TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Evan Berkowitz

Evan Berkowitz is a freshman at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a graduate of Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, where he was Managing Editor of the student newspaper, The Forum. He is a regular blogger at TeenLife and contributed to the now-defunct Boston Globe GreenBlog. He is also a staff reporter for the University of Maryland Writers' Bloc, a literary and arts-focused news website.

Posted Feb. 26, 2015, 9 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Top 5 Tips for Finals

Finals week is approaching here in high school, and if your mind can survive it, then your dominant hand surely will too—though after a long essay and two open responses, you may not be so sure! Believe it or not, finals don’t have to be so daunting. With five simple tips, any student, from the studious, 4.0 GPA wonder to the ceaseless procrastinator to, well, me, can triumph over the evil that is finals week and emerge victorious for the next two months until school begins once again. Top 5 Tips for Finals 1. You have a wand Those of ...

Posted Nov. 27, 2014, 10 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
how to make a big school small

Rectangles and squares, colder and warmer, more and less of a certain ingredient. These are all things, we are told at various points throughout our lives, that can be manipulated in one direction, but not the other. A square is a rectangle, but not vise-verse. If you’re cold, you can wear a sweater, but there’s only so much you can remove to cool down. You can always add a little salt to your meal if you need to, but it’s nearly impossible to take any away. So it is with colleges and universities as well. You can make a big ...

Posted Aug. 28, 2014, 10 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
pre-college packing

I’m headed off to college in a week and a half, so these past few weekends have been spent scouring stores for the best buys in dorm room necessities and…not-so necessities. Quite the pile has sprung up in the front hallway, and the prospect of leaving is, by shear volume of possessions, becoming a great deal clearer. But, as fun as this packing process has been and can be for everyone, it must be undertaken with rhyme, reason, and careful planning. Hopefully, these tips will help your or your soon-to-be-college student’s transition be all that much smoother. Good luck! 1. ...

Posted Aug. 8, 2014, 10 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
overprotective parents

These last few weeks before heading off to college have found me looking around the house making mental notes of things I’d like to bring and things I’ll miss from afar. Some are easily tangible items, like my two ceramic mugs or my model train layout. Some are conceptual, like not having to share a bathroom with all my floor-mates or being able to sleep in my own room. And still some are purely nostalgic, like the specific sound and smell the Commuter Rail makes when braking at Porter Square or the taste of my favorite foods. It’s impossible to ...

Posted July 4, 2014, 10 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Understanding Student Loans

I suppose that I'm what you could call a financial isolationist. Within my own bank account, I'm pretty competent and things tend to run smoothly. But when it comes to outside concepts like mortgages, lending, and—goodness gracious—the Stock Market, my understanding drops off significantly. Maybe it's because I'm not much of a math person, but beyond the basic concept of getting and then paying back money (with interest), I get a little confused. It probably has something to do with my penchant for trying to ground things in reality; all the intrinsic theoreticals of the financial sector don't click in ...

Posted June 5, 2014, 4:39 p.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Reflecting on the Final Days of Senior Year

May 19, 2014, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School Four years ago (I remember the conversation), my cousin Jen, who was then graduating from High School, brought an interesting fact to my attention. In another four years from then, she said, I would be graduating from high school, and she from college. Well, yesterday she graduated from Tufts University, and in twelve days, I’ll don a cap and gown myself for high school graduation. I finish classes even sooner—in four days. Time to Graduate But today, I took a nap—this morning, in the main entryway to the school (a connector between two ...

Posted May 3, 2014, 11 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Political Conscience

I registered to vote today; I got the sticker and everything. The League of Women Voters was outside the cafeteria registering Seniors, and I was more than happy to take part. Those of you who read my blog regularly already know my views on the Right to Vote, but I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about the other side of voting: politics. Politics Last time around in the blog, I spoke about social conscience, and while political conscience comes from a similar place in one’s system of values and actions, it is slightly different, and it is even ...

Posted April 29, 2014, 2:13 p.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
Developing a Social Conscience in the Teenage World

Recently, I went to see Power to the Pedals: Wenzday Jane and the Culture of Change,a wonderful new documentary film about one of Greater Boston’s most innovative business owners. Wenzday Jane is the President of Metro Pedal Power, a Somerville-based delivery business that uses bicycles (and sophisticated, homemade trailers) to deliver goods (mainly produce) throughout the Cities of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, and the Town of Brookline. The film also features Wenzday’s contract with the Cambridge Department of Public Works to regularly empty sidewalk recycling bins using pedal power. Their method is one of the most creative works of invention ...

Posted April 4, 2014, 11 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
The Beauty and Convenience of Early Action

Regular readers know I once referred to Early Action as something like “the best thing since sliced bread.” But not until this week have I realized what a terrific and wonderful beauty Early Action truly is. To explain why, let’s begin with a common comparison. High School Years and Stress Every time period in our lives is like a plate (as in “I’ve got a lot of things on my plate today”). If we are to extrapolate this simile to the world of high school, freshman year is like an amuse-bouche: Whetting one’s appetite for the time to come. Sophomore ...

Posted March 31, 2014, 11 a.m. by Evan Berkowitz | View Comments
6 Tips for Extracurricular Activity Success

Extracurriculars look good on a college application, they enrich the lives of you and your community members, they prepare you for the real world (which is kind-of my schtick, you might say), and they are all-around a lot of fun. No matter what type of extracurricular you do, it will make your four years of high school a little better. In fact, doing many activities around my community led me to a place I never could have imagined: A special living-learning community at the college I will attend. But how can you ensure a good activity experience that is actually ...

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