TeenLife Blog

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

Posted March 7, 2019, 8 a.m. by Katrielle Soussana | View Comments
Young blonde woman studying at computer.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is an international education system that in the United States spans the last two years of secondary education – junior and senior year. There are many components to the IBDP curriculum, but in this post, I want to provide a balanced look into the life of an IBDP student in high school and hopefully help any readers decide if it’s the right path for them. But before I do this, I want to explain a little about the circumstances behind my IB education. My high school is a new IB World School and I am ...

Posted March 5, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
pencil and SAT answer sheet

What is a “test-optional” college? It is a college and/or university that de-emphasizes the use of standardized tests and picks a substantial number of applicants who are recent graduate U.S. high schools without using the SAT or ACT. Other colleges exempt students who meet grade-point average or class rank criteria from submitting ACT or SAT scores, while others require scores but claim to use them only for placement purposes or to conduct research studies. Test-optional colleges have long been a controversial topic. When a college allows students to opt out of reporting their standardized test scores, do they have an ...

Posted March 4, 2019, 8 a.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Kurzweil-Danielle

OK, first off, what the heck is a “Danielle?” Well, for starters, it’s a good thing. Danielle is a character in a new novel by super-genius Ray Kurzweil—an inventor and futurist who predicts humans will merge with machines by the year 2030. He’s been right about a ton of techy things so while it might sound crazy, yes, your consciousness could live in the cloud in about 10 years. Whoa. Back to Danielle. She is a superhero with super intelligence who tackles some of our world’s biggest challenges: providing clean water in Africa, brokering peace in the Middle East, nuclear ...

Posted Feb. 28, 2019, 8 a.m. by Sarah Good | View Comments
Gap Year Big City

So you’ve decided to take a gap year. Now it’s time to consider your options: Are you looking for a service project in a rural village? A few months of studying at a foreign university? A wilderness trek? If you find yourself drawn to the idea of immersing yourself in the culture, bustle, and personality of a new city, there are plenty of options to consider. From domestic destinations like New York City and Chicago, to adventures abroad in places like Berlin or Cape Town, your choices span the globe. Planning A Big City Gap Year Here are six programs ...

Posted Feb. 25, 2019, noon by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Weighing college offers

It’s that time of year. College admissions offices have been sending out offers of admission along with financial aid award packages. The long wait is over and it’s time to make a decision. Which college will your student attend? Before committing, however, you should weigh your options. You would never purchase a home without determining its value, fit for your family, and location. The college decision should be approached in the same manner. How to Choose the Right College Once your student has looked at the colleges on their list that offered admission, here are seven steps to take before ...

Posted Feb. 21, 2019, 8 a.m. by Laurie Higgins | View Comments
mixed group of teenagers in a circle outside

An overnight summer program, whether on a college campus or at a camp, can be an awesome experience for teenagers. They get a chance to meet new people and try new things or get better at the things they love to do. But... Teenagers, being teenagers, often test the boundaries. That’s especially true because overnight summer programs are often the first place they get a chance to be out of the reach of their parents and to just be themselves. Before your child goes off to camp or a pre-college program, have a discussion about what you and your child ...

Posted Feb. 19, 2019, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Young woman asleep on couch with book over her head.

Not every student is excited about going to college. Sometimes they need a little push; and sometimes college just isn’t in their headlights. The simple truth is: The four-year college plan isn’t for everyone. For some young adults, the thought of college terrifies them. If they have struggled in school, they know college is going to be more academically challenging. Other students are simply burned out and need a break. But, with all the talk about college during high school, other options are rarely discussed. What if your student simply won’t consider college? My son never saw himself in college. ...

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