TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Oct. 20, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
FAFSA form on clipboard and keyboard

The biggest complaint from parents and students about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is that it’s too complicated and difficult to complete. In fact, many have found the process so overwhelming that they don’t even start it. This is a bad decision for prospective college students because the FAFSA is the form used to determine not only eligibility for government financial aid, but state and institutional aid, and some private scholarships. The U.S. Education Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid processes about 20 million FAFSA applications a year. But experts say many students who could and ...

Posted Oct. 19, 2018, 5 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Royal Central School of Speech and Drama: Jessica Mullen

Jessica Mullen studies Writing for Performanace at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. How did you discover your passion for drama, applied theater and writing? I discovered my passion for drama when I was very young, performing in school plays and singing songs from “Les Mis” all over the house. I went to a very traditional high school in Boston at first and, while I was there, a new high school for the visual and performing arts opened. I transferred there that year, and was encouraged to write in every class. My theater teacher (from England, coincidentally) often ...

Posted Oct. 19, 2018, 2:10 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Paige Gerhard studied visual arts at Southern Oregon University.

Paige Gerhard studied visual arts at Southern Oregon University. How did you discover your passion for the visual arts? I wanted to enhance my GPA before graduating from high school so I decided to take a lot of art classes. Not only was it a blast, but it also lead me to realize a hidden interest. After visiting the CVA (Center for the Visual Arts) Galleries on the Southern Oregon University campus and reflecting upon my high school memories, I instantly knew that I belonged in the community of visual arts. What’s your favorite part about performing/creating? My favorite part ...

Posted Oct. 19, 2018, 2:10 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Paige Gerhard studied visual arts at Southern Oregon University.

True Anderson studies art therapy at Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI. How did you discover your passion for the visual arts and art therapy? When I was young, I had a natural attraction to drawing. I started drawing as a hobby and discovered qualities and passions about myself through art. What’s your favorite part about art and art therapy? Art became personal – it helped me to express myself. My quiet thoughts materialized in my works, and my art became a language to me. I opened myself up to other art forms and experiences, such as glass blowing, pottery, blacksmithing, ...

Posted Oct. 18, 2018, 11:30 a.m. by Conner Reed | View Comments
Young woman standing at an outdoor voting booth

Young people have a lot at stake when it comes to the future of this country. We’ve certainly got more on the line than our parents or grandparents or most of the talking heads who yell at us on TV every day – we’re the ones who have to live in the future that our politics create. Voting is the most important way to make sure we have a stake in that future. But whenever we discuss it, the conversation becomes either despondent (my vote won’t matter anyway!) or full of grandstanding (my ideas are purer than your ideas!), and ...

Posted Oct. 16, 2018, 8 a.m. by Roberta Cannon | View Comments
Female student in a lotus yoga position.

While there are many programs to help support teens through the various challenges of adolescence, mindfulness has become more popular over the last few years as a way to deal with pressures such as stress and bullying. “Mindfulness or mindful awareness is paying attention on purpose to what’s happening right now, internally and externally,” said Katie Medlar, director of school and community-based programs at Calmer Choice on Cape Cod. “We do this with kindness and curiosity for ourselves and others.” Calmer Choice is a nonprofit organization that sponsors secular mindfulness programs in more than 28 schools, for 15,000 students and ...

Posted Oct. 9, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Computer keyboard with Apply Now button

To help you and your student prepare for this season of college applications, it’s important to understand any changes in the application requirements and formats. There are four college applications currently available to students: The Common Application, The Coalition Application, the Universal Application, and college-specific applications. Each year, the applications offer changes and upgrades to the previous year, and the 2018-19 application season is no different. Following are some changes to note for this year’s applications. The Common Application The 2018-19 Common App launched on August 1. This is the most widely used application by prospective college students because you ...

Posted Oct. 5, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
calendar showing November 2018

Early Decision has become more and more popular among students applying to college. A vast majority of students are opting to apply Early Decision to their first-choice colleges in order to get an answer before Jan. 1, rather than waiting for the regular college application cycle in the spring. But when students apply Early Decision, it’s a commitment to the college. If accepted, they promise to attend that college and agree to not apply to any other colleges. What are the deadlines for Early Decision? Early Decision application deadlines are usually prior to Nov. 1. The deadlines for Early Decision ...

Posted Oct. 2, 2018, 8 a.m. by Quiana Querisma | View Comments
Female college students taking notes in class.

We all hit a point in our lives where we think back on a situation and wish we had confronted it differently. For me, a lot of the things I want to change involve my freshman year at college and how I would have improved my future just by tweaking little mistakes. I am currently a sophomore at the University of North Texas studying interior design, I love my school, the people I’ve met, and the many life lessons I came to learn. But looking back, there are many things I learned and could’ve taken advantage of to prepare for ...

Posted Sept. 27, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Two girls celebrating SAT results in school corridor

Parents and students worry and fret over the SAT test. Parents nag students to study and prepare. Students worry that their scores won’t be good enough to get them into the college of their choice. The SAT test and scoring is a topic of conversation among all parents of college-bound teens. Every student dreams of the perfect SAT score of 1600; but not all can achieve perfection. Since most teens don’t fall into the perfect score category, what is a top score, a good score, an average score and a bad score? The SAT is scored on a scale of ...

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