TeenLife Blog Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted May 27, 2015, 8 a.m. by Tracy Morgan | View Comments
6 Ways to Boost Your Teen’s Creativity

If you cast your mind back to when your kids were little, the need to encourage creative play or inventive thoughts was rarely necessary – to small children, thinking outside the box is as natural as breathing and brings with it imaginative and artistic activities. As teenage years approach, children often become self-conscious and wary about stepping outside of their comfort zone. However, all is not lost - it’s never too late to re-inspire them! 1. Lead By Example The best way to encourage your teen’s creativity is to lead by example. Perhaps you once had a passion for writing, ...

Posted May 25, 2015, 8 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Does My Teen Need to Take SAT Subject Tests?

My daughter spent several months preparing to take her SATs. After two tries, she was happy with her scores and relieved to be done with the standardized testing portion of her college application. That is, until her guidance counselor recommended she take several SAT Subject Tests. What are the SAT Subject Tests and does your teen need to take them? SAT Subject Test Overview SAT Subject Tests (formerly known as SAT IIs) are hour-long subject tests that give students an opportunity show off their strengths in specific subject areas. There are 20 different SAT Subject tests offered in 5 categories: ...

Posted May 23, 2015, 8 a.m. by Tracy Morgan | View Comments
Happiness: What Does it Really Mean to Be Happy?

Happiness is often a word that is hard to define; it means something different to every individual person, as we all have distinctive and unique requirements. However, according to the latest World Happiness Report recently published by the United Nations in partnership with Columbia University, there are many common denominators that determine whether someone is happy or not. Gathering Data The nature of happiness, and the fact that it is an emotion not particularly easy to measure, might have some people wondering about the validity of trying to calculate how happy a country, and its inhabitants are. However, the people ...

Posted May 22, 2015, 8 a.m. by Pallas Ziporyn | View Comments
5 Clever Ways to Eliminate Student Loans

You sign a piece of paper and suddenly you owe thousands of dollars. It’s a small price to pay, right? You’ll get a college degree and your future will be secure. Sorry. The average student takes out $30,000 in loans. Many students take out more, some well into the six-figure mark. And it takes most of them more than two decades to pay this money back. Want to travel for a couple of years after graduation? Too bad. You owe hundreds of dollars every month. You need a regular paycheck. Always wanted to work in the arts or for a ...

Posted May 21, 2015, 8 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
May is Mental Health Awareness Month

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 1 in 5 children aged 13-18 currently have, or have once had, a mental health disorder. Despite the incidence and widespread research of mental health conditions, stigma and misconceptions still surround those struggling with mental health issues. May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month across the nation to help combat stigma and educate others on mental health. One way to show your support is to make a StigmaFree Pledge through the National Alliance on Mental Illness. From eating disorders and depression to how to help teens cope with stress ...

Posted May 20, 2015, 8:19 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Later Start Times for Middle and High School Students

Every weekday morning at 6:35 am, I go into my 17-year-old daughter’s room to make sure she has heard her alarm clock. I usually find her with the covers drawn over her head. I shake her lightly and she groggily says, “I’m up,” followed by, “I’m so tired.” I wish I could let her sleep later, but her bus arrives at 7:05 am for classes that begin at 7:40. Our situation is fairly common. Most parents of teenagers will agree that getting them up in time for school is a challenge. The reason is straightforward: teens go to bed too ...

Posted May 19, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Working at McDonald's or Starbucks—More Than a Fast Food Job

Your friends are making plans for summer. You have chosen to work at a fast food job to save money for college. That’s a responsible decision on your part, but did you know working at McDonald's or Starbucks can score you college tuition? Starbucks In a recent announcement, Starbucks says its workers are now eligible for four years of tuition for an online degree from Arizona State University. Previously, only two years of tuition were covered by the company. Starbucks’ latest decision is part of the latest effort by companies who are rethinking their treatment of low-wage workers. The Seattle-based ...

Posted May 18, 2015, 8 a.m. by Robert Kohen | View Comments
Seven Questions To Ask Before You Hire That SAT or ACT Tutor

With summer fast approaching, this is the time many parents begin to look for an SAT or ACT tutor. If you’re one of those parents, chances are you may have already heard from a friend or teacher about a tutor in your area. Before you sign your child up for tutoring, however, you’ll want to make sure the tutor is worth the investment. Here are seven critical questions that you should ask any SAT or ACT tutor before making the hire: 1. Do you use real test questions? Some tutors and tutoring companies produce all of their teaching materials in-house. ...

Posted May 16, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
You've Accepted an Offer of Admission - Now What?

You’ve mailed your deposit check and accepted an offer of admission from the college of your choice. The long, drawn out college admissions process is over and you have turned a page in your education book. The next step: college. And with it comes excitement, anticipation and even anxiety. But the next three months should give you an opportunity to prepare for the next step in your life. Take the time to enjoy your graduation. You have completed twelve years of education and are ready to move forward to college. It’s quite an accomplishment and you should be proud of ...

Posted May 15, 2015, 8 a.m. by Johnny Duda | View Comments
Admissions Timeline for Rising Seniors: Six Ways to Get Ahead of the Curve

Here are 6 ways you can maximize your time this summer to get ahead of your college applications: 1. Finalize Your List Deciding early which schools are “best fit” for you will help you get a head start on everything else. You want to narrow your list to 8-10 schools (max 12) with a balance of admissions selectivity. Aim for at least 2 “safety” schools, 4 “target” schools, and 2 “reach” schools. If you aren’t sure how to categorize the schools on your list, speak to your college counselor before summer break! If you haven’t had an opportunity to visit ...

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