TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Aug. 8, 2018, 9 a.m. by Laurie Higgins | View Comments
Dad hugging teenage son in home setting.

Becoming clean and sober is only the beginning of a lifelong journey for teenagers who have abused drugs and/or alcohol. By the time most teenagers struggling with addiction reach sobriety, their parents have suffered through sleepless nights, had countless arguments and spent plenty of money. They are invested in helping their child continue to do well, but many don’t know exactly what to do. We asked two addiction specialists who work with teenagers for their best advice on how to support your sober teen. Be a good role model. Studies show that teens whose parents are vocal about their disapproval ...

Posted Aug. 7, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Diverse group of college students with laptops.

Did you know there are more than 4,000 four-year colleges and universities in the United States? That can make choosing a college overwhelming. But there is a college to fit your dreams – and finding it starts with the right list of schools where you plan to apply. Your college list is the basis for every decision regarding college. Without a good list, it’s impossible to make a clearly logical and well-informed college choice. You should begin your college list during your junior year of high school. By the beginning of your senior year, you should have a final list ...

Posted Aug. 3, 2018, 8 a.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Art Sonia Richman

Sonia Richman is majoring in music education at Syracuse University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. How did you discover your passion for music? I discovered my passion for playing flute through watching and listening to the Cleveland Orchestra as a child. Once I decided to play the flute, I fell in love with performing and took advantage of every incredible performing opportunity that came my way. It’s always such a rewarding experience. What’s your favorite part about performing? My favorite part about performing is the feeling of singing through my flute and playing my heart out. When I am ...

Posted Aug. 1, 2018, 8 a.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Wayne State University: Shannon Kurzyniec

Shannon Kurzyniec studies the Fine Arts at Wayne State University. How did you first get interested in art? There has always been a passion within me for creating – it is a driving factor in all that I do. At a young age I began to wonder how things were made and how could I recreate them. My mom would teach me how to crochet or paint and I became addicted to doing it. What’s your favorite part about creating? My favorite part about creating something new is knowing that it did not exist in the world before – a ...

Posted July 30, 2018, 8 a.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Studio School: Kelsey Weinstein

Kelsey Weinstein is studying conteporary musical theater and film at Studio School in Los Angeles. How did you discover your passion for theater? I was lucky enough to be raised in a theater. I was singing and dancing as soon as I could walk and talk, and I never turned back. Coming from a musical theater family, I fell in love with the prospect of telling stories through song and dance, and after my first show at the age of 5, I knew that this was what I needed to be doing with my life. It wasn’t until my first ...

Posted July 27, 2018, 8 a.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Moores School of Music: Kyle Rivera

Kyle Rivera is studying viola and composition at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston. How did you discover your passion for viola and composition? I love to compose because the ability to create and capture my view of the world is the most emotionally liberating thing for me. I played the viola casually through high school but my entire outlook on it changed after I heard Wayne Brooks play. I was amazed by his incredibly dark and expressive sound. It was my first time being exposed to a “viola sound” and it completely changed the way ...

Posted July 26, 2018, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Drawing of hand putting money in piggy bank surrounded by textbooks.

Financial aid can be a confusing part of the college application process. Even if your parents can afford to pay for college, it’s a good idea to learn what aid is available and apply for it. You aren’t obligated to accept it, but most students qualify for some form of aid and, if it’s available, why not use it? What is financial aid? Financial aid is intended to make up the difference between what your family can afford to pay and what college actually costs. With college tuition rising rapidly, more than half of the students currently enrolled in college ...

Posted July 26, 2018, 8 a.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Boston Conservatory at Berklee: Rachelle Miller

Rachelle Miller plays trumpet and is a student at Boston Conservatory at Berklee. She describes improvisation as the “alter ego” to her role as a classical musician. Tell us how you discovered a passion for improvisation. I think I have been improvising ever since I picked up the trumpet, though at the time, I didn’t really know that what I was doing was a kind of improvisation. When I got to Boston Conservatory at Berklee, I heard about Pierre Hurel’s Improvisation Workshop, and took it as a music elective. The class focuses on a non-idiomatic style of improvisation, meaning that ...

Posted July 25, 2018, 8 a.m. by Sara Nolan | View Comments
Woman's hand holding ballpoint pen and writing in notebook.

Here’s the deal: When it comes time to write your Common Application college personal essay, it’s not really about the prompt. It's what you do with it, and how deep you go. Each prompt is a doorway into a story you want to tell, something distinctive you want to share You have to know a few things to pull this off: What the genre of personal essay requires of you generally (general purpose of the essay); what each Common Application prompt is asking for (decoding the question); what possible responses are available to you (your life experiences and what you’ve ...

Posted July 25, 2018, 8 a.m. by TeenLife | View Comments
Ava Wichser is a student at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Art

Ava Wichser is studying dance at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. How did you discover your passion for dance? I discovered my passion for dance when I first started dancing at a serious level, but every day I find more and more passion as I dance. There is so much to achieve and there is always room to push yourself and expect greater things. Always reaching for more sparked my passion. What's your favorite thing about performing? When you perform, it is the only thing that matters. Being completely present and sharing your art ...

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