TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
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 ...

Posted March 22, 2019, noon by Sarah Good | View Comments
Test Prep Tutoring

Testing season is upon us. As high school students begin to study for the SAT and ACT, many will turn to private test-prep tutors to help them tackle the test with confidence. Tutors can help familiarize you with the format, teach you new material, and help your get your mental game ready for the stress of test day. There are, however, a lot of tutoring options to sift through. How can you choose the test-prep tutor who is the right match for your learning style and personality? Try asking potential tutors these seven questions to help determine if they are ...

Posted March 19, 2019, 8 a.m. by Jason Patel | View Comments
choosing summer program

You might be thinking, “Why would I want to go to an academic summer program?” School will be out and you’d probably prefer to spend your summer at the beach catching up on Netflix shows with your friends. Still, there are several reasons signing up for a summer program is worth your time. High school summer programs usually take place on college campuses, with participants sleeping in dorm rooms. These summer programs are available in just about every area of study: creative writing, international diplomacy, engineering, medicine, environmental studies, foreign languages, drama, and many more. Benefits of summer programs include: ...

Posted March 15, 2019, 11 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Community-Service-Project

If you’re planning to apply to college, you’ve already thought about community service. Admissions offices love it and some high schools even require it for graduation. So maybe you’ve volunteered at a local food pantry or have been researching opportunities at a nearby hospital. (And if you’re looking for more opportunities, we’ve got plenty to inspire you.) But there’s another option: You could create your own community service project. Why create your own community service project? First, it allows you to tailor your volunteer experience very precisely to your strengths, goals, and passions. Also, self-directed projects look great on college ...

Posted March 12, 2019, 8 a.m. by Laurie Higgins | View Comments
Hands on piano keys.

For students who want to major in the visual or performing arts, there are three choices: a music or art conservatory; a university or liberal arts college with a strong arts department; or a university with its own conservatory. Each option offers something slightly different, so it’s important to know your goals before you decide. “It really comes down to how serious you are about your craft,” said Abby Siegel, a college counselor based in New York City. “If this is something that you really want to pursue as your career, and you’re not interested in liberal arts and the ...

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