Explore U’s2020-08-19T13:25:11-04:00

Explore Posts with University Specific Content


Have Some Halloween Fun!

When my daughter left for college, I sent her a Halloween care package. It was nothing fancy; just some dollar store decorations and candy for her to share with her roommates. This year’s Halloween will be a little different but that does not mean you can’t send your student some Halloween fun. If you are creative, Pinterest has some great themed care package suggestions.  Some sayings you can put inside include:

  • I Miss You Boo (with a ghost)
  • No tricks – just treats!
  • Hey Pumpkin, you deserve this
  • Going batty without you


Or, purchase a Halloween care package sticker kit to help make your packages more personal! Dress up your box flaps quickly and easily on the inside. Each kit comes with 4 large adjustable stickers designed to fit a USPS Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box. Please note the kit DOES NOT include the actual box, only the stickers. The stickers can also be easily trimmed to fit a USPS Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box and work for some UPS boxes – or use your own box!

And if your student is planning on heading out for Halloween, why not send them a Halloween-themed face mask?

Well… you get the point. Order these well in advance. Not a DIY’er? We’ve taken the guesswork out of what to send and went right to the source… our interns. They may be adults but they are still not too old for a good, old-fashioned Halloween gift.

haveuheard halloween candy

Candy – of course!

That goes without saying, but some were quite specific including Reese’s pumpkin cups, fruit snacks, gummy bears, jumbo candy bars (because the regular size ones are not enough), just a mixture of candy. You can put it together yourself and send it via FedEx/UPS a few days out from Halloween. We always recommend Target or Party City as they have your traditional candies, as well as Halloween, themed Oreos, and novelties.


If you’d rather not send a box of candy – try our friends at Dirty Cookie. They send an assorted pack of their cookie shots including chocolate chip, double chocolate, black velvet, and churro, all decorated with Halloween sprinkles and edible Halloween images. Fill your shot with milk, coffee, ice cream, or alcohol (21+), and enjoy! Our mouths are watering just thinking about how delicious it sounds.

  • Cookies by Design– choose from their many Halloween cookie baskets. Even better, get the Halloween Decorating Kit and they can have a fun activity to do with their roommates. Happy Haunting!
  • The Dirty Cookie – Have you seen the famous cookie shots? If not, think of a cookie, but shaped in the form of a shot glass. You can fill it with milk, coffee, ice cream, or alcohol (21+), and you can pick a cookie shot in several different flavors! Try their Halloween Cookie Shot Arrangement to their DIY Cookie Shot Decorating Kit, and use code HUH15 for 15% off your purchase and enjoy it!



  • Halloween Boo-Kay (get 20% off)
  • Wicked Good Cupcakes– Nothing says fall like pie. These adorable and out of this world delicious pie jars are baked fresh and ready to ship. Choose from apple, blueberry, cherry, and more. I love their pumpkin spice, caramel apple streusel, and chocolate pumpkin. Use promo code GOBBLE15 for 15% off your next order.


  • Candy apples – I remember making these as a kid (boy did we get sticky) but we did not have the variety that is available today. Try these gourmet caramel apples from Etsy shop BigBear Chocolates.
  • Mrs. Fields – This brings back memories of going to the food court at the mall and ordering piping hot, melt-in-your-mouth cookies. Try their Halloween cookie cakes, nibblers and chocolate-covered berries and nibblers

haveuheard halloween trick usf

Maybe your student isn’t into candy but is into…


Is this season still called Fall/Autumn, or is it just now referred to as Pumpkin Spice season? We love all things pumpkin spice, whether those are cookies, cupcakes, or coffee… you name it, we try it. Yes, that’s right, we said ALL things pumpkin.


  • Halloween coffee mug and coffee for a morning pick me up.
  • Or Pumpkin spice essential oilsbath bombsugar scrub, and body butterPumpkin, or fall scented candles for an evening wind-down!
  • Greetabl – We love these small little boxes that you get to fill with something small, thoughtful, and personalized. And, they have not forgotten about Halloween. Add in a card, and throw in all the spooky items of your choice! They have items from candy to candles to home décor – and your final price is based on the number of items you choose!
  • Lovepop – Maybe if you just want to send a card, make it 3D. Choose from Tim Burton’s Hocus Pocus I Put A Spell On You Pop Up Card to Disney’s Haunted Mansion as well as an assortment of ghosts, skulls, and black cats & bats.


AND if you’re looking to help them get in the Halloween spirit – think Halloween décor! Being festive is always a hit at school – so think of sending items such as Halloween twinkle lightsspider webscaution tape, and door cover.

Happy Halloween from HaveUHeard

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haveuheard fafsa general

First Applicants Find Substantial Assets, of course!

FAFSA is the national Free Application for Federal Student Aid but, based on how aid is distributed. Because aid is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, every student that hopes to receive aid for college must fill out this form to even be considered. Every college has its own deadline.

Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students were able to file the FAFSA using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. As a result of this change, you now can submit the FAFSA for the 2021-2022 academic year on October 1, 2020, using your 2019 tax and income information. As of September 27, 2020, the FAFSA$caster, an eligibility estimator tool for federal student aid, is no longer available.

The FAFSA is available online. This is a first come first serve as these loans are limited and time-sensitive. You can complete the application initially using estimated tax information and do not need to wait for your taxes to start the process. And, there is now an app for filling out FAFSA which includes access to the IRS’ data-retrieval tool. The app is called myStudentAid which will allow students to fill out the FAFSA on their phones on either an iPhone or Android.

For high school seniors who will not know what school they are attending, you can submit a FAFSA application for schools you are planning on attending and then update your application down the road. If your financial situation has changed since filing a tax return, do not hold off and starting the application process. You can discuss the change in finances with the financial affairs office once you know your student’s school. Each school has a different deadline and therefore better to apply early than risk not getting financial aid. You can add the schools you are planning on applying to as early as October 1st.

Keep up with the paperwork!

Make certain you apply EVERY year. It may not be the perfect scenario, but it is how FAFSA works. More information is available on the FAFSA website. We love this graphic that explains the FAFSA in more detail.

Click on your university for more specific information.

Pass on these great tips, tell your friends and like us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find out more about how to use HaveUHeard as a great resource. Sign up for other great tips at haveuheard.com.

haveuheard deals

Store Deals and Coupons

HaveUHeard provides the inside scoop from current students and parents; a been there, done that approach from trusted sources… A place to get information right at your fingertips instead of having to go searching on many other websites. We do an extensive amount of research in answering every question. But, we go the extra mile, bringing our own personal experience and provide practical real-life advice. While other parenting advice sources might provide good advice, we try to layer in practical advice for real-life that takes into account the significant shortage of free time that new college parents have in their lives.

We hope this site makes your journey with your college student a little easier, less stressful, and perhaps save you some money and frustration. That is why we offer the deals and coupons we find. Yes, we include links to third-party websites and advertisements for third-party products and services. Product and service-specific opinions mentioned within the content of our blogs are entirely the opinions of the HaveUHeard.com team and its staff. It is our hope that you will find value in the products and services these third-party organizations represent and patronize these businesses. Such advertising and marketing partnerships help make our efforts at HaveUHeard.com possible. Thank you for your support and ongoing interest.

DoorDash – $0 delivery for your first MONTH as a new DoorDash customer!

Shipt – For all your grocery and other household essentials, Ship delivers in as soon as an hour.

2020 Personalized Christmas Ornament – Purchase your Personalized Christmas Ornament and receive 50% OFF and FREE Shipping on purchase of 3 or more Ornaments.

Warby Parker- Free Trial – Order 5 pairs of new glasses from Warby Parker for Home Try-On.

American Eagle Outfitters – Get 20% off entire purchase with Tailgate item and code TEAMWORK

Atkins – Get $5 Off Atkins® Products, save on your next purchase of Atkins snacks, nutrition bars, shakes, and meals. Prefer to shop online? Use code SAVE2 on shop.atkins.com to receive $2 off your order.

Madewell – 20% off for Teachers & College Students

Lulu’s – Get 40% off sandals – one day only

Wicked Good Cupcakes – Fall flavors available- get 15% off with code GOBBLE15

Wayfair – Way Day 2020 sales at Wayfair and their other sites: AllModern, Joss & Main

Instacart – Sign up for Instacart and get your groceries delivered to your doorstep the same-day.

Show Me Your Mumu – $10 off any purchase when you sign up for Club Mumu

Balfour – save up to 25% off NCAA gear

Our Campus Market (OCM) – 20% off sitewide with code 20OFFPASS

Fanatics– Take advantage of their free shipping with code and other daily offers and stock up on your favorite team apparel

Minted – From graduation announcements, invites, thank you cards and gifts, head to Minted.

Redbubble – We love this site because it highlights a community of independent selling uncommon designs. They have a lot of really cool college branded stickers, dresses, leggings… just type in the college you are looking for.

BJ’s Inner Circle® Membership 55% Off

Sam’s Club – Join for $45 and get $45 in savings.

Fabletics VIP– When you join you get 2 for $24 Leggings

CanvasPeople – FREE 11 x 14 Canvas

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Audiobooks– Sign up and receive 3 Audiobooks with a 30-day Free trial

Tayst Coffee – FREE Mug

Silk® – Sign up for Silk® emails and get $1 off coupons

Harry’s – Order your FREE Trial set of razors and shave gel and pay just $4 for shipping

Princeton Review MCAT– $400 off

Princeton Review CFA Ultimate – $200 off

Princeton Review LSAT, GRE & GMAT – take advantage of savings

Seventh Generation Disinfectant Spray 4 Pack In Stock – RUN

Germ-X Hand Sanitizer In Stock – Large 32oz Bottles NOW $4.50

Printable Coupons, Coupons & Daily Deals

Half Price Shakes & Drinks at Steak ‘n Shake

Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Boneless Wings at Buffalo Wild Wings

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Save $5.00 at Denny’s

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3 Grilled Chicken Tacos for ONLY $2.49 at Del Taco

Party Tacos ONLY $0.59 at Taco Bueno

Score $80 Off Blue Apron Meal Delivery to your Home

$5 Margaritas Of The Month at Chili’s

Coca-Cola 12-Pack ONLY $3 Each at Target

10% Off your Check at Red Lobster

Save $1.50 ONE (1) 10 ct. box of Starbucks Coffee for Nespresso Original Line Machines

Save $0.75 on any ONE (1) 6-pack Horizon Organic® Single-Serve Milk

Save $1.50 ONE (1) S.Pellegrino® Essenza™ 8pk cans or 6pk bottles

Save $2.00 on any TWO (2) SlimFast® Products

Save $1.00 on TWO (2) 750ml, 1L, or 0.5L 6pk

Save $2.50 off TWO (2) Perrier® Carbonated Mineral Water 5L 6packs and slim can 10packs

Save $4.00 TWO (2) 10 ct. boxes of Starbucks Coffee for Nespresso Original Line Machines

Save $2.00 ONE (1) 8 ct. box of Starbucks Fresh Brew coffee

Save $1.00 on the purchase of any ONE (1) WHOLLY® GUACAMOLE product

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Save $1.00 One (1) Girard’s® Salad Dressing

Save $1.00 On any TWO (2) Welch’s® Fruit Snacks, Fruit ‘n Yogurt™ Snacks or Fruit Rolls (8oz or larger bag or 6ct or larger box)

Save $1.00 when you buy TWO BOXES any flavor/variety Fiber One™ OR Protein One snack product

Save $1.00 when you buy any THREE Pillsbury™ Refrigerated Baked Goods Products

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Save $1.25 when you buy ONE PACKAGE 60 COUNT Totino’s™ Takis® Fuego® flavor Mini Snack Bites

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Save $0.50 TWO (2) M&M’s® Mini’s Tubes

Save $1.00 on any ONE (1) El Monterey® 12ct Signature or Simply Breakfast Burritos (Available at Walmart)

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Save $1.00 when you buy TWO PACKAGES any flavor/variety Cascadian Farm™ Cereal or Granola

Save $0.75 on ANY ONE (1) Light + Fit Collagen & Antioxidants nonfat yogurt 5.3 oz cup

Save $1.00 on any TWO (2) Silk® Almondmilk half-gallons or larger

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Save $1.00 on any TWO (2) Newman’s Own® Salad Dressing

Free Samples and Freebies

Free Vegan Starter Kit

Free Box of Greeting Cards

Free Cold Brew Coffee

Free Sample of Xyzal Allergy 24H

Free $5 Off in Atkins Coupons

Free Box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal

3 Free Food Items at Publix

Free Personal Pizza at Chuck E Cheese’s

Free Coffee Wednesdays at Dunkin

Free Glenlivet Flask

Free Tea at McAlister’s Deli

Free $10 ThredUP Credit = Free Womens & Children Items

Free Goody Bag at buybuy BABY Stores

Free Sample of Sorion Herbal Cream

Free Sample of Marc Jacobs Perfect Fragrance

4 Free Delta Faucet Ear Savers

Earn Free Domino’s Pizza

Over 100 Days of Free Premium TV & Movie Trials on Amazon

Free Digital Issue of G&G Jr Magazine

Mack’s Free Ear Plug’s Giveaway – Every Weekday at 11am EST

Free Kerastase Genesis & Densifique Haircare Products

Ulta – Free Lancome SPF Primer Moisturizer for Your Birthday

Free Samples of Traci K Beauty Skin Care

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Free Sample of Tava Coffee or Tea

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Free The D Brief Laptop Sticker

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Win a $3,300 Miller High Life Backyard Bar and a $200 Gift Card

Win $10,000 Cash from The Travel Channel

Win a $25,000 Game Day Prize Package from Papa Murphy’s


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haveuheard vote huh

How to Have Your Vote Count While at College

Students in a new city adapting to a busy college schedule, the voting process can seem daunting. As an 18-year-old freshman, most don’t even know where or how to register or where to go to vote! With an election coming up, taking the time to go to the polls and vote is more important than ever. So, how can you do it? Each college has places to go for all things voting-related. They offer a variety of information from registering to vote to where to vote on election day, including information for students who are residents of Florida, as well as those from out of state.

For those that are registered to vote already, they probably want to get an absentee ballot and vote by mail. If they would like to change their address and register as a voter at their school address, there is information on that too. Since college kids move so often, many choose to keep their permanent address on their voter registration and get an absentee ballot or vote by mail. There are deadlines for these options. College students should consider if the local issues in their registered counties are important to them. We think every vote counts!!

Early voting is also an option for college students. Many counties open up early voting locations so if your student will be home during this period of time, they can cast their vote there. Most colleges also have polling options on campus. Students need to know what they need to bring with them to vote; we share all that information based on each individual school too. Every college makes it very easy for students to cast their votes even if your student is studying abroad.

Perhaps your student is interested in taking their political affiliation a step further. They may want to consider one of the many clubs and associations that each college has to offer for those passionate in political affairs. There are many.

Click on your university for more specific information.

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haveuheard flu

The Flu ends with “U”

Nothing makes succeeding at school even harder than when your student gets sick. Forget coronavirus which we know is a possibility. Before this pandemic, the biggest concern was the Flu Season. According to the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, vaccination rates on US college campuses fall well short of the target recommendation. Many colleges offer the flu shot for free with the Florida universities waging a competition last year in the first 4 U’s Fight the Flu- btw UCF won. Of course, the recommended time to get the shot is September-October and the how and where may change due to COVID-19, but places students can go to get a shot are outlined for each university. You may want to make sure your student gets their flu shot this year to add an extra layer of precaution.

Wherever students go for a vaccine they should stay around about 15 minutes afterward to be sure they do not have any adverse reactions. If students do get the flu, they should know that they can get a doctor’s note so they don’t feel compelled to drag themselves out of bed and trudge to classes. Professors not only appreciate the heads up but also are grateful that students don’t come and share their germs to the whole class. The flu is highly contagious and taking precautions is the best way to prevent it. Every school has different policies on this, but generally, students are covered with that doctor’s note.

We share info about where to get a shot in our blog Flu Season Ahead.

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haveuheard grad


Weighing out the Pros and Cons of Grad School

In a recent news story, it was reported that grad school enrollment may increase in the coming months and years. Not surprised, because it seems like a positive thing for new graduates to do with their idle time if they can’t find a job. We still began to wonder if it is the best option. The truth is, we are all about furthering one’s education. The question; however, still remains as to whether the benefits of additional schooling will outweigh the prospective job opportunities during a) an economic turndown b) the hovering unprecedented times and c) the student’s chosen field. It’s not like grad school is suddenly going to be free; therefore, possibly, requiring student loans.

At the risk of sounding negative, our students who have recently graduated or are about to, are doing so during a time of historic unemployment. Many of our young adults were promised jobs upon graduation, but conversely, these job offers had to be rescinded. Others have been working for just a few months when they too joined the unemployment lines. We realize we aren’t telling you anything you don’t already know and may, perhaps, keeps you up at night. (You are not alone.) The big question is, is graduate school a good option for those young people? What does it mean in regard to their career ambitions?

Heading back to the classroom during an economic decline is apparently a common trend. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, college enrollment grew by 3 million, from 2006 to 2011. Some students may choose to stay in undergraduate school a little longer by picking up another minor thereby avoiding the eminent dreaded job. (I actually read this and thought I’d share since it made me feel better since that is exactly what my daughter just did.) No doubt, the benefits of additional schooling outweigh prospective job opportunities if you consider the idea that additional schooling can make students more marketable in the long run, particularly when accruing experience isn’t an option. The keyword here is can; not will.

Still, students that are looking to wait out the pickle our country is in, before enrolling in grad school, should consider their future job prospects, study habits, and the cost of tuition. After taking into consideration these factors, try to find a program/degree/certificate that will make you more marketable upon completion even if the unemployment rate is still suffering. Obviously, we hope not, but if the new degree is going to make you no more marketable in your chosen field, and you will need loans too, perhaps attempting to find a less optimal job, for the time being, is the better option.

Which fields are best served with an advanced degree? That too has changed in recent months. Check out our blogs on College Majors to Pursue and, if grad school is something you are considering, Preparing for Grad School Exams.

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haveuheard graduating

Our Intern’s Retrospective on Graduating this Year.

Graduating during a pandemic is not at all how I imagined starting my life as an adult. When I was a student at the University of Central Florida, I spent years fantasizing about how my life would be after graduation. I would travel for a few months before jumpstarting my dream career, making a lot of friends along the way. Instead of what I was daydreaming, I got the exact opposite. I couldn’t even finish my senior year of college in person. As soon as I left campus to go home for Spring Break, I never went back. I never got the chance to say celebrate downtown one last time, take my senior pictures, or say goodbye to my very best friends. Most of all, I never got a chance to wear my cap and gown and walk down that stage to receive my hard-earned diploma. I don’t have photos of me in my graduation gown being hugged by my entire family as my older siblings do. I don’t have conventional graduation memories.

My parents tried to make my at-home graduation something special. I woke up the day of my graduation with my living room decorated and gifts from everyone in my family. It wasn’t what I originally expected, but it is something I’ll never forget. My family did everything they could to make my graduation memorable – and they succeeded.

Moving away from a place you called home for 4 years is hard, but adding in the fact that I couldn’t even say goodbye to my friends was harder. I spent the first few months of quarantine crying, and then feeling guilty for crying because at least I was safe and healthy – it was such a weird situation to be in. I lost my part-time job and ended up staying in quarantine for a while. Truthfully, I lost motivation after graduating from college. I was applying for full-time jobs like crazy but was incredibly unlucky with my search and this ruined my motivation even more. I took a couple of months off from job hunting because it was obvious that the hiring freeze wouldn’t be ending as soon as I had hoped. I noticed so many of my friends applying and getting into master’s programs and certification courses. I wanted that to be me, but it felt impossible because of my lack of motivation and hope for the rest of 2020.

Not Easy

Halfway through summer I was getting bored and spent every day upset. I realized this isn’t what I wanted for myself as I begin my journey to adulthood. I decided to sign up for a certification exam, an exam I was planning right after graduation. This exam would allow for me to have a Certification in Public Relations under my belt. I didn’t want to spend all of 2020 upset and isolated. I needed something to motivate me every day to improve myself. I scheduled this certification exam for October 19th and hopefully, it will land me a job in my field!

While studying for this exam, I have also considered graduate school. Getting my masters will definitely set me apart from other job candidates while also giving me the opportunity to expand my education. I think one day I’ll definitely get my master’s, but unfortunately, times are too tough financially to worry about graduate school loans. Once I am more established financially, that will definitely be my next step.

Aside from studying for the certification exam, I decided to jumpstart one of my dreams. I’ve always wanted to make my very own brand by creating a lifestyle blog. With all of the free time I have, I decided what better time than the present? I spend most of my days researching what it takes to build your own blog and writing out some blogs I hope to post in the nearby future. I’m not sure when the hiring freeze will end, but until I get my foot in the door of my career, this is what I’m doing as a recent graduate in 2020. Hopefully, by the end of this year, I will earn my certificate in Public Relations and have my lifestyle blog up and running!

Shelly Massre, Former Intern

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Who Needs an Excuse for Something Sweet?

Sweet, we love getting a treat! Is your student heading off to school for the Fall semester, or are you celebrating a special occasion, or do they need a pick me up from time to time as they transition to virtual learning? What’s better than a sweet treat that you can have delivered directly to them to curb that sugar craving and leave them with a smile on their face?

Check out some of our favorite sweet dessert spots that you can surprise your student with throughout their semester away from home.

haveuheard birthday

Photo by Dirty Cookie Instagram

The Dirty Cookie – Have you seen the famous cookie shots? If not, think of a cookie, but shaped in the form of a shot glass. You can fill it with milk, coffee, ice cream, or alcohol (21+), and you can pick a cookie shot in several different flavors! Is there a better way to celebrate your birthday, the end of an exam, or just making it through another week of quarantine? The answer is, OF COURSE NOT! Use code HUH15 for 15% off your purchase and enjoy it!

haveuheard sweet

Photo by Milk Bar Instagram

Milk Bar Store – Don’t be fooled by the company name – Milk Bar offers some of the best cakes we’ve ever tasted! Think a Funfetti boxed cake that your student likely baked from time to time, but SO much better! They also have cookies, truffles, and pies – and anything you choose is going to have you eating the whole thing, it’s THAT good!

haveuheard sweet

Photo by Bake Me a Wish Instagram

Bake Me a Wish: If you’re looking for a full catalog of desserts to choose from, this is where you should start! Bake Me a Wish has cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, and more – all for a reasonable price! Plus you can personalize your selection with any message you wish (see what we did there)?

haveuheard sweet

Photo by Baked by Melissa Instagram

Baked by Melissa: If you’ve ever been to New York, you know the name Baked by Melissa. These are tiny cupcakes that come in assorted flavors including cookie dough, red velvet, brownie, and more! You can get a box of 25 or up to 100 and send it directly to your student for any occasion! These are available for purchase through their website or on Amazon. Trust us, these are always a hit and they taste delicious!

haveuheard sweet
Photo by Wicked Good Cupcakes Instagram

Wicked Good Cupcakes: If we’re going by the name, you know these are going to be wicked good! These desserts come in a festive box filled with cupcakes in a small jar, plus birthday décor and candles if they’re celebrating a birthday. You can pick different sized boxes based on your budget. Plus these last for at least 10 days without being refrigerated or your student can freeze them for up to 6 months (even though we know they’ll be devoured as soon as they open the box).

haveuheard sweet

Photo by Cookies by Design Instagram

Cookies by Design Most of us have, at one point in our lives, have eaten one of these hand-decorated cookies. If you’ve been on the receiving end of one of their baskets, then you know what we are talking about. So whether it is a birthday, exams, or just a thinking-of-you occasion, say it with cookies – Enjoy a wide variety of gifts & treats for every occasion from Cookies by Design!

haveuheard sweet

Photo by Edible Arrangements Instagram

Edible Arrangements If you are thinking something more along the lines of fresh fruit (because who doesn’t like sweets said no one ever), then Edible Arrangements is the way to go. From their traditional fruit bouquets to their fruit platters, the best gifts are Edible.® They even have strawberries dipped in cake batter and rolled in mini sequin sprinkles, miniature cakes made with fresh pineapple and dipped in white chocolate or you can create your own box.

Another idea is to arrange for a personalized message from their favorite celebrity whether it is an actor, athlete, musician, reality tv star, or creator. You can arrange for them to get a personalized message from their favorite person. Depending on the person, prices vary. Check out cameo.com or download their app.

For local options, check out our university’s happy birthday blog. Just make sure you plan in advance as it seems deliveries are taking much longer now.

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haveuheard nature

Nature Is Waiting For You

In the four years, your student will be at college, you will undoubtedly visit a few times. Often visits center around Parents Weekend or a football game, but HaveUHeard that there is far more to do at each college that may be just as much fun? And a great deal of it can be found outdoors. So the next time you visit, or perhaps your student just needs a little time off-campus, you might want to check out some of the parks, neighboring towns, or sports that aren’t college teams.

HaveUHeard that Florida has more than 700 springs, the largest collection on earth where eight billion gallons of water flow each day at a constant 72 degrees? Central and North Florida boast some of the most beautiful freshwater springs with their shimmering shades of aqua blues and emerald greens. What about visiting some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches? Several of our universities have quaint little towns anywhere from 30- one hour drive with adorable local shops, antiques, and noteworthy restaurants. Have you ever seen a Venetian style lagoon carved out of coral rock that is also a swimming pool with caves, stone bridges, and waterfalls? Have a student at UMD? Then you will be able to visit some of the most stunning areas around Washington, D.C.

Near any of our universities, there are things like kayaking, nature trails, and live music nearby. Perhaps you love a good farmer’s market, a family bike ride, or have always wanted to go on an airboat ride.  We have scouted out some of the fun things to do so you can plan to enjoy free time with your students and make memories of this special time.

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haveuheard virtual fair

Virtual, It’s The New Norm

By Priscilla Beth Baker

We have all had to get used to a lot of fundamental changes in the past few months in our work, school, and home lives. As we head into the fall semester with so many unknowns, one thing we do know is that the job and internship search for our students is going to be markedly different – indefinitely. And I believe that many of these changes are here to stay well after COVID-19 is in our rearview mirrors. The best thing your kids can do in the interim is to get comfortable, not just get through, what is likely to become the new normal: virtual career fairs.

Platforms that host virtual recruiting and career fairs have worked out a lot of the kinks associated with them and are far more efficient and worthwhile than I originally gave them credit for. Despite the lack of “personal touch” associated with in-person career fairs and interviewing, there are actually several advantages to the virtual format on both sides.

Career Fairs and in-person interviews can cost companies, and applicants, an exorbitant amount of time and money; going virtual removes that burden. It also means that companies who might feel they need to limit attendees don’t necessarily have to do so. And employers can pre-screen attendees in a way that is not always possible to do with traditional career fairs which can work to your advantage and save time in terms of waiting in long lines of unqualified or uninterested candidates.

I think the greatest advantage with virtual career fairs might be for those students who really struggle with making first impressions and the 5-minute elevator pitch selling themselves in a high-pressure situation. Similarly, there can be a lot of unconscious bias associated with presenting your physical self versus your intellectual and social self. We hate to think that bias exists, but alas, it does, and we have all fallen prey to the disconnect between appearance and expectation at one time or another. Being able to hide behind the proverbial social media mask of the virtual career fair is not such a bad thing in these cases where students can parlay short, but engaging, virtual conversations into more extensive emails or phone calls by way of follow-up.

One thing COVID-19 has truly proved to the world is that many of us can, in fact, work successfully remotely without jeopardizing efficiency. Engaging in virtual career fairs shows employers that you are committed and already adept at maximizing your productivity.

There are some great tips for navigating a virtual career fair. Read our Virtual Career Tips.

Pass on these great tips, tell your friends and like us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find out more about how to use HaveUHeard as a great resource. Sign up for other great tips at haveuheard.com.

Priscilla Beth Baker currently works as an academic advisor at a large university and has two college-aged sons of her own. She is also a former high school English teacher and educational writer for Prestwick House Publishing.