challenge for some families, depending on how soon you have to move. However, calling the new school in advance to get all the information about transferring credits, graduation requirements, etc., can save a world of disappointment. Some school districts may not be ...

Posted Aug. 19, 2015, 8 a.m. by Nicolaus Jannasch | View Comments
save your money

Wouldn’t it be nice if mom and dad were walking ATM machines? Sadly, you have to always be asking for money, learning to live on your allowance, or trying to figure out how to make your paycheck stretch to save for college and buy those concert tickets. And, no matter how you get your spending money, blowing every penny of it leaves you broke when something special comes along, doesn’t do much to impress your parents and is a bad life skill. So here are three tips to help you have something to spend on Friday night - and have ...

Posted Aug. 18, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
talk before high school

High school is a new adventure - and one with more peer pressure than ever before. Your child will make academic decisions affecting future education options; make new friends, lose some friends; have relationship drama; and often see you as the enemy. Your child will also grow in maturity and become more and more independent. These years are exciting, difficult, stressful, overwhelming, gratifying, and so much more. So, you should sit down with your freshman now and have a discussion about the next four years. Why do this so early? Because “without a plan, you plan to fail.” And once ...

Posted Aug. 17, 2015, 8 a.m. by James Paterson | View Comments
teaching resilience

While “self-esteem” was the phrase that guided parents 20 years ago, “grit” and “resilience” will likely be the words that echo in your adolescent’s ears – and yours. So which is it? Do we tell kids how great they are at every endeavor or let them fail and advise them to learn from the experience and toughen up? Helping kids gain confidence and value themselves is not a bad idea if it is genuine but self-worth comes most directly and meaningfully from hard work and persistence, some experts say. It looks like we’ve learned that telling children they are wonderful ...

Posted Aug. 14, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Leaving for College

Having a daughter who was already an emotional basket case made the summer before college a stressful time in our house. She had a new boyfriend whom she did not want to leave. She had never been away from home for an extended period of time. Packing was quite the disaster as she wanted to take every single item in her room to college and I kept telling her to pare it down. Tempers flared, her emotions were all over the place, and when the day finally came, the reality of the change weighed heavy on both our hearts. Parents ...

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