I feel fortunate to have kept in touch with one of my Freshman dorm mates, Lisa Rosowsky, who is a professor at the Mass College of Arts, an artist, and mother of two teenage daughters. As a very nurturing Prof — she is SO nice — she councils teens and twenty-somethings all day, every day. I pay special attention to her advice for teens.
Lisa Rosowsky’s Angel of Auschwitz
She sent me this email below. Her advice is on etiquette, something that is very important to my husband. He feels that it the single most important thing to teach kids. It can open doors and, conversely, lack of proper etiquette can also slam them shut!
I thought it would be fun to help her out by Crowdsourcing advice for teens!
Want to jump in with one piece of advice you were sent off to college with? Please do by leaving a comment!
Let’s Crowdsource Advice for Teens
My older daughter, Madeleine, a Junior in high school, is heading off to a 6-week math summer program at BU, and when I reminded her to send a thank you note or email to the math teacher who wrote her recommendation, she rolled her eyes and said it had been a few weeks, and perhaps it was too late to send. I assured her it was not.
Made me think of the many bits of “etiquette” advice I’d like to shoehorn in before she goes off to college in a year. Stuff like bringing a little something for the host/hostess when invited to someone’s home for dinner; writing thank you notes for recommendations for college applications, internships, jobs, etc. I thought this would be a good one to crowd-source!
So, please, if you have a “pet peeve” or the one piece of good advice that YOU were sent off to college with, could you pass it along to me? Thank you!
P.S. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone you’d like to weigh in…
Dear Teen Me: YA Authors Write to Their Teen Selves
I also came across of Dear Teen Me, a blog of Young Adult authors who write letters to their teenage selves. The posts are wonderful! I ended up reading a bunch of them and finally just buying the paperback which I gave to my teenager, Grasshopper and Sensei, yesterday. Today, I noticed that book was marked half way though with a folded down corner of the book which made me ecstatic.
Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (True Stories) edited by Amy Kathleen Ryan and E. Kristin Anderson
Writing is a risky career choice so I was thrilled to find successful Young Adult authors giving advice to their teenage selves about believing in themselves, listening to their inner voices, and finding courage to stay at it. At times poignant and at other times, butt-kicking-inspirational, these short letters give advice that I’d give my teenager if she would actually listen to me. But what teen wants advice from their parents. Answer: not a single teen in the history of mankind. They’d rather get it from an author they love. So, easy enough. Just hand them this book!
To view Dear Teen Me at Amazon, please click on image.
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My Advice to Teens Leaving for College
Two words: Self Advocacy. This means that you will need to find solutions to problems by yourself. It could be dropping a class instead of failing it. Or getting an extension on a paper. It could mean getting help finding housing or sorting out a parking ticket. The key to self advocacy is Just Do It. Solving problems is like a cavity; ignoring it won’t make it go away. Instead, the cavity will turn into a root canal. If you ignore that, you will lose your tooth.
It won’t always be obvious what to do or who to ask. You will spend frustrating hours in line or on the phone with unhelpful people. It will be annoying. But … Be nice. State your issue clearly. Ask for help. Thank the person. If this isn’t the right person, keep asking until the next step is revealed. Welcome to the real world teens!
What is your advice for teens? Please share!