TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted March 21, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Race to Nowhere: How Parents Can Help Teens Reduce Stress

Are teens still in a race to nowhere? Not if we can help it. A follow-up to the poignant documentary, Race to Nowhere, spurs the new campaign, "Replace the Race." Race to Nowhere Several years ago, I went to a screening of the documentary Race to Nowhere. At the time, my own children were in elementary, middle and high school. Prior to seeing the movie, I had thought that my older children seemed overly stressed out about school, and all of their club and sports commitments. On most afternoons, my daughters, who played multiple sports and never got home from ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 3:55 p.m. by Victoria Kempf | View Comments
3 Online Risks for Teens

When parents think about online risks for their teens, many only think about inappropriate websites, online bullying, and social media, to name a few. But what if the effects of being online 24/7 stay with your teen even when they aren't sitting at the computer? Teens being online can cause deeper, more prominent issues that all parents should be aware of. 3 Teen Online Risks Parents Don’t Think About, But Should! 1. The Issue: Sleep Deprivation The Common Cause: Teens Are Online When They Should Be Sleeping The Reason: In this digital age of online risks, kids want to be ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 2:44 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Why I Send My Teen to Sleepaway Camp

When my ten-year-old daughter begged me to go sleepaway camp, I was conflicted. I knew many people — adults and kids — that thought sleepaway camp was the greatest experience. A chance to enjoy some independence, make new friends and create wonderful memories. But selfishly, I hated the idea of her being away from home most of the summer. But ultimately, I decided to let her try it. This past summer marked my daughter’s fifth year at the same camp. At fifteen, I know for sure that sleepaway camp was the best place for her to spend the summer. Here ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 2:20 p.m. by Lesli Amos | View Comments
Volunteer Opportunities for Teens

Volunteering is a great way to make a difference in your community, discover a new interest, explore a possible career, network with new mentors, make friends and have fun. And social responsibility is an important part of your high school resume, even if your school doesn’t require high school community service. // There are lots of teen community service opportunities that are engaging. Start with service clubs at your high school, in your community or at religious organizations (you don’t always have to be a member to participate in outreach programs). Brainstorm with parents, friends, teachers and neighbors. Or, find ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 11:28 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Teens and Current Events

Mass stabbings at train station in Southwest China carried out by separatist militants. Town override passes to fund construction of new public high school. Syrian refugee children deprived of an education. Lobbyists push to require labeling of genetically engineered food. Russia sends more troops into Crimea. Massachusetts bans food wastes from landfills. 6,000 children die daily due to lack of clean water. The headlines come at us fast and furiously – over the web, Twitter, Facebook, radio, and television; in newspapers, and magazines. With so many inputs daily, it’s not surprising that some of us tune out the majority of ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 11 a.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
Athletic Recruiting

Getting into college is not as simple as it used to be. To stand out in a field of star students, college applicants are expected to shine in the classroom and beyond. Not surprisingly, athletics are taking a more prominent role on the well-rounded student resume. ESPN’s recent study on youth and competitive sports notes that overall, high schools are expanding athletic opportunities for students. Club teams are proliferating, too, separately from school programs. In certain sports like soccer, teens are increasingly foregoing high school teams altogether to play exclusively for clubs—a development that is impacting high school athletic programs ...

Posted March 20, 2014, 11 a.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Driven to Distraction

Beyond the popular refrain, “Don’t drink and drive,” parents should include many more appeals to their sons and daughters as they grab the car keys and head out the door—“don’t dial and drive,” “don’t text and drive,” “don’t reach for the phone and drive,” and “don’t eat and drive.” Dialing, texting, and eating put young drivers at risk. According to an article published in the January 2014 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a novice driver who calls a number on a cell phone while driving increases the risk of an accident by more than 800 percent. Reaching ...

Posted March 19, 2014, 2 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
Teens Need More Sleep

I was just speaking to a twenty-something graphic designer about setting up a meeting and was taken aback when he replied, “I am not a morning person. Could we meet after 10:30 am?” He readily admitted that he while he has been out of college and graduate school for a few years, he is still on the “work until the wee hours of the night and sleep in late” schedule. No 9:00 to 5:00 corporate schedule for this young business owner. Our conversation segued into how backwards it seems for high school to start before elementary school when younger kids ...

Posted March 19, 2014, 11 a.m. by Andrew Belasco | View Comments
Does Being a College "Legacy" Matter?

In the past several years, higher education researchers have yielded some interesting findings on the advantage held by so-called "legacy" applicants who have familial ties to a given school. If you happen to be interested in attending your parent’s alma mater, you will likely find their work highly encouraging. If not, it’s still important to be aware as you enter the admissions process that not every decision to accept or reject is driven by merit. A few key facts that may surprise you: 1. Applicants to highly selective colleges experience a 45 percentage-point increase in their probability of admission, on ...

Posted March 18, 2014, 4:27 p.m. by Stephen Friedfeld | View Comments
What (Not) to Write About in Your College Essay

The college application essay –- what should you write about? More importantly, what should you not write about? Did you just break up with someone you were dating? Colleges don’t want to know about it. Are you a waiter who spit in a rude customer’s food? There’s no need to tell colleges about that either. Is George Washington the greatest president in your opinion? Please don’t choose this topic. Download Take a look at the examples above. Why are these potentially bad topics? There’s a risk when you talk about boyfriends and girlfriends in your college essay. Are admissions officers ...

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