TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Category: For College Counselors

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 ...

Posted July 14, 2015, 8 a.m. by Heather Jensen | View Comments
Top 5 Reasons to Major in Communicative Disorders or Deaf Studies

Choosing a major is difficult, which is why many people end up changing their major multiple times before walking across the stage to accept their diplomas. It's intimidating to choose something that will affect the rest of your life and determine the kinds of jobs that you'll take. You don't want to be stuck in some dead-end job, but rather you want to find something that you'll enjoy doing and will become more than a paycheck for you. You should consider majoring in communicative disorders or deaf studies for the following benefits: 1. A Rewarding Career One of the greatest ...

Posted July 10, 2015, 8 a.m. by Ethan Sawyer | View Comments
Three Signs Your College Essay is #DoingitWrong

Download What does #DoingItWrong look like? Well, like that. So how do you know if your college essay is destined for a meme poster? You might be #DoingItWrong if... 1. Your personal statement sounds like an AP English paper. And what do AP English papers do? They use a five paragraph intro-body-conclusion structure. They avoid use of the word “I.” They sound suuuuuuper analytical. Don’t do that on your college essay. Instead, make it more like a personal memoir, a Fresh Air interview, or a work of creative nonfiction. So get personal, get fresh, and get creative. First, here’s how ...

Posted July 9, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Having a Conversation About College Drinking

Last year, at least eight freshmen at U.S. colleges died in the first few weeks of the school year. In an article by Inside Higher Ed, “Lives Cut Short”, the stories of these tragedies were discussed in depth. The deaths cast a shadow over the campuses on which the students spent too little time, but they’re also a cross-section of the kinds of issues and decisions facing freshmen as they begin their college careers — and of the choices some young students may not be prepared to make. Even colleges with the best approaches to educating students about mental health ...

Posted July 3, 2015, 8 a.m. by Rowena Lindsay | View Comments
Tips for Choosing Classes That Are Right for You

At the beginning of college, picking classes can seem like either a daunting task or no big deal, but in reality it falls somewhere in between. It is important to learn skills that will help you get a job after you graduate, but you should also get a chance to explore your interests. Here are some tips for choosing classes that are both worthwhile and enjoyable. Explore your options. If you are even vaguely interested in a different major, take a class in that topic your first or second semester. As you get farther into your major's curriculum there becomes ...

Posted July 2, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
What If My Student Doesn't Want to Return to College?

I remember the phone call like it was yesterday. “Mom, I don’t think I’m going to go back to college next semester.” It was like a punch in the gut. I wanted to scream, “Are you out of your mind!” But I didn’t. I pushed the emotion down, took a deep breath, and listened to my daughter as she attempted to justify her decision. In my mind there could never be any justification for her leaving school. Financial aid was in place. Scholarships were awarded for all four years. We had spent thousands of dollars moving her there, not to ...

Posted May 9, 2015, 8 a.m. by Suzanne Shaffer | View Comments
Being Accepted at the Ivies

This year, Kwasi Enin, a 17-year old first generation American from Shirley, N.Y., applied to all eight Ivies from Brown to Yale. The college offers of admission began rolling in over the last few months, and the final acceptance from Harvard topped the list and secured his acceptances at all of them. College admissions counselors agree that this feat is extremely rare. First, because most students don’t apply to all the Ivies; and secondly, because each college seeks different qualities in their freshman class. The colleges are all considered highly selective, admitting a small percentage of applicants each year. Harvard, ...

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