TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Marie Schwartz

Marie Schwartz is the CEO and Founder of TeenLife Media. Marie launched TeenLife in 2007 after moving to Boston with her husband and two middle school sons and discovering that there were no information resources for families with older children. Today, TeenLife's award-winning website lists thousands of summer and gap year programs, schools, college admission resources and volunteer opportunities for teens around the world.

Posted Jan. 29, 2019, 8 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Why A Gap Year is Important Before College

Do you yearn to be in the real world and discover life beyond a classroom? Consider a gap year before college. Whether you spend it volunteering, traveling, interning, or working, a gap year is the kind of experiential learning that gives young people the grit, resilience, and focus they’ll need to be successful once they get to college – and later in life. What is a gap year? Some people call a gap a year “off” because it’s usually spent outside a traditional classroom. But it’s really a year “on” for travel, community service, interning, research or field experience, language ...

Posted Jan. 25, 2019, 9 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
How to Promote Positive Teenage Behavior and Independence

The trials and tribulations of being a parent of a teen are regularly covered in the media. The message is the generally the same -- it's hard and getting harder. Whether it's college application time, dealing with accidents, drug addiction, or news of a suicide without warning signs -- it can all seem incredibly sad and difficult. In her book All Joy and No Fun, Jennifer Senior argues that changes in the last 50 years have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers. Children today are sheltered for long stretches of time and require much more schooling to ...

Posted Jan. 9, 2019, 8 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Diverse group of four teenagers sitting on porch of summer camp cabin

There are so many things teenagers need to learn that will not come from come from books or a classroom teacher or even sports: How to be a good friend. How to have confidence. How to take positive risks. How to pay attention to the present. How to ignore ridicule. How to advocate for yourself. How to have empathy for others. It’s nice think that parents teach many of those “soft” skills. But, as parents we are often painfully aware that we are the last people on earth our teens want to hear from now. So where can middle- and ...

Posted Dec. 21, 2018, 1 p.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Two young women taking selfie in front of Notre Dame in Paris.

What if … after the crazy race to get into college, your child stopped and took a breath? What if … instead of going full speed ahead into freshman year, your child took some time to really think about what to do once there? What if … instead of heading straight into another classroom, your child got to explore the world, build a community, learn a language, discover a skill or dive into a passion? What if … your child took a gap year? A gap year is a sabbatical, a change, a time between high school and college when ...

Posted Nov. 17, 2018, 8 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Astronaut standing on the moon in space suit.

On July 20, 1969, the entire world held its collective breath as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. You may have seen those grainy images that were transmitted back to earth. This was one of those moments that signaled the dawn of a new era. It’s hard to imagine now how an act of science – combined with bravery and the mystery of the unknown – transfixed so many people long before the age of social media. For a hint, you might want to see “First Man,” the latest movie about the Apollo 11 mission. We ...

Posted Sept. 25, 2018, 8 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Young woman singing with a rock band

It’s hard work being a high school student interested in the arts. It takes a lot of energy to be creative. Then, there’s the discipline of portfolios or recitals or auditions, or posting to your YouTube channel. Applying to college becomes one more stressor on the pile. It’s a lot to manage. TeenLife Media and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) can help. The 2018 Guide to Performing and Visual Arts Colleges is a comprehensive guide for finding and applying to college arts programs, whether it’s dance or sound engineering; musical comedy or animation; fashion design or sculpture. ...

Posted March 14, 2018, 8 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Group of teens in matching shirts participating in summer program

What is it about summer that invites experimentation and risk among high school students? Is it the freedom? The long days (and warm nights)? The bouts of boredom? The prospect of that haunting question in the fall, “What did you do this summer?” Some of you will have a job or internship that helps you pay the bills and/or acquire valuable employment skills. Others will be practicing at getting better at a sport. What if this summer you channeled some of your energy into an experience that led to new interests, new friends, new places and new chances to discover ...

Posted March 6, 2018, 10 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Discover Your Future in Our Guide to STEM Colleges and Programs

It’s easy if you’re a high school student to dismiss talk about your future as just more blah-blah-blah. And 20 years ago, it might have been OK to put that discussion off until you got to college, or hit senior year of college, or, not so rarely, graduated from college. Now, you need to be on top of things and we can provide it with our latest guide to STEM Colleges & Programs. The world is moving quickly, and you don’t want to miss out. And where does it seem to be picking up the most speed? In the STEM ...

Posted Dec. 14, 2017, 8 a.m. by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Announcing: TeenLife's 2018 Guide to Gap Programs!

High school can seem like a high-pressured race to get into college, and by graduation, some students just need a break or want to get out and explore the world beyond academics. Others aren’t quite ready for the responsibility and independence that college requires. And some don’t know what they want to study in college – or aren’t sure they want to go at all. The answer for all of these students might be a gap year or gap semester. A gap year – a break from traditional academics – is a chance to push the reset button before plunging ...

Posted Oct. 30, 2017, noon by Marie Schwartz | View Comments
Guide to STEM Colleges and Programs

Whether you want to probe space or the human brain; build a bridge or a DNA molecule; work on climate change or emerging technologies, TeenLife and the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) have a new tool to help you do it. The 2017 Guide to STEM Colleges & Programs is the result of an exciting collaboration between TeenLife Media and NACAC. It not only has valuable advice just for STEM students but also lists more than 300 universities, colleges and other programs that want to recruit creative and dedicated students, including women, minorities and the underserved. Science, technology, ...

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