TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Randi Mazzella

Randi Mazzella-profile-picture

Randi Mazzella is a freelance writer and mother of three from New Jersey. She is a Contributing Editor for Raising Teens Magazine and writes monthly for the blog Barista Kids.

Posted March 25, 2015, 9 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Keeping Teens Safe on College Visits

Overnight visits are one of the best ways for teens to determine whether a college is the right fit for them. Many teens participate in school sanctioned overnight visits with current students, offered by the college admissions office. Others may choose to stay with friends, siblings, or old classmates that currently attend the school they are thinking about applying to. But while there are many positives about high school students staying overnight at a college, there also may be risks. Research from the Center for Adolescent Research and Education (CARE) and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) show that more than ...

Posted March 18, 2015, 8 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
EXCLUSIVE: Our Interview with New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni (Part Two)

Frank Bruni, Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times, has written a book titled, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. He took some time to share his insights and some highlights from the book with TeenLife. In Part I of our interview, Mr. Bruni discussed the application process. In Part II of our interview, Mr. Bruni discusses college admission decisions and succeeding at whatever college a teen ultimately chooses to attend. RM: In Part I of our interview, you briefly spoke about how Ivy League admissions can be fickle. But many ...

Posted March 17, 2015, 8 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
EXCLUSIVE: Our Interview with New York Times Columnist Frank Bruni (Part One)

Spring is here and along with warmer weather, the season brings college decisions. Finding out whether teens have been accepted or rejected can be filled with a range of emotions for teens and for their parents. In hopes of helping teens and their parents remain calm and rational during this stressful time, Frank Bruni, Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times who writes frequently about higher education, has written a new book titled, Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania. He took some time to share his insights and some highlights from ...

Posted Feb. 25, 2015, 9 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
The Waiting Game

After months of preparation, your teen has finished all of their college applications and pressed the “send” button. Being done with the application process, and all the work it entails, entitles teens to breathe a sigh of relief. Now that their applications are in the hands of the college admissions offices, there is nothing more they can do but wait. Or is there? What should teens be doing (or not doing) while they wait to hear back from colleges? Stay Calm The best advice for teens is to stay calm. Lisa Sohmer, Director of College Counseling for the Garden School, ...

Posted Feb. 20, 2015, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
interview tips for teens

Whether teens are looking for a summer internship or full time employment, an interview may be the key to getting the position they cover. But according to Sharon Cohen, co-partner of Career Quarterback, three out of seven candidates do not know how to properly prepare for an interview. Says Cohen, “Many young adults need help developing interview and presentation skills.”Here are 10 Tips on How Teens Can Put Their Best Foot Forward Download Before The Interview Understand the Company and the Job Do online research and become familiar with both the company as a whole and the specific job being ...

Posted Feb. 18, 2015, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
sportsmanship in teens

This past month, a California High School girls’ basketball game received a lot of media attention. The Arroyo Valley HS team (one of the better team’s in the region with a 15 to 1 record) beat the winless Bloomington HS team by a score of 161 to 2. After the game, Michael Anderson, the coach of the Arroyo Valley team was suspended for two games. “Unfortunately, lopsided scores happen every year, and especially during the basketball season,” says Rick Wolff host of the WFAN show Sports Edge. “It's one thing for a team to lose by 20 or even 30 ...

Posted Feb. 17, 2015, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
teens college application

Last month I had lunch with a friend whose daughter, like mine, is a high school junior. The conversation turned to college and my friend expressed concern that her daughter, an A student with a strong resume of activities, would not get into her first choice schools because of low SAT scores. This is not an uncommon worry for parents and teens as they embark on the college application process. Whether it is school grades, standardized test scores or a resume of activities that doesn’t jump off the page, what can teens do to help their application shine? Colleges Do ...

Posted Feb. 12, 2015, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
writing a good college essay

Writing college application essays can be a daunting task for teens. While some students know immediately what topic they want to write about, others may be overwhelmed and unsure what they want to say. College application essays (along with interviews) offer students an opportunity to show a side of themselves beyond their grades and achievements. The hope is that after reading an essay, an admissions officer will find the candidate likeable, memorable and a good addition to the college community. But what makes a likeable and memorable essay? Download Choosing What to Write In an episode of the sitcom Modern ...

Posted Dec. 30, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
10 Reasons I Am Thankful to Be the Parent of Teenagers

Walking around the mall recently, I could not help but notice all the babies and toddlers. There were sweet tiny newborns snuggled close to their mom’s chests in Baby Bjorn carriers. There were chubby-cheeked babies being pushed in strollers and toddlers on foot just beginning to navigate the world on their own, yet still just inches away from their moms. Seeing all of these little ones sometimes makes me pine for the days when my three children were small. I miss when their little hands fit so perfectly into mine. But there are many things about being the mother of ...

Posted Dec. 29, 2014, 10 a.m. by Randi Mazzella | View Comments
Should Your Teen Play Sports in College?

Since age six, my daughter has been playing sports. Naturally athletic and with a strong competitive spirit, she played a variety of sports until she got to high school and began focusing on track. A varsity athlete her whole high school career, she now faces a decision – should she try to continue competing in college? Understanding the Different Levels of College Sports The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) designates three levels of college play (Division I, II and III) that vary in terms of time commitment and eligibility requirements. To find out more about NCAA and the differences between ...

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