TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:26 p.m. by Main Contact | View Comments
Year Programs Develop Powerful Learners

Our third major area of impact is in developing the learning capacity of TBB students. This growth is not about changing the volume students can learn. Rather, it’s about shaping how students learn. Powerful learners are humble, they are introspective, they value good questions over answers, and they understand how the pursuit of knowledge can bring people together. Great innovators are powerful learners. Great social change leaders are powerful learners, too. Download These are not the traits being developed by most schools in our K-12 system. Students are rewarded for having answers, not questions. Learning is done at arms length, ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:16 p.m. by Main Contact | View Comments
Gap Year Programs Teach Higher Order Empathy

Our second major area of impact is the development of higher order empathy in students. Teaching empathy is a hot topic. Business leaders believe it is key to strong organizational function. Educators believe it is a means of preventing bullying. Sociologists believe it is the root of healthy relationships. But, this discourse seems to rely heavily on the easier end of the empathy scale. It includes comforting someone who is the victim of violence, oppression, or circumstance. Slightly tougher — but still easy — is trying to understand and work productively with someone who holds a different opinion. Download Higher ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 11:54 a.m. by Elly Swartz | View Comments
6 Tips to Reduce Junior Year Stress

You’ve heard about the dreaded, yet, legendary junior year since your first day of high school.The year where your homework is relentless, your test schedule out of control, and everything matters. College is on the horizon and you feel the weight of every decision. It all feels so overwhelming. I understand. Truly, I do. As the mom of two sons who recently went through the process, and as an essay adviser with many students applying to college, I’m well versed on the stress that stems from junior year. Here are a few tips to reduce the stress and help embrace ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 11:04 a.m. by Sarah Buttenwieser | View Comments
Parents and Teens: The Social Media Gap

I have two teens. As a parent, I’m focused on raising healthy, independent young adults (and I hope that we still like each other throughout the process)! Social media is a flashpoint that reveals my parenting insecurities; my kids’ technological abilities are fundamentally different than mine. Our journey requires some dialogue, some struggle, some trust, some wonder, and a good deal of my letting go. Nearly half of all teenagers in the United States check their social media several times per day. Facebook trumps Twitter for teens, with 68 percent reporting Facebook as their main social networking site compared to ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 10:53 a.m. by Elly Swartz | View Comments
5 Tips for Editing Your College Essay

Congratulations! You’ve completed the first draft of your college admissions essay. You do the requisite victory dance around your room because you're finally finished with your essay! You tell your mom, dad, college counselor and essay advisor that you have finished your college essay. High-fives fly. Then you share your essay. Everyone is certainly proud, but the consensus is that you’re not quite done. It’s important to realize this wonderful tapestry of words is the foundation for the house, but not the house itself. It needs polishing, details, stories and, of course, spell-check. GET OUR 25 BEST COLLEGE ADMISSION TIPS! ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 10:42 a.m. by Stephen Friedfeld | View Comments
The 6 Best Topics For Your College Application Essay

With college admissions as competitive as it is today, the college essay can mean the difference between an acceptance or rejection letter. Admissions officers are increasingly turning to the essay as a means of evaluating students. Many applicants fail to take advantage of the application essay—they choose the wrong question, write about an inappropriate topic, or just fail to put together a compelling essay. So, what should applicants write about? Here, we breakdown the six questions from this year’s Common Application, an online application accepted by more than 450 colleges and universities. (Even colleges that don’t accept the Common App ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 10:14 a.m. by Rebecca Joseph | View Comments
How to Answer New College Application Prompts

For the first time in its recent history, the Common Application has changed its essay prompts for the 2013-2014 school year. More than 2 million high school seniors and 460 colleges use this college application platform; it enables students to send out the same application to member colleges. It requires one long essay, whose prompts have never changed. Until now. Changes Starting the upcoming 2013-2014 application year, the Common Applications plans to release new prompts each winter/spring. This change means we must share these prompts with everyone who works with current high school juniors as students will be at a ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 3:46 p.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
5 Myths and Truths About Freshman Year of College

Freshman year of college is full of unknowns. Nevertheless, getting accepted into college will be one of the most exciting, rewarding experiences of your life. You deserve a big pat on the back for that one. But in the months after your acceptance letter arrives, the euphoria starts to slip away. You start thinking about all of unknowns of the upcoming year, and you may freak out a little bit. You’ve heard ubiquitous rumors about the ominous freshman year of college, but you have no idea what to really expect. I’m here to straighten out some of the most common ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 3:40 p.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
How to Avoid Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a pertinent issue for children, teens and parents alike. Luckily, there are ways to combat this ongoing competition between siblings! Sibling Rivalry: Turning a Negative into a Positive "Mom, why do you pay more attention to HIM than ME?" This was the question posed by my youngest--and most outspoken--son, Daniel. I was interrogated in my very own kitchen, while cooking meatballs. Caught red-handed as I gave a much-needed hug to Daniel's older brother, Gregory, a middle schooler fretting over his homework. "Mom, do you love him more than me?!" Daniel persisted. He's never been one to mince ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2014, 3:35 p.m. by Cory Anderson | View Comments
4 Steps to Getting Into Architecture School

I'm not going to lie, the process of applying to architecture school can seem daunting if you are just skimming through architecture programs offered at various universities. But getting into architecture is definitely "do-able." So I'll break it down into 4 simple steps: 1. Plan, plan, plan! This is the most important step because the process of getting into architecture school can be a long one. I have seen some students take up to two years to get accepted into an architecture school, due to poor planning. A well-developed step-by-step plan is necessary, because many schools have certain deadlines for ...

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