TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Jan. 24, 2017, 1:32 p.m. by Mary Grauerholz | View Comments
Private Schools

Want more oomph in your GPA? Coveting more opportunities in sports, extracurriculars or Advanced Placement classes? Does your current peer group just feel wrong? Maybe it’s time to change schools. These days there are more options than ever, including boarding or private schools; charter and parochial schools; and, depending on the state, private or public schools accessible through school-choice or charter programs. Two years ago, Nolan Cornu was a junior at Hopkinton (Mass.) High School, enjoying a group of good friends and captaining the wrestling and football teams. But Nolan knew he needed to expand his world. After what he ...

Posted Jan. 24, 2017, 9 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Find Your Summer in TeenLife's Guide or at a Program Fair

Summer brings up all kinds of images: the freedom of a lazy afternoon; the joy of a cool swim; the wonder of a starlit sky. But what if you could have all that and develop skills that you’re going to need for college and beyond? TeenLife’s annual Guide to Overnight Summer Programs is a way to expand your world, explore a new interest, meet fascinating people, create something fantastic and, of course, have fun. At TeenLife, we know that a summer spent at camp, in an internship, learning a new skill, exploring a subject in depth or traveling to new ...

Posted Jan. 19, 2017, 3:58 p.m. by Stacie Allphin | View Comments
marijuana therapy

As marijuana becomes legal in more and more states, it may be tempting to overlook its use among teenagers. But those of us who work in the world of drug addiction at Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center, think there is still reason for concern. One reason: Levels of the intoxicating substance in pot – delta-9tetrahydrocannibinol, commonly known as THC – are much higher now than they were in the era of Woodstock. From the 1970s to 1990s, the average amount of THC found in confiscated marijuana was about 3.7 percent, according to an NBC report on a 2015 Colorado ...

Posted Jan. 17, 2017, 2:21 p.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
Gap Year Advisors

If you’re thinking of taking a gap year, you might feel like there are a lot of possible directions – and you’d be right. “There are thousands and thousands of options out there,” says Jason Sarouhan, vice president of The Center for Interim Programs. “Not all of them are created equally, and certainly not all of them are reputable or are going to provide you with a safe experience, let alone an experience that you’re going to find valuable.” So how do you narrow things down? Maybe you need a gap year advisor. Gap year advisors (also called counselors or ...

Posted Jan. 12, 2017, 4:54 p.m. by Bill O'Neill | View Comments
ivy league summer programs

Whether or not a degree from an Ivy League college is in your future, there’s a way to get a taste of life in the Ivies. The eight Ivy League schools are among the oldest, most prestigious and most competitive schools in the country – and most of them have extensive summer programs available to high school students. “The students who come to these programs are students who are really academically engaged,” says Bill Holinger, director of Harvard Summer School’s Secondary School Program. “Like Harvard in general, one of our great strengths is the academics: the courses, the faculty, the ...

Posted Jan. 10, 2017, 5:47 p.m. by Kay Keough | View Comments
Boarding school independence

Summer break provides ample opportunity for fun. But if you want to improve a lagging grade, get ahead on course credits, hone a talent or practice living independently, you might consider spending part of your off-time in a teen summer program at a boarding school. There are 231 college-prep and junior boarding schools that offer summer programs, according to Boarding School Review. Many in the United States welcome a mix of domestic and international students and teach ESL (English as a Second Language) to help students from overseas integrate into the American experience and culture. Some students use the programs ...

Posted Jan. 10, 2017, 5:32 p.m. by Dana Elmore | View Comments
Teen Study

It is that time again: You need to study. You already know to avoid cramming and to get a good night’s sleep before your test. But there are seven less-common study techniques that will increase your efficiency and up your game. Some of them will even help when you’re filling out those last college applications or coming down to the wire on college essays. 1. Rotate through multiple study locations. Although you may know that choosing the correct study spot can help you concentrate on the task at hand, did you also know that it can be even more helpful ...

Posted Dec. 29, 2016, 2:03 p.m. by Claire Ashmead | View Comments
gap year china

A gap year allows you to slow down, check up on yourself and ask what it is that really matters to you. I began my gap year by making a map of myself. I was sitting outside a noodle house in the small village of Shaxi in Yunnan Province. It was late September, and I had finally realized that I was taking a gap year not just to practice my Chinese but also because I felt profoundly lost. This was reflected in the archipelago I drew to represent my mind: a Land of Curiosity, an Isle of Ambivalence and a ...

Posted Dec. 22, 2016, 4:29 p.m. by Dr. Vikram Tarugu | View Comments
teen addiction

No one likes to think that their teen is addicted to drugs. It can destroy families and have a devastating impact on your teen's future well-being. If you find yourself in this unenviable position, follow these intervention steps, and be ready to seek guidance from someone with professional training right away. Step One: Help Your Teen Admit There is a Problem You can’t really solve this kind of a problem if both sides aren’t committed to solving it. If your teen doesn’t acknowledge the problem or thinks “it isn’t a big deal,” you won’t get very far towards the solution. ...

Posted Dec. 20, 2016, 3:03 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
gap guide

It takes a lot of hard work to get into college, and it’s a big financial commitment. Those are both good reasons to take the time to discover more about yourself and the world before diving back into academics. Download If you’re thinking of taking a gap year or semester, our 2017 Guide to Gap Year Programs is the perfect tool for exploring your options and planning your time, or finding an independent advisor who can help you. Research shows that college-bound students benefit enormously by taking a break between high school and college and that time out from academics ...

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