TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time
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 ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 3:53 p.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Applied Knowledge: Introduction to the College Application Process

Many of you out there are parents, many are teens, many are educators, and most of you have probably come into contact (or will come into contact) with the college application process. Scary, I know. As someone who just applied to some colleges, I can confirm that it is a daunting task from start to eventual finish. College Applications are also a topic with extensive and readily available literature, from the TeenLife blog to the New York Times’s old “The Choice” blog, to really anywhere on the net. So what’s new in this series? Well, hopefully, its candor and timeliness. ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 3:33 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
New Years Resolution: Friend or Foe?

'Tis the season for New Year's resolutions. The holidays are in full swing, and the New Year is less than one month away. Thanksgiving feasts are over, and Christmas presents are being wrapped. December is synonymous with joy and happiness− so why is January filled with regret and longing? New Years Eve is a night of fun, friends and indulgence. Then there is a sudden switch into January, which seems to be all about discipline. New Year's resolutions are extremely popular, as the New Year provides a chance for a “new you.” This vision of change inspires people, as they ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 2:07 p.m. by Customer Service | View Comments
Jobs vs. Unpaid Internships

As a young person in high school or college, you are under immense pressure from your parents, schools, and even peers, to engage in the job market. Your immediate reaction probably leads you to consider one of two options: you can either get a paid job or an internship. Of course, the expectations for high school students and college students differ. Internships give college students an opportunity to work in a field they are interested in, and could even give them a leg up when applying for jobs. High school students, on the other hand, probably aren’t thinking as much ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:26 p.m. by Scott Ingram | View Comments
Year Programs Develop Powerful Learners

Our third major area of impact is in developing the learning capacity of TBB students. This growth is not about changing the volume students can learn. Rather, it’s about shaping how students learn. Powerful learners are humble, they are introspective, they value good questions over answers, and they understand how the pursuit of knowledge can bring people together. Great innovators are powerful learners. Great social change leaders are powerful learners, too. Download These are not the traits being developed by most schools in our K-12 system. Students are rewarded for having answers, not questions. Learning is done at arms length, ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:16 p.m. by Scott Ingram | View Comments
Gap Year Programs Teach Higher Order Empathy

Our second major area of impact is the development of higher order empathy in students. Teaching empathy is a hot topic. Business leaders believe it is key to strong organizational function. Educators believe it is a means of preventing bullying. Sociologists believe it is the root of healthy relationships. But, this discourse seems to rely heavily on the easier end of the empathy scale. It includes comforting someone who is the victim of violence, oppression, or circumstance. Slightly tougher — but still easy — is trying to understand and work productively with someone who holds a different opinion. Download Higher ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 12:06 p.m. by Scott Ingram | View Comments
Gap Year Programs Provide Purpose & Direction

The development of purpose and direction is the strongest area of growth for TBB students. In the general population, students tend to enter college with no clear sense of what they want to learn or what they’ll do with the expertise they gain. While some have chosen a major, few base that decision in real world experiences. They haven’t explored how they’ll align their profession with the ethics and morals that shape their worldview and sense of self. Also, they tend to know very little about the work available to experts in their chosen field. As a result, they’re ill-equipped ...

Posted Jan. 21, 2014, 11:54 a.m. by Elly Swartz | View Comments
6 Tips to Reduce Junior Year Stress

You’ve heard about the dreaded, yet, legendary junior year since your first day of high school.The year where your homework is relentless, your test schedule out of control, and everything matters. College is on the horizon and you feel the weight of every decision. It all feels so overwhelming. I understand. Truly, I do. As the mom of two sons who recently went through the process, and as an essay adviser with many students applying to college, I’m well versed on the stress that stems from junior year. Here are a few tips to reduce the stress and help embrace ...

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