TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 2:58 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
The Best of the Grammys

My daughter and I watched the 2014 Grammys together. While a friend aptly labeled the performance, “Too much of a good thing,” we: Were mesmerized by the glam and glitter. Loved many pairings of old and new, like Carol King and Sara Bareilles. Cheered for Lorde and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Gasped at Beyonce’s outfit and post-baby body. Giggled at Pharrell’s hats. Marveled at Pink’s acrobatics. Coveted Taylor Swift’s dresses. But you’ll never guess what grabbed us above all else. The advertisement for Microsoft’s search engine, Bing: “Celebrating the Women of 2013.” I am happy to report that my daughter ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 2:52 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
How to Avoid the College Application Frenzy

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, freshman enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 48 percent form 1995 to 2009 and is projected to grow 11 percent between 2009 and 2020. With more college applicants vying for a relatively static supply of freshman slots, it’s no wonder that high school students and their parents have a hard time avoiding the college application frenzy. But it can be done. Here are ten ways: Recognize that colleges want what they don’t have. For example, colleges in New England have lots of applicants from New England. So, wherever you live, consider schools ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 2:50 p.m. by Elizabeth Suneby | View Comments
How to Achieve Real Happiness

As parents, we want our children to be happy for their sake and for ours. In fact, we all live the adage, “You’re only as happy as your least happy child.” But as the title of a January 9, 2013 article in The Atlantic warns, “There’s More to Life than Being Happy.” The writer opens her editorial with a powerful quote from Holocaust survivor, Viktor Frankl, who says, "It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness," to communicate that people who have meaning in their lives are the most resilient, and are able to rise above even the ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 12:16 p.m. by Rosa Heyman | View Comments
5 Ways to Stay Healthy in College

It's never too early to start thinking about your health when you go away to college. It is easier than you think to make unhealthy choices, especially when you are surrounded by french fries and chicken fingers every day in the cafeteria. Make sure to leave high school prepared, and you will find it easier to make healthy decisions! For every cup of coffee, drink a glass of water Coffee and caffeine are inevitable parts of every college student’s routine – whether you are out late with friends or stuck in the library cramming for an exam, sometimes it feels ...

Posted Jan. 30, 2014, 11:57 a.m. by Kristen Licciardi | View Comments
Allowance and Chores: How to Up the Ante

I admit it: getting my three sons to do household chores is, well, too much of a chore for me. Like most parents, my mind is going in a million different directions as I move through another harried day. At any given moment, I'm trying to answer the following questions, usually simultaneously: "Who am I carpooling with for tonight's basketball practice? What time is Leo's winter cello concert? Did I pay the mortgage yet? How am I going to finish my writing assignment and get dinner started? Will I make it home before the dog pees on the oriental rug ...

Posted Jan. 24, 2014, 12:52 p.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Hooking Up In High School

Dating in the 50’s seemed so simplistic. Remember the movie Grease? There were the good girls like Sandy and the not-as-good girls like Rizzo. Going out meant going to the movies or to the malt shop. And when Danny wanted Sandy to be his girlfriend, he gave her his letterman jacket to wear. But teen dating today does not seem quite as simple. A July 2013 article, Sex on Campus; She Can Play That Game, Too in the New York Times about dating on college campuses caused quite a stir amongst parents and teens. The article suggested not only that ...

Posted Jan. 23, 2014, 2:33 p.m. by Scott Ingram | View Comments
Next Steps in Gap Year Assessment

We’re proud of the impact of our gap year programs on the lives of our students. Why does this matter? Our theory of change states that if TBB programs help students develop a sense of purpose and direction rooted in justice and equity, they will better leverage opportunities higher ed and their careers offer to create social impact. Additionally, if we can help students develop higher order empathy and their capacities as powerful learners, they will create meaningful social impact throughout their lives. This impact assessment demonstrates that we have successfully developed these capacities — the same ones that made ...

Posted Jan. 23, 2014, 2:24 p.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
How to Deal with College Admission Competition

As spring approaches, colleges will be making their admissions decisions. As peer pressure goes, there is no greater pressure than that inflicted on each other over college applications and acceptances. For many teens, the pressure becomes overwhelming and may interfere with a logical college choice. Unfortunately, the bragging starts in the fall when applications are submitted and crescendos in the spring when offers of admission arrive. Download Since it’s difficult to avoid the competition over college among teens, here are a few tips that might help when dealing with these rivalries: Don’t be a braggart. Of course every teen is ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 4:28 p.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
The Importance of Observation on College Visits: Applied Knowledge, Part Four

Those of you who read my blog at TeenLife regularly know that I have already covered college visiting twice in previous blogs. I will start by saying that this piece, in addition to being more personal, will focus on one, nearly intangible aspect of the college visit, the one I consider most important of all: the 'feel' of the college. I don't quite know how to explain this phenomenon, so I will use specific examples of times that some attitude, or the atmosphere, of a college just didn't feel right to me, and when it undoubtedly did. I think it's ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 4:27 p.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
College Information Sessions: Applied Knowledge, Part Three

Hello and welcome back to my College Admissions Series. When we last left off, I spoke about why journalism is my chosen career path. In this installment, we’ll get into the real nitty-gritty of College Admissions in what I found to be the most difficult phase: information sessions. What makes these info sessions so difficult is that they are all relatively similar. All schools use similar language and approaches to promote their school, because, in general and in reality, they all tend to be rather similar at first glance. It is likely that most of a student’s college prospects will ...

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