TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted June 18, 2019, 3:09 p.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Summer Study

Summer is perfect for sleeping in, long days at the beach, and relaxing with friends. And you should definitely do those things. But with a little careful though, summer can also be a time for boosting your chances of getting in to your dream college. Even if you’re not heading in to your senior year, it is never too soon to build skills, pursue extracurricular activities, and discover more about who you are and what your want. Here are five ways to get started: Get a job This one may be a little obvious, but it is a traditional way ...

Posted June 14, 2019, 10 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Volunteer Resume

Community service is an essential part of the learning experience. It offers the satisfaction of helping improve the world in which you live, helps you gain new perspective, and teaches you about people and places you might never have known about otherwise. Volunteering can also offer some practical advantages in addition to the social and emotional benefits. Service work looks great a college application and is a great resume builder, especially when you have little paid work to list. Community service is particularly good at developing and demonstrating your soft skills, the behaviors, attitudes, and aptitudes that can help you ...

Posted June 13, 2019, 9 a.m. by Jasmine Heyward | View Comments
Studying the law

This post is part of our new series, in which students and young adults tell their own stories of discovering, nurturing, and pursuing their passions. By my third semester as a journalism major at Northeastern University, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t end up working in the field. It was my third shot at deciding what I wanted to do with my life, and at first, it seemed like the right path. I had decided on a journalism major because I wanted to change the world with my writing. In my introductory courses, I wrote long pieces on student mental ...

Posted June 11, 2019, 10 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Learn a foreign language

So you’ve decided to take a gap year to explore the world a bit and figure out what you really want to do when you head to college. Now it’s time to plan what you’re going to do with all that time. Let us humbly suggest using a portion of your gap year to learn a new language. Why? If we’re being practical about it, knowing more than one language is an incredible resume-booster and can open lots of professional doors for you in the future. Foreign languages can help you out in less direct ways as well: Studying a ...

Posted June 7, 2019, 10 a.m. by Hannah Grieco | View Comments
ASD College Students

For students on the autism spectrum, college can be a time of social anxiety and overwhelming choices. All colleges and universities are required by law to follow established 504 plans — a plan of accommodations that support a person with a disability — but sometimes that is where the school stops. Extended testing time and flexible assignment schedules might not be enough support for a teen who is living or learning independently for the first time. Luckily, more and more schools are offering programs specifically tailored to people with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD. These specialized offerings go above and ...

Posted June 6, 2019, 9 a.m. by Stephanie Barron | View Comments
Writing hands

This post is part of our new series, in which students and young adults tell their own stories of discovering, nurturing, and pursuing their passions. My English lesson at my all-girls school in London was the highlight of my day. While everyone else trudged up the five flights of stairs to classroom, Tilly and I strode, our heavily-annotated copies of Shakespeare’s Othello under our arms. While the teacher presented essay plans for us to use on the national exams we would take at the end of the year, Tilly and I would write notes in the margins of each other’s ...

Posted June 4, 2019, 10 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Entrepreneurship

Whether you are still in high school or already deep in your college education, you’re almost certainly being bombarded by people asking what career you want to pursue and where you might want to get a job. And, to be sure, there are plenty of great companies to work for doing amazing things. For some people, though, the lure of entrepreneurship is strong. The reasons to consider starting your own venture are plentiful: the chance to create something from the ground up, to bring your own vision to life, to experience the exhilaration of success. And when you’re an entrepreneur ...

Posted May 31, 2019, 10 a.m. by Arastou Aminzadeh | View Comments
Talk About Depression

Teen depression is becoming increasingly troubling. It seems our teens are suffering in higher numbers than in the past, even when taking into account the typical mood swings and drama that accompany the teen years. While parents and teachers are well aware of the vulnerabilities experienced during adolescence, stoked by hormonal changes, peer pressure, social issues—especially bullying and social media issues, and academic stress— these days it feels as if a heavier emotional burden is weighing our teens down. So, what is a parent to do or say when they suspect their teenager is grappling with emotional struggles or depression? ...

Posted May 30, 2019, 9 a.m. by Grace Douvos | View Comments
Teaching at City Year

This post is part of our new series, in which students and young adults tell their own stories of discovering, nurturing, and pursuing their passions. When I began applying to colleges, the main question in my head was: “How will this college help me change the world?” My passion for social change began when I was 13 years old and moved across the country to go to boarding school in Massachusetts. I was still discovering my passions and figured that the best way to find things I liked to do would be to try new things. During my first winter ...

Posted May 28, 2019, 4 p.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Finals Studying

The school year is drawing to an end. Soon it will be time for summer fun (perhaps an outdoor adventure or a sports camp?), but first, you have to get through finals. Studying for not just one but several high-stakes tests can certainly be a daunting prospect. So start here, and review our 11 tips for making your finals prep smooth and painless. OK, well, almost painless. Make a schedule: Start by figuring out which tests are scheduled for when. Then figure out which ones you need to do the most work for. Once you have a sense which exams ...

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