TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Melissa Hanan

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Melissa is passionate about all things STEM. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Simmons College and an M.A. in Applied Psychology from Boston College where she became interested in biomedical devices and materials science. She is returning to Simmons College to pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

Posted May 21, 2015, 8 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
May is Mental Health Awareness Month

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), about 1 in 5 children aged 13-18 currently have, or have once had, a mental health disorder. Despite the incidence and widespread research of mental health conditions, stigma and misconceptions still surround those struggling with mental health issues. May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month across the nation to help combat stigma and educate others on mental health. One way to show your support is to make a StigmaFree Pledge through the National Alliance on Mental Illness. From eating disorders and depression to how to help teens cope with stress ...

Posted Oct. 28, 2014, 10 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
Seven Year Medical Programs

For students who are aspiring to be doctors, the total time spent in school is typically eight years: four years to earn a bachelor’s degree and four years to earn a medical degree. Some students take time off during or after undergrad to bolster their applications, others don’t know they want to pursue a career in medicine until after they’ve pursued a graduate degree and/or a career in another field. There are various reasons that can extend the time before entering a medical program, and the entire process is lengthy and costly. For the high school student who is certain ...

Posted Oct. 20, 2014, 10 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
The Importance of Freshman Year

From college prep programs to high school curricula to tests such as the ACT and SAT, there are many ways in which high school students are preparing for college. Despite this college preparation, the college drop out rate after the first year is staggering. According to 2013 data collected by ACT, four in five students that drop out of college do so before sophomore year. Retention rates for specific institutions can be found through College Navigator. So what contributes to retention during the first year? Predictors of Success The main predictor of retention is a smooth transition during freshman year. ...

Posted Oct. 8, 2014, 10 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
Factors that Influence Young Women to Pursue Computer Science

While the number of women pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees has increased in recent years, women still make up an extremely small percentage of STEM professions. With computer science in particular, the discrepancy between the number of men and women in computer science professions is astounding. In an attempt to understand this gender gap, Google conducted a study to find out what might be contributing to the limited numbers of young women pursuing computer science. But First, What is Computer Science? What is computer science and what can you do with it? A Wikipedia search on computer ...

Posted Sept. 25, 2014, 10 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
College: The Reality of the Fifth Year

Most students- and parents- expect college to take four years. That’s what we’re led to believe and count on. But taking more than four years to complete a bachelor's degree happens more often than we would like to think. According to the U.S. Department of Education, fewer than 50% of students will graduate within four years of matriculating college and 45% of students won’t finish within six years! The Fifth Year There are a variety of reasons why a four-year degree takes longer. Students often don’t take enough courses per semester to fulfill their degree requirements within four years and ...

Posted Sept. 24, 2014, 10 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
A New Form of Higher Education: The Minerva Project

Does higher education need reforming? According to the Minerva Project, it does. Founded on the belief that the current higher education system needs “stripping down,” the Minerva Project has recently matriculated its first students who will engage in an innovative way of learning that comes in a different package and at a lower price than other colleges offer. Troubles in Higher Education The financial headache involved with getting a higher education is no secret. College is expensive. Tuition prices increase annually and even with grants and scholarships, students- and parents- are left with overwhelming amounts of debt in the form ...

Posted Sept. 22, 2014, 10 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
It's on Us Campaign Against Sexual Assault

Sexual assault has become an increasing problem on college campuses across the nation. Although more and more people are speaking up about the issue, the problem still remains. To help combat this rising problem of sexual assault, President Obama has launched a nationwide public service campaign called “It’s on Us” that stresses the importance of everyone taking responsibility of confronting this issue. As part of the campaign, various celebrities are speaking out against sexual assault, encouraging others to not be bystanders in situations in which consent has not- or cannot- be given and to intervene in such situations. The “It’s ...

Posted Sept. 15, 2014, 10 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
top performing and visual arts colleges

Interested in learning about more performing and visual arts colleges? Here is another round of the top P&VA colleges in the country. Regent University Regent University is an accredited Christian university that offers more than 50 programs including degrees in acting, animation, cinema-television, communication, production, screenwriting, and theatre. Richmond – The American International University in London Located in London, Richmond is committed to preparing students for global careers and offers Bachelor of Art degrees in art, design and media, and performance and theatre arts. Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University The Mason Gross School of the Arts ...

Posted Sept. 14, 2014, 10 a.m. by Melissa Hanan | View Comments
Violinists at the Eastman School of Music

If your teen has an interest in the arts, multiple opportunities exist that can help cultivate their talent into professional skills. From screenplay writing to music to photography, many colleges offer enriching programs that help shape talent in a variety of areas. Below, explore some of the top performing and visual arts colleges that provide great opportunities for teens with a passion for the arts. American Academy of Dramatic Arts The American Academy of Dramatic Arts is a two year degree-granting acting school with campuses in New York and Los Angeles that prepares students for acting careers in theatre, television ...