TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For College Counselors

Posted Aug. 14, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Leaving for College

Having a daughter who was already an emotional basket case made the summer before college a stressful time in our house. She had a new boyfriend whom she did not want to leave. She had never been away from home for an extended period of time. Packing was quite the disaster as she wanted to take every single item in her room to college and I kept telling her to pare it down. Tempers flared, her emotions were all over the place, and when the day finally came, the reality of the change weighed heavy on both our hearts. Parents ...

Posted Aug. 12, 2015, 8 a.m. by Anthony-James Green | View Comments
Preparing for the SAT and ACT

The SAT and ACT have somehow earned monster status in the minds of most high school students. Need proof? “My daughter is a great student - but she’s not a very good tester.” How often have you heard that? The implication is that studying for the SAT and studying for tests at school are two completely different types of tasks. How else to explain that Eliza gets A-pluses on all of her Latin and math tests, but is only in the 40th percentile on her PSATs? In reality, the fundamental natures of the SAT/ACT and tests at school are exactly ...

Posted Aug. 11, 2015, 8 a.m. by Dana Elmore | View Comments

The first time I heard the term “self-reflection,” I was working on my second graduate degree, a master’s in education and was required to keep a self-reflective journal. My professors believed that “reflective practices made better teachers.” At the time, I had no idea what a self-reflective journal or reflective practices were. I later realized that self-reflection was something that I did naturally, but making a conscious effort to do it deepened my practice. Self-reflection can easily become a daily part of your life at any age. It involves giving careful thought to your beliefs and goals, and then evaluating ...

Posted Aug. 6, 2015, 8 a.m. by Tyler Hakes | View Comments

Let me start this article by making a confession: I am not a parent. And, even if I were, my child wouldn’t be the first in my family to go to college. So, why am I even writing this article? Because I was a first-generation college student who was lucky enough to have great parents who encouraged and challenged me. Their support and guidance ­- even without experience - pushed me to succeed. My parents were world-class cheerleaders for my continued education and there are a number of things they did (either intentionally or accidentally) that still stick with me ...

Posted Aug. 5, 2015, 8 a.m. by Nicolaus Jannasch | View Comments
How Teens Can Talk To Parents About Alcohol

When I was in high school my parents were not the "cool" parents. Once I was hanging out at the mall with my friends and we decided to leave and walk down the street for a few blocks. When I told my mom we had left, she demanded that she pick me up immediately because it was a change of plans and she wasn’t comfortable with it! It was embarrassing and it abruptly ended a fun day with my friends. All this because I had been honest! Can you guess how careful I was when I had my first conversation ...

Posted Aug. 4, 2015, 8 a.m. by The Experts at TeenLife | View Comments
texting and driving

Let’s just pretend for a moment you are driving down a busy highway going, say, 55 miles mph. And now let’s pretend I ask you to close your eyes for at least five seconds – or about the time it would take you to go the length of a football field. That would be insane, right? Startling statistics on texting while driving Well, according to a 2009 U.S. government report, that’s about how long your eyes are away from the road when you check a text and drive. And a 2013 Virginia Tech survey found that you could be distracted ...

Posted July 28, 2015, 8 a.m. by Casey Adams | View Comments
Four Lessons for Teens Camping in the Outdoors

Camping means no phone. It means no bed, no TV and, probably, no shower. At first pass, camping doesn’t seem comfortable or fun. So why bother packing up and heading to a nearby campground or lake or even farther? Well, you just might come back home with a few beautiful life lessons in addition to those stunning photos you can share when you have service again. A few National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) graduates shared their camping experiences and collected a list of life lessons. Let us know what you learn from getting outside, whether it's the back country or ...

Posted July 24, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
10 Textbook Apps for Soon-To-Be College Students

Any student going to college needs an arsenal of textbook apps to help them shop for the best bargains, find the free ebooks and textbooks, and sell and trade books when the semester ends. These apps should fit the ticket. But don’t wait until the fall of freshman year to download them. There’s no time like the present to create a folder and start adding these nine textbook apps to your mobile devices. 1. BigWords Nobody likes shopping for textbooks at the college bookstore. BigWords operates by the premise that students prefer to “shop for textbooks on smaller and smaller ...

Posted July 22, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
10 Questions Parents Ask About College

Over the years, parents have cornered me and asked me questions about the college admissions process and their college-bound teens. While those questions are varied, and sometimes specific as they relate to their own circumstances, here is my list of the 10 most asked questions: 1. What can I do to help my “average” student stand out and get accepted to college? The good news is that the admissions application is not just about grades or test scores. They look at the overall picture: grades, SAT scores, essay, student resume, and interviews. There will always be a college that recognizes ...

Posted July 20, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Helping Your Teen To De-Stress About College Prep

It’s no surprise the middle name of college-bound teens is “stress”. According to a recent survey, 76 percent of college-bound students say they are stressed. And if your student is honest, college prep is one of her biggest stressors. If you live with one, you’re stressed too; and not just you, but your family as well. Granted, there are plenty of reasons to be stressed. And plenty of reasons why it’s impossible to avoid feeling stress (try as you might). Here are five stressful college prep tasks and how to help your teen alleviate the stress: The Grades Grades mean ...

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