TeenLife Blog Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted April 18, 2015, 9 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
The Dangers of Senioritis

The Urban Dictionary defines senioritis: A crippling disease that strikes high school seniors. Symptoms include: laziness, an over-excessive wearing of track pants, old athletic shirts, sweatpants, athletic shorts, and sweatshirts. Also features a lack of studying, repeated absences, and a generally dismissive attitude. The only known cure is a phenomenon known as graduation. All kidding aside, however, senioritis is a very real problem for most students. They are coming into the home stretch and it’s only natural for them to try to rest on their laurels, so to speak. Most high school seniors exhibit signs of senioritis. Its onset might ...

Posted April 17, 2015, 9 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
10 Tips for a Fun and Productive College Visit

In the past five years, my husband and I have taken our daughters on many college visits. We have found actually being on campus to be a valuable tool for our daughter’s in determining whether a college is right for them. But some visits have been more insightful than others. Since going to see schools is an investment in both time and money, how can parents plan trips that will be both fun and productive for their teen? 1. See the Right Colleges Meet with your teen’s guidance counselor before planning trips to determine which schools are most likely good ...

Posted April 16, 2015, 11:50 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Aaron Hernandez Found Guilty — A Disappointing Role Model

A jury found former NFL Patriot Aaron Hernandez guilty of murder yesterday and he was sentenced to life in prison, just three miles from Gillette Stadium where his football skills earned him millions of dollars and thousands of fans, both young and old. Hernandez, originally from Bristol, Conn., was a decorated player at the University of Florida before being drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft. He played three seasons as a tight end, serving as one of quarterback Tom Brady's preferred targets and catching a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLVI. In 2012, ...

Posted April 16, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Guns on College Campuses

On April 16, 2007, the day of the Virginia Tech massacre, thirty two innocent college students and faculty lost their lives to a crazed gunman armed with two semi-automatic pistols and a couple hundred rounds of ammunition. The first reaction of the gun lobby was to call for more guns on college campuses. Since then, support has been building. Guns on college campuses—it’s a controversial topic. Proponents believe it will make our campuses safer. Opponents believe it will only encourage violence. Currently at least 11 states are entertaining the option of allowing concealed weapons on campus. Bills have been introduced ...

Posted April 15, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
5 Ways to Get Off a Wait List

It’s college decision time and disappointed teens are receiving news they have been placed on the college wait list. A wait list decision does not reject an applicant outright, but it also offers an uncomfortable level of ambiguity about whether an applicant will receive an acceptance to the college later. So how likely are teens to be taken off the wait list, and is there anything they can do to increase their chances? The Odds of Being Offered Admission The College Board offers wait list statistics for any college. The following are three compelling statistics taken off the website: The ...

Posted April 14, 2015, 8 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
So You Want to Be a Teacher

Welcome to installment three of College Transitions’ “So you want to be a...” series. Designed to help career-minded high school students think intelligently about their postsecondary journeys, these blogs will look at the financial, academic, and personal factors one should consider when exploring various professions. Does going to a prestigious undergraduate school help? Breaking into the teaching field is numerically a very different endeavor than landing a job in the highly selective worlds of law, medicine, engineering, etc. There are presently 3.7 million people making their living as primary or secondary school teachers in the United States. Almost 90% of ...

Posted April 13, 2015, 8 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Separating Parent & Teen College Dreams

A few weeks ago, I took my daughter, a high school junior, to visit a college an hour away from our home. On paper, the school seemed like a good fit for her. But between the tour, the information session and the other students we met on campus, it became clear that the school would not be a good match for her. On the ride home my daughter and I got into a little argument. We had already seen several schools and she was frustrated because she had not fallen in love with any of them. I countered that she ...

Posted April 12, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
How My Unmotivated Student Got Motivated

I’m well acquainted with this necessary parenting technique: I had an unmotivated student. It’s not that he wasn’t capable of achieving academic success; it was just that he didn’t have the motivation or the desire to do his best. He never soared in high school, or in the first semester of college, but he did reach his academic potential, finally. It was hard having a child who didn’t grasp his full potential, no matter how much I told him he was capable of straight A’s. It just didn’t matter to him. Passing with average grades was good enough for him. ...

Posted April 11, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
“Gapping” in College Admissions

Gapping is a term used in reference to colleges and financial aid awards. Gapping happens when a college makes an offer of admission and doesn’t back it up with financial aid. Quite simply, the college doesn’t offer enough aid to cover the difference between the cost of the college attendance and your expected family contribution. This often happens if you are at the bottom of the applicant pool (there are other candidates with higher test scores, grades or other application stand-outs). If a college offers you admission and decides to gap you, the gap between what the family can afford ...

Posted April 10, 2015, 8 a.m. by Tracy Morgan | View Comments
Terrorism: What Should We Be Telling Our Teens?

It seems that it is impossible for even a few days to go by without hearing about the latest terror attack somewhere in the world. And many teens may be hearing about it, but perhaps not totally understanding. Should We Tell Our Teens About Terrorism? It’s a natural parental instinct to want to swoop our kids up, protect them from the harsh realities of the world, and preserve their innocence, for as long as we can. One subject we may hesitate over discussing is terrorism, believing that this is one topic teens really don’t need to hear about. However, whether ...

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