TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Feb. 18, 2014, 2 p.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
College Admission Mythbusters (Part 2)

I got a letter from the Dean! I’m in! For a high school student, there is something undeniably exciting about being the recipient of an unsolicited brochure from a prestigious university, or even better yet, a personalized letter from the Dean of Admissions practically begging you to apply. Unfortunately, this material usually has about as much value as the L.L. Bean catalog that arrived in the same stack of mail. It’s no great secret that in the age of U.S. News rankings, colleges are engaged in a never-ending battle to reject more applicants every year as evidence of their selectivity. ...

Posted Feb. 18, 2014, 1:41 p.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
This Is Your Life: Planning Your Future

Hello again. For this installment of Applied Knowledge, I’m going to step briefly away from getting into college and write about something even more important (and there are more important things out there!). What should you and I do once we get there? Planning Your Future While I do not know your area of interest, I know that mine is unequivocally written journalism, and in the following words I’ll speak about how I arrived at that choice, a choice which will inevitably have a huge effect on the rest of my life. I began showing interest in the field early, ...

Posted Feb. 18, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Are Young Athletes "Good Sports"?

How important is sportsmanship for young athletes? Marcus Smart Pushing "Incident" Marcus Smart is a 19 year-old star college basketball player for Oklahoma State and considered a definite NBA draft pick. Although Smart may be destined to break NBA records, right now he is infamous for shoving a fan at recent game against Texas Tech. In the closing seconds of the game, Smart fell out of bounds and into a group of spectators. While he was being helped up, a fan said something that really upset him (Smart has said it was a racial slur but the fan adamantly denies ...

Posted Feb. 17, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
College Admission Mythbusters (Part1)

Applying to college is a stressful and busy time for all teenagers. Waiting for an acceptance letter is even worse! We're here to debunk common myths about college admission. Download Myth #1: An applicant should try to present as “well-rounded” to please admissions committees This myth remains pervasive among nervous applicants and their families. Sadly this misconception usually ends with many applicants entering their admissions interviews dressed in a safari outfit while simultaneously riding a unicycle, playing a didgeridoo, and explaining their design plans for a Super Soaker that combats diabetes. Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but the bottom line ...

Posted Feb. 15, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Start Saving Coupons NOW for Dorm Room Essentials

Even if your children are in middle school, it is not too early to start saving those “Bed Bath & Beyond” (BB&B) coupons for when it’s time to outfit their college dorm room. Despite the mouse type that states otherwise, BB&B coupons never expire. And yes, despite believing your children will never be old enough to go off to college, your kids will fly the coop sooner than you can imagine. Dorm Room Essentials It is amazing how many items on the college dorm room checklist you can find in one store – whether you shop at BB&B or Target ...

Posted Feb. 14, 2014, 3 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Michael Sam: Why Coming Out Is a Big Deal

On Sunday February 9, Michael Sam, a National Football League (NFL) draft prospect, announced to the world that he is gay. In interviews with both ESPN and the New York Times, Sam said, “I am an openly, proud gay man.” Assuming he is drafted, Sam would become the first openly gay NFL player. The importance of Sam’s announcement was debated by my own tween and teen. My son thought it was a big deal that Sam had come out but my daughter did not understand the fuss. “So what?” she asked, “Why does it matter if he is gay or ...

Posted Feb. 14, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
High School Cupids

It’s rare to get a first-hand glimpse into our teens’ private lives, especially when it comes to romance. Typical questions from parents such as “Is she your girlfriend?” and “Do you just hang out in a group?” are most often answered with eye rolls and sighs. Given all the debate about teens choosing indifferent “hook ups” over caring relationships, parents should rest assured that high school students still enjoy a little good old fashioned romance on Valentine’s Day. Singing Valentines Think beyond traditional cards, flowers, and chocolates. Think beyond poems and candlelight dinners. At many high schools, vocal groups offer ...

Posted Feb. 13, 2014, 1:19 p.m. by TeenLife Blogger | View Comments
Help Young People to Inspire Change in 2014

The New Year is a chance to look ahead and resolve to do better in the future. At Raleigh International we will be focusing on the potential of young people in 2014 - young people who have the energy and determination to make things happen and inspire change, especially when it comes to helping others. We believe in making the most of that potential and driving it forward to help young people achieve positive change. More than that, we truly believe that young peoples’ passion and creativity can contribute to sustainable development. We recently released a survey demonstrating that the ...

Posted Feb. 13, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Short-Term Strategies for Financial Aid Success

With FAFSA season fast approaching, you no longer have the luxury of long-term financial planning for college unless you happen to stumble upon a 1985 Delorean fully- loaded with a flux capacitor (in which case you should pull a Biff, bet on future sports events, and not even worry about financial aid). Space-time continuum transcending scenarios aside, here are some essential strategies for maximizing your federal aid. 1. Don’t assume that you are too wealthy to be eligible for aid Common sense would tell you that a family living in a 20,000-square-foot McMansion, driving matching his/her Maseratis, and spending Sunday ...

Posted Feb. 12, 2014, 11:12 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Understanding Diversity in Asperger's Syndrome

I recently had the opportunity to hear an eye-opening speech by Aaron Levinger, a young man with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) who was diagnosed in middle school and speaks to school audiences about his experience. While most of us have heard of Asperger’s, many are unsure of what exactly defines AS. Asperger’s Syndrome is a neurological disorder on the autism spectrum that affects many areas of development. Symptoms vary and range in intensity but often include difficulties with social communication, sensory sensitivities, poor motor coordination, and intense interest in and knowledge of certain – andsometimes unusual – subjects. When You've Met ...

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