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A Nice Place to Stay, Hotels Nearby Keeping in mind that Tallahassee is not only a college town but also the state capital, there is a vast selection of hotel options. There are all different things to take into consideration when booking; I’ll do my best to cover all of them. I usually stay at the Doubletree Hilton. courtyardSee below for other Hilton choices. Many of my friends, on the other hand, stay at the Marriott, because it is closer to their daughters’ sorority houses. See Marriot choices below too. There is a lot to consider – location, breakfasts, bed comfort, etc. For instance; if you want a suite type of room, free breakfast and to be able to walk to campus; check out the Residence Inn. If you want a trendier hotel with a Starbucks in the lobby; check out Aloft. It is also a Marriott hotel so you can get […]

Finding a Roommate

A really great experience!  Finding the ideal roommate(s) can be tough and a hassle. I’m here to tell you about my personal experiences and how to avoid getting a disastrous roommate. I remember being an incoming freshman and dabbling back and forth on whether to pick a stranger for a roommate or my best friend from high school. I ended up doing both—picking a random girl to live with me in Dorman hall for summer C and taking on fall semester with my best friend by my side in Gilchrist Hall. A lot of people warned me about the complications that involve living with your best friend, yet I still chose to live with her for Fall/Spring. By all means, I am not saying this was a drama-free year, but I enjoyed living with her regardless. It is up to you to determine if living under the same roof as one of your […]

Tutoring and Other Ways to Study Better

Challenges But Not Limitations, Tutoring Can Help Students who attend FSU, no different than many other highly sought-after colleges, will be faced with challenging classes, taught by respected and renowned professors. They are no longer in high school where a student can often coast by; succeeding at FSU requires taking classes seriously. At the same time, there are many opportunities to get involved and enjoy these four years including football games, Greek life, and outdoor activities. A student needs to be able to balance all of this, which can prove daunting to many. But since they have such a selective admissions process, the understanding is that many of these students have already been faced with balancing academics, social and civic activities. But Just in Case…Get A Tutor If your student mentions he/she is having difficulty, there are many places he/she can turn; including speaking with his/her professor and/or teacher assistant. There are […]

Retail Therapy

A Little Retail Therapy There is plenty of shopping in Tallahassee and although your student is up there for school, there is always something that he or she will need particularly at the start of the first semester, so a little retail therapy is needed! It’s a good idea to order some things online or at home and have them waiting for you at some of the stores in Tally. This can be done at Target, Walmart and Bed, Bath and Beyond, and can be extremely time-saving as well as freeing up space in your vehicle or if your student is flying into town, making shipping far easier and less expensive. There are many other major box stores near FSU as well, including Best Buy, Family Dollar Store (there are three), Sears, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and a few department stores. For those unfamiliar with these stores, here is what you may need […]


Seminole Chop anyone?  Way back, when your student was deciding on where to go to college, attending Seminole sports probably came into play. It’s just what we do. And it’s fun…even if you don’t know what’s really happening on the court/field. (Who me?) The important part is to know when to cheer, when to chop (Seminole chop is taught at orientation and if you missed that class, it’s pretty easy to catch on, but I will describe later) and when it’s a good time to run out and get a drink (I mean water. It gets extremely hot on some game days.) The key is learning where in the stadium to sit based on time of game and shade. Student Tickets Did U know…FSU students get in FREE to all Seminole athletic events, including football? Football, basketball, and baseball are most popular, but tickets are available to view golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming […]


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 their own deadline. Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students were able to file the using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. As a result of this change, you could submit the FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year on October 1, 2018, using your 2017 tax and income information. (Summer applicants for 2019 need  to submit a 2018-2019 application using the 2016 tax and income information). If you have not done so already, you will also need to complete that year’s application as well.  In addition, if an amended return was filed, the IRS will notify the individual […]

Fix it!

Repair Shops Car, scooter or bike, oh my!  At FSU, you will find all in large numbers. Talk to any student about which is the most useful at FSU and you’re likely to get an equal number of answers. No matter the transportation your student is using, they may, at some point, need a repair shop. There is nothing worse than having your main mode of transportation break down. Below you will find a list of repair shops. Bike Shops University of Cycles 668 W Gaines St, Tallahassee, FL 32304 (850) 222-1665   Joe’s Bicycle Shop   1637 Monroe St, Tallahassee, FL 32303 (850) 222-3855   Great Bicycle Shop 1909 Thomasville Road (850) 224-7461   Bird Legs Bicycle 2784 Capital Cir NE (850) 422-1075   Higher Ground Bicycle Company 1410 Market St, Tallahassee, FL 32312 (850) 562-2453   Damn Good Bikes 652 Capital Cir NE (850) 270-3266   And finally…. At Krank […]

Care Packages

Put a Smile on Their Face For six summers I worked in the office at the sleep-away camp that my kids went to. Watching the elation on the camper’s faces when they opened the care packages that arrived from home was priceless. I didn’t want them to miss out on the thrill of knowing they were being thought of or opening a little piece of home, so although I was there, I made some too. When they began college, although I realize they were considered adults, I started sending care packages to college. The contents certainly differed, but the sentiment was the same. I figured why wait for midterms or finals to send a little something? They may not admit it, but our students probably miss some of the touches of home life, even if their new-found independence trumps a home-cooked meal. Who doesn’t enjoy getting a little something in the mail? […]

Garnet and Gold Debut

Get ready for Florida State Football. There will be a throwback theme, a new coach and a lot of excitement on April 14 at 6 pm when our Seminoles play the SunTrust Garnet and Gold Spring Football Game presented by Kia in Doak Campbell Stadium. This will be our first look at Florida State football under the new head coach, Willie Taggart. Fans are encouraged to join in the retro spirit as they pay homage to FSU football from past eras. During half-time, there will be an Alumni Game with many familiar names and faces and a few surprises. Tickets for students are free, $10 for general admission, and $55 for the Champions Club, though the latter is only $20 for those 18 and under. Tickets can be purchased at Seminoles.com in advance. All ticket sales on game day at the stadium will be cash only. Postgame should be just as much […]

Dinner, Early or Late

When you want to go somewhere nice. Like any college town and/or state capitol,  there are literally hundreds of dining options from fast food to fast casual, from family style to fine dining. Whether you are eating dinner early or late, you will find your burgers, pizza, Mexican, Chinese, barbecue, sushi, salads, Mediterranean; a restaurant for every palate and every price point. Depending on whether you are touring with a prospective student or visiting your student in Tally, who will undoubtedly be clamoring for a good meal, the options are plentiful. Some things to consider beforehand are price and time. It is not unusual for there to be a considerable wait, even with a reservation, on a game weekend or graduation, at some of the more popular selections. First, let’s be clear; like getting hotels and beating the traffic, securing a reservation at a restaurant – good or bad – on a […]

Wakey Wakey – Eggs and Bakey Means Breakfast Anytime

Here are our favorites!   Best Breakfast & Brunch Restaurants Like any college town or state capitol,  there are literally hundreds of dining options from fast food to fast casual, from family style to fine dining. Hungry for breakfast, you will find your bagels, omelets, pancakes, burgers, pizza, shakes, salads; a restaurant for every palate and every price point. Depending on whether you are touring with a prospective student or visiting your student in Tally, who will undoubtedly be clamoring for a good meal, the options are plentiful. Some things to consider beforehand are price and time. It is not unusual for there to be a considerable wait, even with a reservation, on a game weekend or graduation, at some of the more popular selections.  Merv’s Melt Shop – Literally the best place for breakfast or lunch. Greatest and most creative grilled cheeses. Don’t miss the truffle tots, because why not, right? Jim […]

First Time Student Loan Borrower?

You’ll Need to Do This. What is Entrance Counseling? In July of 2016, the U.S. Department of Education made it a requirement that, in order to have student loans disbursed, all students must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. This counseling includes information needed to successfully repay the federal student loans they will be receiving to help pay for college costs. You can get more information here. If you have not previously received a Direct Loan or Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL), the federal government requires you to complete entrance counseling to ensure that you understand the responsibilities and obligations you are assuming. You must complete entrance counseling before you can receive the proceeds of your first Direct Loan. If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow as an undergraduate student, then the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans. If you are completing entrance counseling […]

Send a Little Halloween Love…

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, candy for her to share with her suitemates and some fun things that could be used for a makeshift costume. Remember that UPS shipping within the state of Florida is typically overnight at no additional cost; a perk I have often enjoyed. If you are creative,  Pinterest has some great Halloween themed care package suggestions.  Some sayings you can put inside include: I Miss you Boo (with a ghost next to it) No tricks just treats! Hey Pumpkin, you deserve this Going batty without you Well… you get the point. 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. Here are the […]

Tax Time

What Month Is It Anyway?  April 15th is right around the corner. As you are preparing your return or having a CPA prepare your return, do not forget to take advantage of the Education Tax Credits available which can help offset the cost of your student’s education). Two Credits Available There are two tax credits available to take, The American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit. The AOTC (American Opportunity Tax Credit) was made permanent by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act signed in 2015. It now includes required course materials (think books, supplies, equipment) in addition to tuition and required fees (local, technology – you know, all those fees not included in tuition). The AOTC allows credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. Those eligible will qualify for the maximum annual credit of $2,500 per student for which $1,000 is refundable for the American […]


Check out those ‘Noles This is what we call entertainment, I’m going to go out on a limb here and tell you flat out; I wasn’t a sports fan until my daughter became a Seminole. That said, I still don’t know the difference between an interception and an airball, but I know I’ve heard those terms while dressed in my garnet and gold watching live football and basketball. The excitement can’t be beat. And if you can’t get to the stadium for a football game; I’ll give you a pass on those blistering hot days, as there are plenty of sports bars in Tallahassee that will provide the same exhilaration. Get your chopping arm in shape and go Noles! More than Football If a movie night is what you are looking for, head to: AMC Tallahassee 20 – There are, as the name says, 20 movies to choose from; all in fabulous reclining […]

Home Sweet Dorm

Dorm-o-rama! You may be surprised at how one can transition a mass-produced, industrial-looking dorm room into a warm and inviting room/suite. And there is plenty of help out there to spur ideas and help you organize. Organization is a primary concern because if your kids are anything like mine, they will take enough stuff from home to settle them in as though there are no laundry facilities or stores in the vicinity. Pinterest alone has enough ideas to make your head spin.  Of course, decorating for a girl’s room is drastically different from a boy, but both will need a little extra organization. Either way, check the size bed their dorm will provide. They are usually those extra-long twin beds and many stores start selling these sheet sets over the summer just for this purpose. The bed-in-a-bag can be a great choice as it provides many pieces at once – and they all […]


Have you been Accepted? Acceptances come out for FSU on January 31st for those that applied and provided all supporting documentation by November 1, 2018, and March 28th, 2019 for those that applied and provided all supporting documentation by February 7, 2019. For those of you who are lucky enough to be a future Nole, congratulations! It is great to be a Nole for so many reasons. You can now take that sigh of relief that a decision has been made and then take a look at our list of what to do next. First, this may sound silly, but check your admissions letter for accuracy regarding their name, entrance term, address, residency status and major. If any changes need to be made it needs to happen as soon as possible. At this point, if you haven’t already seen FSU’s beautiful campus, now is the time. Schedule a tour on a preview date […]

Study Places

You need a good place to concentrate?  My son closes his bedroom door in his apartment and puts on headphones to study. My daughter likes to study in the laundry room. Perhaps it is the idea of getting two things done at once or the whir of the machines that blocks out distractions. However, they all need a few other options for good places to study. Fortunately, there are quite a few places to study on and off the FSU Campus The most obvious place would be one of the three libraries. Check the hours before settling in; they often extend hours as students are preparing for finals: Dirac Science Library – has over 800 seats and a number of private booths…oh and a Starbucks. Strozier Library – Students can reserve a study room ahead of time through the library website. Goldstein Library – This library closes earlier than the more popular […]

Computer and Phone Repair

It can be fixed!  The day my daughter’s phone broke, and she thought the world would come to an end, was nothing compared to when her computer stopped working. I have to admit, I could live without a phone temporarily, although our kids’ phones have become their life-lines; but when a computer malfunctions and all the work you did previously can’t be accessed, or worse, may have been lost; it may feel like the world is coming to an end. The good news is that it isn’t. There are a few repair services available right near campus for those moments. I do, however, highly recommend a backup system. I presently use Mozy for myself and my student’s computers. It simply backs up their computer daily (or however they deem necessary) so if you ever run into a jam they don’t have to panic that all their work has been lost. As for […]

Spring Break

Fun to be had by all! You haven’t seen them since January and are looking forward to some time with them home again over Spring Break. FSU’s 2019 Spring Break is March 18th to 22nd. I recognize the scenario. They, our students, may have other plans though. Just thought I would give you the heads up. It is not uncommon for students to go away with their friends for Spring Break. It’s what they saved all summer for, right? Remember cramming 10 college kids into the Holiday Inn in Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Break when you were their age? Perhaps that is what is frightening you. Probably the most popular Spring Break trip these days is a cruise…with 422 of their closest friends (think group rates). My son has been on two. Based on his stories, I pity the family that was also on that cruise ship thinking they were getting a […]

Spring Sports

Everyone loves sports With the unexpected and disappointing football season that we endured, some fans are quick to claim that FSU is now a Basketball and baseball school. I remember the thrill of attending my first basketball game as if it was yesterday and the goosebumps I felt when the pre-game hype video played. A student should definitely not limit themselves to attending one sporting event. It is to their advantage to explore all that FSU has to offer, I mean who wouldn’t want to support the Seminoles without even having to spend a penny! What sports fans rave most about FSU is the free student tickets that are available for any home game. Basketball and baseball student tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. In order to obtain tickets for any sporting event, a student can go to the official athletic website or call 888-FSU-NOLE. Baseball can be a lot of […]

Shopping Guide for New Students

The Top 7 Categories of What They Need! Back to school-college is the second biggest consumer spending season right behind winter holiday season. Parents expect to spend an average of $1,347 on their soon-to-be college student. College shopping is big business. Is it too early to shop? No, definitely not. HaveUHeard how much there is to shop for? Look at the college checklist from the top retailers and you will see an average of 126 items. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement of shopping with your student for college; the lists can get overwhelming so we tried to break it down for you. You may also want to read our blog on Dorm Décor. There are lots of good ideas there as well. The average traditional dorm size is only about 130 square feet and most likely, that is shared space. It is hard to think that […]

Let’s Do Lunch

Hey, let’s grab some grub. Like any college town and/or state capitol,  there are literally hundreds of dining options from fast food to fast casual, from family style to fine dining. You will find your burgers, pizza, Mexican, Chinese, barbecue, sushi, salads, Mediterranean; a restaurant for every palate and every price point. Since lunch can often be intertwined with brunch, I suggest you take a look at our blog on Breakfast/Brunch as well. Depending on whether you are touring with a prospective student or visiting your student in Tally, who will undoubtedly be clamoring for a good meal, the options are plentiful. Some things to consider beforehand are price and time. It is not unusual for there to be a considerable wait, even with a reservation, on a game weekend or graduation, at some of the more popular selections. Lunchbox – Where else would one go for lunch, but this cute, little […]

What to Get Dad on a Limited Budget

Don’t Forget About Dear Old Dad!  My sister and I are daddy’s girls but not in the way you would think. We grew up playing sports and having him as our coach. He would bake cookies with us, rough house with us and talk to us in the same way he would talk to my brother. That was until we were teenagers wearing makeup, dressing in what he would consider too short dresses and skirts and showed an interest in boys. Then he became a protective dad. No matter the relationship, the one thing my brothers and I had in common is that we have a very limited budget when it comes to picking out a Father’s Day gift. Many college students are in the same position. So we pooled our money together to come up with one great gift. We’ve always managed to be as creative as possible when it comes […]

Game Day Attire

Tailgate time!  Picture this. It is a beautiful Saturday morning, your roommate is playing the War chant, there is not a cloud in the sky and the Noles kickoff at 8:00 pm. Tailgate season is upon us and I’m here to bring you up to date with the latest fashion attire trends. Although it looks like you’re in a Bring It On sequel, cheerleading skirts are one of the popular bottoms that girls pair with a custom college tube top. Did I mention that they’re affordable too? I have also purchased an FSU bralette top on Etsy from a store called Cougar Cutz.  Hype and Vice offers all the necessities you need (in every style and color there is). If you’re not feeling a skirt and want to go more with an edgy look—you can rock a pair of distressed overalls or plain jean shorts. Girls also like to wear a bralette […]

Money, Money, Money

When Does Financial Aid Get Disbursed? The time has come to pay for your college costs and panic sets in.  I remember receiving my tuition statement for my daughter and yet her student account showed no Prepaid Florida (which I was fortunate enough to have 4-year college and 1-year dorm).  Additionally, her bank account did not reflect her Bright Futures Scholarship funds. When does this money get disbursed? Can you get a deferral for books, living accommodations, and student fees? As a general rule of thumb, most disbursements do not happen until after Drop/Add. Florida Prepaid and Bright Futures pay the school first and any left-over funds, are either deposited into your student’s bank (make sure they sign up for direct deposit) or mailed to them (this will take much longer). For your student’s specific account details, you should log into their account at my.fsu.edu Here are some specifics: FLORIDA PREPAID Florida […]

Fun Classes to Take

When You Need Electives At orientation, before freshman year had started, advisors asked that students declare a major. My daughter left there practically in tears, feeling as though the pressure was on and her course needed to be set. There was a course catalog, per say, in front of her, but she felt limited to just the pages within her major. We encouraged her to explore. Take all different sorts of electives, because you just never know what may spark an interest and possibly change an intended path for something even more grand and exciting. Sometimes students’ schedules are just so jam-packed that an easy and fun elective is the perfect way to round out a schedule. Electives can serve many purposes: fulfill an individual’s major requirement, supplement more rigorous courses to complete a minor, fill a schedule, or simply to have fun. For those who have the time and space in […]

Safety Tips For Using Rideshare

Important  Reminders I remember when I first heard about Uber and thought it was a brilliant concept for so many reasons; one of which was that it should cut down on people driving after drinking and provide a way that my college kids didn’t walk home late at night or alone. I still think the idea is great and encourage my kids to continue to use Uber, Lyft, Wahi Ride or whatever their choice may be; however, before more scary stories show up in the news, we have had to create some new rules to be sure that they remain safe. Of course, the first rules are that whenever possible ride with a friend and when you feel the slightest bit uneasy, do not hesitate to call for a campus police escort. Simple rules: Confirm the name of the driver, make of the car and license plate. In other words, make sure […]

Florida Prepaid

What Does It Pay For? Many of us who have lived in Florida, planned for our students’ education by taking advantage of the Florida Prepaid program. The program allows families to prepay for their child’s education at a guaranteed fixed rate. Many of us, also, were practically in shock when our last payment came due, possibly because that meant that college was right around the bend. If you are anything like me you made your payments habitually, but when it came time to actually register my kids for a university in the state of Florida, we weren’t completely sure what all those years of payments were going to cover. Now we know. We will admit we learned along the way. For instance, we did not pay for dorms for more than one year as we were advised not to since many students choose not to live in the dorms beyond freshman year. […]

Time to Move It and Move In!

It’s Go time!!! Once your student has been given their move-in date and dorm/residence assignment, the process of handling what can be a stressful, labor-intensive and often expensive process begins. Traditionally, female students tend to take a full on decorating approach complete with wall décor, signs, picture frames, string lights, desk accessories and many other decorative items. Male students do not quite go that full in and often just want a comfortable bed, maybe a poster or two and perhaps a rug. It is quite humorous after each drop-off, whether it is for summer or fall, to see my friends postings on Facebook and Instagram, (because that is the social media that parents are most comfortable with), and see the obvious difference between a completed dorm room. This may a sticker price shock moment. According to the National Retail Federation, back to college spending averaged $969.88 in 2017. This is big business […]

What U Should Do Before Heading to FSU

Before you leave Before you leave to take your kid to college, there are a few items you will want to take care of that are extremely important. Most college students are 18, although a few are younger, which means they are considered to be legal adults. With that comes a whole lot of independence from their parents, regardless of who is footing the bill for their education. Unless they give you permission or their login information, you will be unable to have access to their health records, grades, pretty much anything that has HPPA laws behind it. Talk to your student about signing over permission for the college to speak with you. Make certain they understand that without that signed permission, everything, and we mean everything, pertaining to the college from medical records to financial aid, cannot be discussed with any other person but themselves. While you may be footing the […]

Budget 101

The Money Talk At orientation we were inundated with information about all sorts of things; from FAFSA forms to meal plans. No one ever really elaborated on the best way to handle finances when it comes to how much to give your new student. Perhaps this is because it will vary based on need, ability, preparedness to handle the responsibility, what an allowance should cover and so on. I first realized that we needed a plan when our daughter announced, during our fifteen minutes together during orientation, that she was excited to learn that there are places near campus that provide student discounts on manicures. Budget 101. I wanted to sign her up right away, but realized that it wasn’t just her that needed this class, but we, as her parents, needed to have a better handle on how much we would be doling out, how often and what the parameters for […]

F.S.U. Move.In.Day.

F.S.U.M.I.D. FSU’s move-in day is …well…a lot of work. Be prepared for many trips to the car and possibly one or two to the store for the inevitable forgotten/overlooked item (ours was not enough Command hooks last year).  The heat does not help, but a hand truck does. Drink plenty of water between trips.  I will not get into the emotional goodbyes at the end of the day but will say that large sunglasses to cover my watery, red eyes were my savior. M.I.D. Summer C June 20th and Fall 2018 August 22nd Move in this year begins on Wednesday, June 20th for Summer C move in and Wednesday, August 22nd at 9 am. Students will need to be present with their school ID to get the key. Then the race begins; a sprint to unload the car as fast as possible due to very short-term parking options. Parking permits on student […]

Nature vs Nurture

So much more than you think!  Your first few trips up to Tallahassee were probably about seeing the school, orientation, and move in (which means shopping too) and possibly a football game. By now, you know that FSU is really a beautiful school. To boot, there is no denying that Tally also gets the best of Florida’s weather (well, minus the ridiculous summer heat, but that is a great time to go tubing). The winters are cooler than I expected; having lived in S. Florida for so long I had no idea it got that chilly at night, but they are still spectacular. Good weather makes us want to be outside and drink it in. Great news; there is plenty to do in and around Tally that will keep you enjoying the outdoors. And here’s the thing; it doesn’t only have to be about the football games (although there is nothing wrong […]

More Veggies Please

Vegetarian/Vegan Dining Slowly, but surely, more and more young people are going vegan or vegetarian. I can’t blame them. Sometimes the choices on or around campus just aren’t that healthy. So more veggies, please! My daughter was a vegetarian for about two years until she could no longer resist a big, juicy burger. Now she is a vegetarian most of the time with an occasional burger or piece of chicken. Whichever way works for your student; the good news there are plenty of restaurants around FSU that cater to our vegan Noles. Favorites: Sweet Pea Café – on W. Tharpe Street gets most of their produce locally from a farm less than a mile away. Soul Vegetarian Restaurant – on Adams Street specializes in gluten-free meals and even has cooking classes. And, by the way, Bite Squad will deliver from here. Some other really good ones: Nefertari’s – is a little on […]

Happy Birthday Care Packages

Blow Out the Candles!  When their birthday rolls around, it can be just one more reminder that you won’t be celebrating together so putting together a care package takes the sting out. Once I filled a box with party hats, blowers, balloons, popcorn, candy and her gift. The pictures my daughter sent of she and her roommates sitting around with all that silly stuff and big smiles made me happy. If I couldn’t celebrate with her, at least I knew she was having fun. Some of the local places like Insomnia Cookies will deliver the most amazing cupcakes (12 cupcakes for $20, plus a delivery fee). Who wouldn’t appreciate a cookie cake or cupcakes on their birthday? Other local places worth checking out are Lucy and Leo’s Cupcakery, Tiniest Empire and Christina’s Cakes & Pastries where you can get hand decorated cookies. You can also have a cake delivered by Publix through Instacart. Also, read […]

Care Packages- Because Sometimes They Get Sick

Close the distance with some long distance love.  I don’t know about you, but when they call to say they are sick the miles between home and school seem even longer. However, you would be amazed at how quickly a care package can get to them. (UPS is generally overnight from one Florida destination to another.) Depending on what is ailing them, even the most simple of care packages filled with soft tissues, lozenges, some Kind bars, Emergen-C, a few fun teas, Sudafed, Clorox wipes, cozy socks and maybe some homemade brownies can feel so good. For those of you that think a little matzoh ball soup can cure anything, the Hillel at FSU at times delivers hot soup to your ailing student. You don’t have to be Jewish to order from here. Please double-check that they are back to delivering as they had to go on haitus for a while as they […]

Teaching Them to Budget

My Best Advice as a Parent Three times the charm. Well, I suppose that isn’t fair; all three of my kids are charming and adorable. The difference is that not all three are very good with money and frankly I blame myself a little for that. I am not one to preach, but since you asked, the best advice I would give to a parent of a new college student is to give them a budget and make them stick to it. With my first college student, there was no real budget. She called and said she needed more and I supplied. Her requests never seemed too unreasonable. I paid her rent, credit cards, car expenses, food and so on. It all seemed so logical. Why then, as a college graduate in the real world, did she have such a tough time navigating bill paying and budgeting? Because she never had to. […]

Storage FSU

Where Will They Put All Their Stuff? That time between semesters when they want to bring everything home for a few weeks or a summer and you are wondering a) how you will get it all there and b) where you are going to store it all. I remember my daughter’s freshman year, I went up to get her and when we finished packing the car with barely enough room for our bodies and the car feeling as though it was skimming the pavement, I wondered if her belongings seemed to multiply over the past 10 months. Then when we began unloading everything into the garage, sorting out what could stay in our hot garage for the summer and what needed to find space in the house, I became a bit flustered. Well, not panicky, but I did begin to dream of those people that come to your home and teach you […]

Gameday Outfits for FSU Parents

Show Your Team Spirit! I love going to college football games- there is nothing like game days but, TBH, I am not going to wear some of the outfits that I see my daughter wearing – been there, done that when I was a student. I’m all about the Garnet & Gold on game days and I am somewhat about the fashion. But I also want to be comfortable especially on those Florida humid days when you are packed in a stadium and it is more than 90° out and the humidity is stifling. You can wear officially licensed ‘Nole wear or just dress in Garnet and Gold. Here are some great suggestions for us Moms and Dads from cotton tops and t-shirts to comfortable dresses for the moms and collared shirts, polos or jerseys for dads or just a super comfortable, breathable tee. Throw in some accessories including a regulation stadium […]

Advice to My Freshman Self

What Every Freshman Should Know Moving to an unfamiliar place where you don’t know the area or a lot of people can be intimidating and challenging. It is a complete step out of your comfort zone, away from your familiar surroundings and your network of close friends and family. High school is not comparable to college even in the slightest. Making friends takes time and it requires effort. I was so overwhelmed by the number of clubs and organizations that Florida State had to offer that I didn’t join in at first. I can’t stress it enough how getting involved is a great way to not only make friends but make lifelong memories. Everyone is so welcoming and there is a niche for everyone. The one event I would suggest participating in is Dance Marathon. Everyone works together whether they dance or not. It is an amazing feeling to be able to […]

Interning in New York City

Who doesn’t want to live in New York City? Ok, I am a little partial. I am a born and bred New Yorker, living in S. Florida for 25 plus years, and I still love it. And so do many of our students, which is why New York is so popular for summer internships. They will need a place to live. Where to look for housing? There are many options. Most interning students live in dorms in various colleges throughout the city. New York University – is most popular and fills quickly. My daughter lived downtown on the border of Little Italy in an NYU dorm one summer. The dorm wasn’t very fancy, but the security was tight and the living space was huge, well for NYC. NYU has multiple dorms in a few parts of the city. To save money living in the NYU dorms students can share a room. Depending […]

Get on The Bus

A Guide to FSU Bus System It can be tiring and time-consuming to find parking around campus, but FSU offers free student transit options that allow individuals to get to and from campus and their housing. College students can enjoy the benefits of public transportation and save on gas, parking, and other car-related costs. Even for those that have a car, everyone should take advantage of this service. (and it is included in student fees) The Seminole Express Bus Service, StarMetro, is available to faculty, staff, students and visitors that want to get around the Tallahassee area. StarMetro buses are also free with a valid FSU card and have bike racks attached to them so you can even bring your bike with you! Here is a map showing the StarMetro’s 7 routes. HaveUHeard that there is even a “Nite Nole” that runs from 8:00 pm-3:00 a.m. except in the summer semesters and […]

Credit Cards for College Students

What Every Student Should Know Recently I told my daughter to go pay something with a check. She responded by asking me if she had those somewhere. She literally had never written one. In a day of Venmo, Zelle, debit and credit cards, people, students included, just don’t seem to carry cash anymore and checks are becoming more and more archaic. Credit cards, though, can be scary for students; particularly when they see the word “limit” and somehow skip over the fact that those balances have to get paid. Given that we made some serious errors with our oldest regarding money management, we decided to approach things differently with young adult #3. As she entered her sophomore year, we actually encouraged her to get a credit card. We began by explaining the reasons why: Establish credit Learn to manage money Provide ease and convenience when paying for things Take advantage of offers […]

Safety Matters

Their Safety is Really All that Matters I’m not a helicopter parent. Really, I’m not. (Ok, some may disagree.) Regardless, once we have moved our student in and he/she is ready to embark on a new independent life, we still want to know they are safe at all times. Once the tears have stopped (ours, of course), it becomes easier each time you realize his/her growing autonomy (this is what we are supposed to want for our children) and happiness. Knowing they are safe is a forever thing. Therefore, it may be helpful to know that FSU has a few very supportive resources available. Their safety really is all that matters. The FSU Police Department provides SAFE Connection which is available when students need a free, safe escort on or around campus. The emergency Blue Light Trail consists of over 300 strategically placed light poles equipped with emergency speakerphones and strobe lights. In […]

The Next Four Years

Have you begun practicing your Tomahawk chop yet?  If you have a student ready to spend the next four years at FSU and plan to visit, you best get your chopping arm in shape. You can feel the school spirit by just getting near campus. Tallahassee is both, in character and appearance, more of a Southern city than a tropical Florida one – sort of laid back, dignified buildings and grid streets with a canopy of large trees.  The large city of Tallahassee hosts the State Capitol, Supreme Court of Florida, Governor’s Mansion, and nearly 30 state agency headquarters, as well as a few other (much) smaller colleges. Remember, being Florida’s capital (which could be why airfares to and from Tallahassee are so costly) has some advantages.  Here, you will find almost every major box store, many chain restaurants from fast food to quick service to some pretty darn good full-service restaurants, […]

Radio and TV Stations

Radio and TV Stations There are lots of media options, but if you still need it here are the radio and TV details for FSU. For students coming from larger cities who are accustomed to nationally syndicated stations, rest assured, there are plenty of radio stations in Tallahassee that will meet your listening tastes. Country music is very popular in the south, but the major stations are as follows: Radio WFSU – 88.9 FM FSU Public Radio WTNT – 94.9 FM Country WDXD – 101.9 FM Country WWOF – 103.1 FM Country/Seminole Sports WFSQ – 91.5 FM Classical WHBX – 96.1 FM Urban Contemporary W243CZ (WSEG-AM) – 96.5 FM Sports WGLF – 104.1 FM Classic Hits W283AW – 104.5 FM Religious W287CO – 105.3 FM (WTLY– 1270 AM) Adult Contemporary WQTL – 106.1 FM Classic Rock WFRF – 1070 AM Spanish Christian WTLY – 1270 AM Adult Contemporary WHBT – 1410 AM […]

Books, Books, Books

Reality Starts, Books, and more Books! Now that our sons and daughters are settled at college the reality begins (not ours, which happened to me the second I got into the car and drove away). Their reality means being students again and the real reason they have been sent off to college surfaces. Therefore they will undoubtedly need books. Books today come in many different forms and likewise can be purchased in a variety of ways – including rentals. Deciding which is the most a) cost-efficient and b) the easiest way for your student to use it are important factors. Textbooks can cost as much as a few hundred dollars each. (Please note that some professors will insist on the newest edition of a textbook simply because it is how they make money; therefore last year’s edition may not be considered sufficient; regardless of the fact that the changes in its material […]

Study Abroad FSU

The World is your Classroom I am a big believer in this adage. Apparently many students agree as Study Abroad programs have become increasingly popular. When researching this topic I was amused to read not only a plethora of information about the various things to look for in a program but also some amusing blogs written by students about how to convince one’s parents to allow him/her to study abroad. Well, this parent is sold. My oldest daughter studied at FSU’s facility in London for a summer and it was fantastic. She loved everything about it (except for the mouse that set up camp in her flat, but we have decided that was all part of the learning experience that she never before had to deal with such a circumstance) and we took advantage of the situation and went to visit and used one of her long weekends to vacation in Paris […]


Are U Ready For Some Football? Spring or summer may not seem like the time to talk football, but if are planning on coming up to Tally for a game in the fall, you should be looking to book your hotel by now. Seems early, perhaps, but in case you don’t already know, at FSU, football is a big deal. I have been going to Nole football games since….well, my first child became a Nole. Before that I had never been to a football game anywhere. (Nor had I worn much garnet and gold; now a great deal of my wardrobe is made up of it. More on that later.) I have more than adapted; I actually can (sort of) follow what is going on on the field and definitely love the hype and excitement that saturates the stadium. I should probably mention that my daughter’s senior year/my son’s freshman year was […]

FSU’s Two New Dorms, Are as Beautiful as they sound

New Dorms Even the names are pretty; Azalea and Magnolia Halls. And from the pictures,  these new dorms have come a long way from the cinder-block walls that made Salley Hall feel a bit like a prison. FSU’s two new dorms will be fully functional this fall (one was already open this summer). Each bed, in both halls, is already spoken for, not surprisingly, but if your student wants, they can still visit the ground floor of Azalea Hall, to find “1851,” where there will be four different kinds of dining options from comfort to healthy to a coffee shop/convenience store. Although all students are welcome, sorority girls may want to take advantage of this as these new brick buildings are located just off Jefferson near Woodward, which is close to many sorority houses. Dorms have certainly come a long way. Did I mention the cozy love seats and colorful chairs in the […]

Bright Futures

Scholarship Shining Bright 2018-2019 On Friday, March 9th, Governor Rick Scott signed the SB4 bill, which amongst other items encourages universities to graduate students within four years and increases funds for Bright Futures scholarships and scholarships for low-income students, Academic scholars in Bright Futures can now receive 100% of tuition, Medallion scholars will get 75% of tuition and recipients will be able to use the money for summer credit hours beginning in the 2018 Summer term for the Florida Academic Scholars award, and Summer 2019 for the Florida Medallion Scholars award   A Florida Academic Scholar who is enrolled in a certificate, diploma, associate, or baccalaureate degree program at a public or nonpublic postsecondary education institution is  eligible, beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, for an award equal to the amount necessary to pay 100 percent of tuition and fees and is eligible for an additional $300 each fall and spring academic […]

What Not to Bring

No you don’t need that!  If you haven’t started shopping for your incoming freshman yet, whether for things for their dorm or clothes; well, then, we are here to tell you that you probably shouldn’t bother. You see, our kids have cleaned out just about every store and depleted us of our savored stack of Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons. Ok, so we are kidding… sort of. Actually what we wanted to share here was that given that we have had three kids leave for college so we have learned that there are a few things you really don’t need to purchase and bring. For instance, that printer you spent hours picking out. It turns out there are quite a few places around campus to print wirelessly and then you won’t have to pay for continuous refills of ink, which can actually be more expensive than a whole new printer (seriously; a […]

An Insider’s Guide to Living on Campus FSU

Here is what you need to know!  You can certainly read about the dorms and where to live on campus on the FSU Housing pages, but we asked our interns for the inside scoop…which is probably what you really want to know before you choose where to live when you become a Nole. Here’s what they had to say: Azalea and Magnolia Halls The newest dorms that were recently built (opened in June 2017). These are the only two halls with built-in dining (Noles’ Homecoming (comfort food), Passport (international/healthy), J Street Grille (American Grill), Tuscan Eatery and The Canteen (convenience store/coffee). These halls are located near many sororities and the FSU police department. Dorman and Deviney Hall Built and opened in 2015, so still pretty new and nice. Convenient to a lot of places on campus. Near parking garage and Denny’s. DeGraff Hall Not exactly on campus, but there’s a tunnel that […]

TCC First

Then Transfer to FSU Some students may not be ready for a big university, but want the excitement that goes along with it. For this reason, many students choose to start their college career or even just take some of their classes at the local, much smaller, Tallahassee Community College, that is located about 3 miles from FSU. TCC’s classes are definitely smaller than those at FSU and tuition is less. FSU offers a collaborative program to help students get their A.A. degree from TCC and transition to the university. If students enroll in the TCC2FSU Program they will benefit from individualized advising provided by TCC and FSU advisors. Students can also apply for special TCC2FSU scholarships. Some students choose to live in off-campus housing near FSU (see our blog about Off-Campus Living), often with FSU students, so they can participate in the Nole excitement. Others choose to live at Southgate, a private dorm […]

First in Family?

Are you the first? FSU C.A.R.E. program may be worth applying to… Sending your child off to college is exciting. Sending your child that will be the first in your family to receive a college degree may be even more so. FSU’s CARE Program’s mission is to guide students who have been disadvantaged by economic or educational circumstances. Generally, these students will have been targeted in middle or high school to pursue higher education, but if this is a goal for your family, why not reach out to the Center for Academic Retention & Enrichment (CARE). If accepted to the CARE Program, students will begin with the Summer Bridge Program that is designed to help ease students’ adjustment to college life and build a foundation for academic success. Students will be required to apply for financial aid and those with financial need will have 100% of their need for the Summer Bridge […]

Midterm Blues Care Package

Surprise Them With a Box of Love! Midterm and final exams can be some of the biggest stressors for your student. I typically do not get to speak to my daughter during exam weeks. My calls usually get a “sorry I cannot talk right now” text response followed by an “I’m at the library mom” text. I also know that she is not going to eat healthily and probably going to consume any form of caffeine she can get whether it is coffee or energy drinks and late-night snacks most likely consisting of pizza and junk. Everything from eating habits to sleep habits, from study skills to exercise changes during exam time. I hate to say it but I had my share of all-nighters when I went to UF and, no matter how good a student you may have, when there is a grade on the line, students will do whatever it […]

Staying at FSU for Thanksgiving

Make it a Friendsgiving Although FSU is officially closed from November 22nd-24th, 2018, not all students will be going home for the holiday. Flights can be incredibly expensive around this time. Some students may have to work and others may go home with a more local friend for a little turkey dinner. Perhaps, instead, you’ve decided to switch things around a bit and this year you will go to Tally for Thanksgiving. Whichever way it works out; there is plenty to do if you are going to be at FSU for Thanksgiving this year. Let Someone Else Do the Cooking Many restaurants put together a great traditional meal for Thanksgiving. Some are less traditional but sound delicious. Check out some of these: Shula’s 347 Grill – located in the Hotel Duval. Diners can enjoy a three-course, prix-fixe Thanksgiving dinner. The regular menu will also be available. Reservations recommended. Georgio’s – Traditional holiday […]

Grocery Stores

Let’s Eat Whether your student lives on campus or off, they will need groceries. Tallahassee has plenty of places to shop in this regard. For those new to Florida, let me first introduce you to Publix. Publix is a Florida-based supermarket with every department found in most grocery stores including produce, deli, meats, canned goods, seafood, frozen foods, flowers, bread, soda, and stationery, candy, dairy and so forth. There are two Publix supermarkets close to campus. The other major chain supermarkets you will find in Tallahassee include The Fresh Market and cult-followed Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. For those who have Amazon prime accounts (remember your student discount for Amazon prime), you get discounts including 10 percent off sale items and exclusive deals. To get these discounts at Whole Foods, download the Whole Foods app and sign on with your Amazon prime log in info. You can show to register cashier or […]

Off-Campus Living – Apartments

…Economical to Extravagant, Apartments Galore It happens before you know it. Literally. In about October of your student’s freshman year, he/she most likely will tell you that he/she wants to move off campus the next year and that he/she has to sign a lease in the next few weeks. This is not a joke.  I know you have just about adjusted to having them leave and getting them settled in the dorm, but the good ones go fast and sign-ups really do work this way. Kids will start lining up outside the rental office of the apartment complex of their choice, in the middle of the night, in some cases. (My husband equates this to having lined up to buy Grateful Dead tickets many moons ago.) There are many apartment complexes that cater to students; some within walking distance of campus. My first daughter lived with three other girls who were on […]

Sick at School

Mom…… It’s bound to happen.  At some point in the four years that our kids are at college, the phone will ring and suddenly our mature, independent college student will sound like a preschooler once again. There is little worse than when they call and tell you how sick they feel and you are far away. Hopefully, and most likely, their illness will be a result of their new-found independence that includes lack of sleep and exercise, stress, not-so-healthy food, hygiene habits that don’t embrace enough hand-washing, and can be cured quickly and easily. I sent my kids to school with a little box that I literally labeled, “Things you may need that Mom can’t squeeze through the phone.” Inside the box I put all sorts of things from a tiny sewing kit to Tums.  When my daughter got her first cold, she was happy to find a thermometer, cold medicine and […]

Homecoming at FSU

It’s about the game. Homecoming…no, not the kind where our kids announce they are coming home for the weekend…at FSU is exciting. From the tailgates that lead to the big football game (this year we are playing Wake Forest on October 20th, 2018) to the big parade filled with floats and bands and all that jazz; there is plenty to do and the excitement is contagious.  Florida State’s Homecoming started back in 1948, but it has grown in size and enthusiasm over the years. Back then it didn’t even include the Warchant. Rich in tradition Homecoming now includes a theme, Grand Marshall, King and Queen and daily activities for the whole week. Homecoming week kicks off (this year on October 14th, 2018) with the Warchant, then includes a concert held at the Leon County Civic Center, which fills with over 8,000 students, faculty, and alumni to watch headlining celebrity artists. Spear-It Night, […]

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty & The Beast When planning for college, we rarely think about the fact that our kids may still have to visit hair salons and barbershops or get the occasional manicure and so on. Let’s face it; they want to maintain their beauty, magnificence (and sometimes even hygiene). We certainly can’t expect them to go from August until Thanksgiving without an eyebrow wax now, can we? So, I’ve asked around and my own kids and their friends have tried many of these. Barbershops Living in the Cut Toppers – my son’s favorite (and he tried many prior to here) Artistic Barbershop (on Tennessee and Macomb) Renegade Barber Shop (on W Tennessee) Chop Railroad (Close to Collegetown) One touch (Close to campus) Sports Clips Haircuts – Free haircut valid for new clients in Ocala Corners Nail Salons Nails La La- N Adams street (a good friend suggested, Doug is recommended too) Jenny at Fine […]

Working While Attending College FSU

Need a job? Some students have to work to pay for college, some consider their school work their only job and fortunately don’t have to find work outside their studies, and others choose to work while at school to supplement their spending. Whatever the reason, it is rarely a negative when a student gets a job, whether it is to pay tuition or housing, plan for their spring break trip (see our spring break blog for more information on that) or to backpack throughout Europe after graduation or simply to augment their wardrobe; working, while in school, is not new. FSU will even help students find jobs both on and off campus by visiting the Career Center.  There is also a Part-Time Job Fair held each fall and spring for the purpose of connecting local employers, both on and off campus, with FSU students. Students can also check on CraigsList, Indeed, SimplyHired, […]

Making the Most of Summer C

This Can Be the Best Summer Ever!  If you’re starting FSU during the summer, get ready for an amazing start to four years of college ahead of you. Summer is a great opportunity to really get a feel for the campus, lifestyle, and the entire school itself. There are so many things to do and so many people to meet, that it never gets to the point of being boring. Assuming you’ve gone through orientation, you at least have a general idea of where everything is on and around campus, and if not, well it doesn’t take long to figure everything out. The vibes on campus during the summer are so peaceful and relaxing since most students usually start with 1-3 classes per summer session. When signing up for your first classes, make sure to enroll in the ones you think you will excel in, and as many as you think you […]

Where to Pre-Game at FSU

Have your Florida State chop down pat? Football season is upon us and other than making sure you will be properly attired in garnet and gold and have your Florida State chop down pat, you will need to know where to go to pre-game. Pre-gaming, according to Urban Dictionary, generally means drinking before going to an event where drinks that you will purchase are more expensive. Pre-gaming often occurs in parking lots, bars, restaurants, and backyards of frat houses. I believe the term crazy fun was included in the description as well. At FSU, the most popular places for pre-gaming, which is also commonly known as tailgating, tend to be Pots (Potbelly’s), College Town and Gordos. Students who participate in Greek life will probably pre-game at the fraternity house that their sorority has been paired up with. I have experienced all of these and yes, crazy fun is a perfect description, but […]

Bucket List FSU

Check out these ‘Nole’ things to do! If you have committed to becoming a Nole, there are a few things that you might want to check out over your next for years at FSU. Consider them part of your induction to Nole-dom. Some are just plain fun and others sort of obvious. Either way, your time at FSU shouldn’t only be about studying. There is so much more to FSU and Tally. Check out our “bucket list.” Participate in Dance Marathon – Dance the night away and be a fundraiser at the same time. More information can be found here. Relax at the FSU Reservation for a day – Actually, we suggest renting a canoe, kayak, paddleboard or sailboat for a few hours (ID needed). FSU football game/ tailgate – Yes, they can be hot, but the school spirit can’t be beat. We recommend far more than one a season. FSU Flying High […]

Food for Thought

No Student Hungry Much like the national campaign No Kid Hungry®, there are many students at colleges throughout the United States that are barely getting by, some putting their nourishment behind paying for college and all of the expenses that go along with college; tuition, books, rent, utilities, to name a few. The USDA average monthly cost of food for a college-age student for a moderate-cost food plan, following the recommended Food plans, is $223.55. Many students who are struggling just to keep up with the cost of college even while working and getting loans, often feel uncomfortable saying anything about struggling to maintain a balanced diet. As a college student who relied on school loans, I would often make light of this, kidding around and saying my meals consisted of ramen noodles. But knowing the importance a healthy diet plays on one’s health, sleep patterns, stress, capacity to think and be […]

GAP Year

Should Your Student Take a Year Off Before Graduate School? I remember when I started graduate school and on the first day of class, we were assigned to read over 300 pages and write a paper before the next class. My jaw dropped and I wondered if the professor was serious. Not every class is like this, but after four years in college, some students may choose to take a break before jumping into graduate school; whether it’s medical school, law school, an MBA or just about any other advanced degree. Graduate school can be a grind. There are other reasons students choose to take a break; or gap year, before going on to pursue an advanced degree. Many graduate programs prefer students to have some time out in the working world before grad school. It is not uncommon for students to partake in internships that will provide them with experience in […]

The First Few Weeks

We completed the drop. We unloaded the car in the treacherous Florida heat and we set up their rooms. The bed was made, everything had been put away and it only took two trips to Target for things we didn’t realize we would need. We said our see-ya-laters and shed the appropriate amount of tears. It was when I got into the car without our new college freshman, all the advice we meant to give them about those first few weeks lay dormant somewhere between the big lump in my throat and my empty heart. Forgive me if I sound dramatic, but the truth is there is a great deal to be said at that time. Whether or not they take to heart is another story. Perhaps starting the conversation a few weeks before drop-off is a better idea. Getting Started Those first few weeks of college are a crucial time for […]

Away for the High Holidays

Celebrate with a New Community Generally, our kids get to come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for those who celebrate the upcoming Jewish High Holidays, it may be your first one without your students at your holiday table. While it may feel strange having that empty seat, it can feel better to know that they are celebrating the holidays with a new community of their peers. There are options for Jewish students at FSU. You may want to let them know they exist and then hope that they will choose to participate. Time Off Not all colleges give days off for every holiday and it doesn’t look like FSU is any different. Students can certainly inform their professors, in advance, of their absence for the holiday, but chances are class will go on and they will be responsible for any work. Even if they do get a day or two off, […]

Health Insurance

Get clear on all the plans.  Students at many colleges today must have a health insurance plan that meets their university’s minimum requirement.  Proof of immunizations and insurance needs to be given to FSU or you may purchase a plan – FSU’s plan is through  United Healthcare or your student will not be allowed to register for classes. This year’s deadline to purchase health insurance is September 15, 2018. Deciding on which health insurance plan your student should be on may require a degree in economics. There are so many variables to consider when choosing. You may want to consider consulting with your financial advisor to compare the benefits and cost. Consider the following:  Does your current health insurance plan meet the university’s minimum coverage requirements?  Is the monthly premium you pay for your child pre-tax or after-tax? Is it marketplace insurance or subsidized and again, does it meet the university’s minimum requirements? […]

Mother – Daughter Time

A Little Retail Therapy Is Good! Shopping in Tallahassee is not exactly what I am used to, but I assure you it is out there. There are plenty of big box stores (check out our blog, A Little Retail Therapy, for that sort of shopping information), but the kind of shopping that may come after the call that cries, “I have nothing to wear,” exists too.  These also may be the stores you may want to visit should you get lucky enough to partake in a Mother-Daughter weekend. The Governor’s Mall, its anchor stores being Macy’s and Dillard’s, has a fair amount of stores including Abercrombie and Fitch, Aeropostale, Forever 21 and Francesca’s.  Henri Girl is a favorite boutique for many girls; as are Walter Green, Cole Couture, Barefoot Campus Outfitter, and Olde Fields Clothing Co. Ooh Lala Boutique, rumor has it, has a lot of the same clothes as some of the other […]


It’s Thanksgiving and They’re Back… Thanksgiving break is the first official long break when students come home.  I do not know about you, but after nearly three months of texts, phone calls, and Facetime, there is nothing like being able to hug your student for the first time…. And then the tug of war begins (sometimes hours after they arrive). At school, they come and go as they please. They keep their rooms (dorms, apartments, houses) the way they want, do laundry when they run out of clothes, have their personal belongings thrown everywhere (although this dropping of personal items everywhere was the norm before college for my daughters too). I feel strongly that it’s “my house; therefore my rules.”  Just like when they lived at home, I have curfews and they must help with chores around the house.  Family dinners and keeping the common areas clutter free are two of my […]

Eating Healthy

Not an easy feat!  It can be hard to eat healthfully when at college. Meal plans, rushing to and from classes and activities, budgets, the amount of burger, pizza and fast food restaurants surrounding FSU, and, of course, late night food runs definitely compromise our student’s plan to not gain the Freshman 15 and stay in shape. (Please note I did not mention the calories that come with a few drinks, but the reality is they often work into the equation.) Don’t get discouraged yet though. Today’s college students are demanding higher quality foods varied in taste and economically priced. There are several apps that many students can download for the latest promotions and deals at some of their favorite places. These include Hooked and Pocket Points. Here are some of FSU students’ favorites and a few ideas that may help your student stay on track and healthy. The Good Bery Acai […]

The Best Apps For Students

FSU and College Studying Apps Remember when you were in college and everything was easily accessible via apps on your phone? No? Well, me either. Our kids, however, do live in this world and there are literally apps that provide things like food delivery, tutoring services or finding a parking spot.  Below are some I thought were most useful. Forgive me if it is a little too long, but truly there is something for everything and it was hard to narrow down. As well, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 7 to 9 pm at Strozier library, students can get one-on-one consultations to help create an individualized plan based on their needs, with continuous technology support. Students can download and test new apps with guidance to find what works best for them. FSU Guardian – I am listing this first because we always want to know our kids are safe.  It is a […]

Student Jobs

Some students have to work to pay for college. Some consider their school work their only job and fortunately don’t have to find work outside their studies, and others choose to work while at school to supplement their spending. Whatever the reason, it is rarely a negative when a student gets a job, whether it is to pay tuition or housing, plan for their spring break trip (see our spring break blog for more information on that) or to backpack throughout Europe after graduation or simply to augment their wardrobe; working, while in school, is not new. FSU will even help students find jobs both on and off campus by visiting the Career Center.  There is also a Part-Time Job Fair held each fall and spring for the purpose of connecting local employers, both on and off campus, with FSU students. Students can also check on CraigsList, Indeed, SimplyHired, SnagaJob, Monster, and […]

Favorite Apartment Rentals

Here are our most favorite apartment rental tips. Rentals, it is future. Not one of my kids or their friends stayed in the dorms beyond their freshman year.  The choices are plentiful. Below are some of the more popular apartment complexes students live in near FSU. Some provide buses to campus (which can be important since parking on campus can be a nightmare), some have facilities that rival a fancy hotel (pools, hot tubs, volleyball courts, lounges), some provide reserved parking spots for a fee, some are gated and provide constant security, and all have various options from studios to 4 (even 6) bedrooms. Prices vary and generally go up slightly each year. The rent for many complexes depends on how early in the year you sign a lease. Most will also help find a student to fill a vacant room if need be. Wi-Fi is generally included in rent, but utilities […]

Namast’ ay – Yes Yoga Can Help

Namast’ ay at FSU For years I tried to get my daughter to enjoy yoga with me, but she had multiple excuses. I knew it would be good for her mentally and physically, but, like many other things she had to realize this on her own. I am happy to say she learned to take advantage of much of the yoga offered on and around FSU. She, unlike me, prefers hot yoga and therefore goes off campus more than on to get her fill. Fortunately, there is plenty to choose from, both on and off campus. If your student is resistant, as mine was, you may want to remind them that the practice is over 5000 years old. There has to be something to that. In addition, it has been proven to alleviate stress; and what college student doesn’t have some stress? Research indicates that within seven weeks of regular practice, students […]

Meal Plans

Burgers and Pizza and Fries… Oh my… A Guide to Meal Plans Some of us will miss those family dinners. Others will find some relief. Either way, we all want to know that our kids are eating…and hopefully eating right. College, or at least when I went, didn’t have a whole lot of good options, particularly if you lived on campus; as most freshmen do. That is not the case anymore. This is not to say that those dreaded freshmen 15 may not happen; there may still be late night deliveries and food runs. There is a vast array of food choices on campus; some choices wiser than others, but a great deal right at the student’s’ fingertips. Whether they hit the salad bar or stick to burgers, pizzas and fries (oh my), I can’t say. Experience says that their newfound independence tends to sway them in directions you may not have […]

Parents Weekend

Early Bird Gets It – Parents Weekend Get the Deals Our first experience with Parent’s Weekend meant booking a hotel a year in advance, every weekend in October while we waited for the big announcement as to the actual dates. Then we would go back and cancel all the unneeded weekends. Well, hotels caught on and began requiring deposits and changing cancellation policies. (Be sure to check all this out when booking. Our blog on hotels may help.) Why do we race to find a hotel as soon as possible?   A) Hotels in Tally, and anywhere within a thirty-mile mile radius, will sell out in minutes for this weekend (which is September 21-22, 2018 this year) B) Prices will be jacked up tremendously (as they are for all football weekends), but it never hurts to remain hopeful that there will be some fabulous deal and C) Staying too far from campus […]

Eating on a Budget is More Than Just Ramen

Some students actually keep to a budget. I know this is true because I have had three of my own and they all struggled at the beginning, but eventually got it. I admit, it was hard telling my daughter, as I watched her weekly allowance dwindle, that she better be a bit more cautious or stock up on peanut butter for her next few meals until her next allowance came. I knew though that the gift of teaching her to budget her money would be far more useful than the pain I was feeling saying so or even when she had to stay back when her friends headed out for sushi. The good news is that there are plenty of places around FSU’s campus that make sticking to a budget possible. There are also a few good tricks. For instance, if your students have a meal plan, encourage them to bring back […]

Residential Life

Roommates and other fun life experiences.  For many students entering college, this may be their first time away from home for an extended period of time. While dorm living can be an enriching and wonderful part of the college experience, it can also be a source of great stress and discomfort if the roommates are not a good match. Granted, the fit does not have to be perfect; as a matter of fact, my kids all did well with random roommates as opposed to handpicked ones. We had previously set a precedence that they couldn’t live with friends from home for the first year because we wanted them to meet new people; all part of the college experience. Students do, however, need to be able to comfortably and safely co-exist in their shared living space. Teach your student before leaving home what it means to be a good roommate. Students can often […]

Dropping A Class

Class Drop Deadline  October 18, 2018 I’m not sure which class it was, business calculus or accounting, but the horror stories were coming true. When my son called and asked if we would pay for private tutoring, we knew something was up. He studied and studied. He was up for so many hours that at some point, his contact lenses had given him an infection. Then the call came when he literally asked us what he should do. No matter how hard he tried, he was struggling. I retorted with my infamous line that I only break out when I believe my kids have given it their all, “C’s get degrees.” This would not suffice this time. The pressure he had put on himself was making him sick; worried that his scholarship may be at stake, or that his beautiful cume could be ruined or that he may not even pull the […]

Sorting Out College Life – A Guide to Laundry, Dry Cleaning & Alterations

Tisket-Tasket, sorting the clothes in baskets… I tried to teach my kids to do the laundry before they each left for college. Really. I did. Yet, somehow when they went away to school, they each managed to do laundry so rarely that, at last count, one of my daughters owned approximately 54 pairs of underwear so she could prolong doing laundry as long as possible. My son either paid other more ambitious students to do his laundry occasionally or waited until he came home and then brought so much there was little room for anything else in the car. And finally, child number 3, and I have spent many happy hours Facetiming from her laundry room on campus so I can walk her through the process a few more times (ie: cold water? hot water? delicate? dryer vs hang to dry?). Eventually, they get it or find a place where they can […]

Parking at FSU

Get the Last Spot! You sent them to college with a car and they are grateful. However, although it will make a weekly Publix run easier, no one really thought about the fact that parking at FSU can be pretty inconvenient and tends to be a problem every year. There are not enough spots for as many students live on or drive to campus. For those that do have cars, parking permits, which are valid from August 15 through August 15, are required for all vehicles between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.  If you are in need of a permit go here. You will need your FSUID and password. You can also go to the TAPS office, FSUCard Center at 104 N. Woodward (accessible through the bookstore to get there). You can find more information on parking on campus here. Students will need a VW Parking […]

Preparing for Grad School Exams

The Fun Continues… I know it feels like you just finished studying for the ACT/SAT’s and left for college, but before you know it, graduation will be looming and many students will be preparing for graduate school exams of some sort. Getting familiar with the vast amount of degrees and programs out there would be the first step. If you are considering graduate school at FSU, check to see if they have an open house. Consider visiting other colleges as well. This will give you the opportunity to meet professors and ask questions about the program. Start talking to an advisor early to be sure you have all the correct prerequisites, shadowing or research hours you will need. Whether you are preparing for Medical or Law School or a specific graduate program, researching the continuation of your education may feel overwhelming. Finding the right concentration for you is important. Consider all of […]

Types of Student Loans

What are your options? When I attended school back in 1979, my Dad had four of us in college at the same time. It was through student loans that my parents were able to manage the costs of all four of us attending school along with some parental financial support. Unfortunately, as far back as I can remember, many students including myself, have used their student loans for entertainment, shopping, vacations, etc. The Department of Education loans money for school and it is imperative for your student to understand that student loans should not be used for frivolous spending. Trust me, I learned the hard way. The loans and interest (depending on the type of loan you have) add up very quickly. Repayment of said loans can be a huge monthly cost; therefore, understanding all the terms of student loans is, in my opinion, essential. In all cases, you must begin with […]

Because Balance Is Important

Leach and Campus Rec FSU Going to college isn’t just about studying; no matter what parents think. Finding your balance while at school is incredibly important too. Fortunately, Leach and Campus Recreation at FSU offer plenty in this regard. Get to know your campus and all it has right from the start so you don’t miss out. You should probably begin by downloading the FSU Rec App so you can keep up with all there is. The app allows you to sign up for fitness classes, see how busy the gym is before you make the trip, reserve equipment, or check the status of your intramural game; amongst other things. Leach has racquet sports, aquatics programs which include CPR, SCUBA and lifeguard training, yoga, group classes, personal and small group training, Olympic lifting,  NoleFit (which is high intensity interval training), intramural sports (think soccer, dodgeball, sand volleyball, etc.) and sports clubs (think […]

Finals Are A Bear – Send A Care Package!

Send Help Now! Final exams can be some of the biggest stressors for your student. I typically do not get to speak to my daughter during exam weeks. My calls usually get a “sorry I cannot talk right now” text response followed by an “I’m at the library mom” text. I also know that she is not going to eat healthily and probably going to consume any form of caffeine she can get whether it is coffee or energy drinks and late-night snacks most likely consisting of pizza and junk. Everything from eating habits to sleep habits, from study skills to exercise changes during exam time. I hate to say it but I had my share of all-nighters when I went to UF and, no matter how good a student you may have, when there is a grade on the line, students will do whatever it takes to make sure they are […]

Graduation Restaurant Reservations

Graduation Restaurant Reservations Finally, graduation is here, yay! Family and friends will want to join you for a fest, here are our tips on local restaurants and the reservation specifics. FSU holds graduation ceremonies three times per year with May being the largest ceremony, broken down by each college. Spring Graduation dates are May 3rd  and 4th, 2019. You can check the commencement schedule here to see which date and time pertains to you. Hopefully, you have read our blog, Graduation at FSU and already arranged your hotel rooms. But if you are coming up with your entire family, you may want to make your restaurant reservations as many of the restaurants get extremely busy. Summer graduation will be on August 4, 2018 at 9 am. Fall graduations are on December 14th at 7:30 and December 15th at 9 am. To help you out, we are including in the listings the restaurants that […]

The Stress of College

Stress. It happens to all of us, including our kids. As though a full schedule and trying to maintain a social life isn’t enough to cause a little anxiety, our students have already completed mid-terms and before you know it, will be preparing for finals. Fortunately, FSU is on top of it, offering various programs, workshops, training, and suggestions; most of which are free to our Noles. The Anxiety & Behavioral Health Clinic is committed to providing state-of-the-art treatments for our students who may be suffering from anxiety-related problems. They offer cognitive behavioral therapy. There is both, group or individual counseling available, but there is an in-person assessment fee of $100. In addition to standard treatment, students can look into research participation options, which may include receiving free or low-cost treatments. The cost of each standard treatment session is determined on a sliding fee scale, based on income.  They do not accept […]

Trick or Treat

It’s Talloweek!  Trick or Treat That Was Then… I would race home from school so my mom could put together some sort of costume for me then rush to meet my friends to go trick-or-treating Somehow, by the time I had my own kids, Halloween included much more; carving pumpkins, putting up decorations, more formal costumes, and, of course, trick-o-treating throughout our neighborhood, but not without a parent escort. This is Now… Halloween traditions in college are, well, a far cry from the pumpkin carving, candy apple making gatherings we had in our driveway before the kids started their trick-o-treating. Many places, including frats, will have parties – all week. Halloween week, I’m not going to lie, gives a whole new meaning to the BOO in Booze. Keep in mind FSU is not the only college in town either. Due to unfortunate events in the past though, there will surely be a watchful […]


Now you’ll need to pay for that college!  Almost as soon as the first acceptance to college came in, so did the idea of actually having to pay for their tuition and room and board. When they were small it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly. We even invested in Florida Prepaid for all three of our kids and encouraged them to get as much as they could from Bright Futures Scholarships. Regardless of that, a little help is always appreciated and in some cases far more necessary. There are so many scholarships available these days; the question remains in finding the right ones that they may qualify for. Some scholarships are quite competitive, some last for four years, and some are downright silly, but pay for something. All make those bills for the next four (or more) years more bearable.   The best place to start […]

21 and Oh So Fun

Time for “Adulting” My daughter turned 21 in June of her junior year at FSU as do many students. Being that it was officially summer break, they held off on the big fun celebration until everyone got back for fall semester. This is when she had her “waltz.” At FSU, many girls who turn 21 used to celebrate by having a “waltz.” Unfortunately, due to last fall’s ban on sororities and fraternities, waltzes have been discontinued. Basically, it was a themed bar crawl in honor of the girl turning 21. The other significance of this big birthday is they can now legally get into places at FSU that they could not get into before. Here are the favorite places that those 21 and over recommend when going out to have 21-fun. Starting with Mondays… Clyde’s & Costello’s –On S. Adams Street hosts MMM (Mandatory Makeout Mondays). It gets crazy crowded so proceed […]

Student Accessibility Resources

Everyone Has a Right to Easy Access When my oldest began college, which can feel tremendous by way of size alone compared to high school, she was relieved to know that some of the accessibility accommodations for her ADHD would follow her. The idea of sitting amongst hundreds of pencil tapping students was somewhat intimidating. Of course, she still had to show necessity through diagnosis and jump through a few hoops to make it all come together, but it was well worth it. FSU is large and frankly, can be rather overwhelming, but the Student Disability Resource Center is there to create an inclusive educational environment for all students by way of academic accommodations, testing support, assistive technologies, and coaching. The first step for any student that will be requesting accommodations would be to visit Student Disability Resource Center located on Traditions Way at 108 Student Services Building. Do not hesitate to […]

Volunteering Turns Your Compassion into Action

There are many reasons… Volunteering lets you give back to the community to make a difference in the world, to gain experience and to change a person’s life. During your four years in college, it is incredibly important to give back to the community for many reasons. Depending on what major you are and what kind of grad school you plan on attending, it could increase your chances of getting in. When you start applying to graduate schools, you want to stand out. Why should the graduate program pick you over another person? Graduate schools look for more than just the book smart student. They look for well-rounded students who want to make a difference. Being altruistic is such an important quality to have. Another great quality graduate schools look at is being able to balance your time. If you are able to take rigorous classes, be involved in extracurriculars, have a job […]

The David Project

Israel, however, is not just for Jews It’s true that Birthright is a fabulous (and free) program for Jewish individuals from 18 to 28 to visit Israel. Israel, however, is not just for Jews though. So, we did a little digging and found The David Project, a pro- Israel campus advocacy group. The program promotes building diverse pro-Israel support on campuses and is for students of all religions, having reached 10,000 Jewish and non-Jewish students this past academic year on 45 campuses, cultivating student leaders and organizations as allies for Hillel and the pro-Israel community. There are three main components to The David Project: Israel Uncovered – 10-day Israel mission for The David Project’s Core Schools. Each school sends one Israel advocate and two to three non-Jewish campus leaders. The campus leaders represent many mainstream campus groups, including student government, College Democrats and Republicans, fraternities and sororities, black, Indian, Latino and Asian […]

Flu Season Ahead

The Flu ends with “U” It’s that season again – and I don’t mean hurricanes. Flu season is generally from October through May. Given that the flu is easily spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact – and what gets closer than dorm life and classrooms – your student may want to consider getting vaccinated. FSU makes it incredibly easy for students and free too. All they need is a valid ID. FSU is promoting students getting flu shots with their Spear the Flu campaign. Check out the schedule of when flu shots are given at the UHS on the first floor or they can call for an appointment 850-644-4567. The vaccines given on campus do not contain any live influenza virus and take about 2 weeks for protection to develop. Here are some dates for flu shots: Mon., October 22 3 pm-6pm @ The Leach Tues., October 23 9 am-11am @ […]

Orient Yourself

Overwhelm Potential If two nights and two days can make your head spin, these might be the two. It’s not a bad thing, of course; it is just the amount of information you and your student will take in at that time that can get a bit overwhelming. I believe my first FSU orientation I spent taking pages of notes, marking things I wanted to talk with my daughter about later and highlighting things I wanted to keep close in case situations came up that may make those notes useful (ie: tutoring, healthcare, safety on campus…. honestly they touch on everything you can imagine and many things you haven’t yet.) Later I learned that parents took pictures of the slides – much easier. The other memory that stands out, for both my daughter and three years later, my son, was arriving at Degraff Hall for check in (between 7 – 8:30 pm […]

Moving Out

Moving Out Moving out can be almost as hectic as moving into the dorms and apartments. It did not make sense for us to drag the entire dorm supplies home for the summer, only to send them back up in the fall. We opted to have our kids rent an air-conditioned storage facility with friends. (Sharing a unit is recommended to keep the cost down and air-conditioning is key because Tally in the summer months can be brutal.) You may be lucky in that your student may have a friend that will let them store their belongings in their apartment, but that is unusual. My kids were able to move their belongings into storage themselves by packing boxes in between studying for finals. I began reminding them early so they could start the process before panic mode set in. At move-in, we actually broke down some of the boxes and left them […]

Just Desserts!

In a good way… Eat dessert first or getting your just desserts. Either way, desserts are often our favorite meal! Sometimes, we think the best part of the dinner is the dessert; here are some of our favorites! Not many people know about Sugar Rush Bar, which was previously located inside of Donut Kingdom and called the Shake Shop, but everyone should experience at least once. They have rebranded and moved, but they are still milkshake experts.  Of course, you can’t go wrong at Donut Kingdom either way. Check out a hot-pressed donut; its decadent, yes, but amazing too. Au Peche Mignon – Two locations with one on Timberlane Road and the other on North Duval Street, this authentic French Pastry Shop serves up handmade pastries, cakes, macarons, cookies, sandwiches, bread, pies, drinks, and chocolates. Pong’s Boba Tea – Cheap and delicious boba drinks. Please note Mochi Monday deal for $1. Big Easy Snowballs at 1621 N. Monroe […]

Dance Marathon

You Can Dance If You Want To Perhaps you have seen the Facebook posts from your student or friends’ kids that say #FTK or #ForTheKids. Maybe even fundraising pages for an event called Dance Marathon.  Or maybe you have never even heard of Dance Marathon. If you have a student at FSU, you will definitely want to know about this event, possibly donate to this event and encourage your student to get involved. This is college philanthropy at its best. Created to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 1991, Dance Marathons are held at college campuses across the country to raise funds and awareness for more than 170 pediatric hospitals across North America. Dance The Night Away Dance Marathon, also known in Tallahassee as DMFSU, will take place on Friday, March 1st at 5 pm and ends on March 3, 2019, at 3:00 p.m. The number of participants, which includes, […]

Lost and Found

Oh No….It Happened!  My daughter spent the summer studying abroad. She was warned about pickpockets by friends. And, she has made it through almost two months without incident… until last week.  That is when I got the hysterical crying call that she was pickpocketed in broad daylight and now without her driver’s license, her debit card, credit card, transportation card, and about €50. Thankfully her passport was not in her backpack. We did not cancel her debit card but tracked the activity. That allowed her to Venmo friends who paid for her subway, meals and anything else she needed. My other college student lost more Student ID’s, keys, driver’s licenses than any person I know (or at least I thought). Conduct a search on the student FSU Class of pages, and you will see daily posts for lost keys, wallets, cell phones, ID’s and so forth. And, while clearly my daughters are not […]

Places of Worship Around Campus

Keeping The Traditions of Worship If you’re wondering about keeping up the tradition of worship, here are some thoughts. Shortly after my daughter started college, the first of the most important Jewish holidays were coming up (think the equivalent of Good Friday and Easter Sunday). We had always gone to services together and had huge family dinners with the entire extended family. Since the holiday fell on a weekday, it did not make sense for her to come home. So, she did what many other Jewish students did; she went to services at the Hillel Student Center. For all students, being able to continue to worship, pray and adhere to their religious beliefs is extremely important for several reasons. Having a place to worship on or near campus allows them to meet other students and have a Rabbi, Minister, Bishop or Priest to turn to should they need spiritual guidance. At or around […]

Is It Safe?

Is Their Stuff Safe? Right up there with the call from my college daughter that she lost her phone, keys, student ID, (fill in the blank), is the call you get when they tell you someone took their cell phone, watch, or whatever valuable item your child has had taken. And it has been through their tears and yelling about an item of theirs’ being taken, that I find myself, once again, asking if they had locked their door. You see, my daughters have lived in dorms, apartments, sorority houses and off-campus houses and consistently, I have personally witnessed them forgetting to lock their room doors (not the front door, although they have done that on occasion). Usually, when I make a mere mention of that fact, I get a sassy response along the lines of “I’m just running down the hall to the bathroom,” or, even better, “Mom, no one would […]

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Sent With Love As far back as I can remember we always celebrated Valentine’s Day; not in the religious sense; it was a tradition I grew up with and continued when I became a mom. My daughters (a UF graduate and a current UF student) have not been home for Valentine’s Day for years so I use the holiday as an opportunity to send them a little love from home. There are so many gift ideas for Valentine’s Day. Just sharing the love from HaveUHeard. We’ve added links to websites and products, (and yes, the ads and links that appear on our blogs are partners of HaveUHeard. ALL opinions aabout products mentioned in our blogs are 100% our own. We hope you will patronize these businesses. Partnerships like these make HaveUHeard possible)   SWEETS FOR THE SWEET!   What student doesn’t love candy? For that matter, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t […]

Rushing Her Way – Sorority Pathway

Rush Whispers, Sorority For parents of incoming freshman, you have probably started to hear whispers about sorority rush. The way rush is handled for sororities are somewhat different than fraternities, but I am glad to give you the parent perspective on both (check out our blog on fraternities). Either way, you will not find too many who love the process.  But like it or not, Greek life does have its advantages, especially at a large college; and kids are probably not going to forgo the rumors about rush if it means not joining. So buckle up; the ride can get a bit bumpy. 2018 Rush is from August 18th through the 26th. August 18th is a mandatory day-long orientation. Greek life at FSU was under suspension for the past few months due to the tragic death of a fraternity pledge in the fall.  FSU’s President has recently lifted the suspension on Greek […]

Where the Wind Blows

South Florida Native, Knows About Wind Having grown up in South Florida, I have gone through more than 40 Hurricane seasons. I prepared for my first potential hit with Hurricane David in 1979. Thankfully, he turned away from the coast sometime in the middle of the night. Now as a high school student and a novice when it came to what damage a hurricane could cause, I remember thinking “boy this is a lot of work.”  (I am sure my 17-year-old-self worded it more dramatically with several expletives). We had the old-fashioned hurricane panels that had to be screwed in and it took about five hours to put all of the shutters up. The fact that it also caused me to have to cancel a party I was having was even more upsetting. Today, with many hurricane preparations under my belt and many, many decades living in a Hurricane prone area, I […]

Rushing His Way

Frat. Rush. For parents of incoming freshman, you have probably started to hear about fraternity rush. The way rush is handled for fraternities are radically different than sororities, but I am glad to give you the parent perspective on both (check out our blog on sororities ). Either way, you will not find too many who love the process.  But like it or not, Greek life does have its advantages, especially at a large college; and kids are probably not going to forgo the rumors about rush if it means not joining. So buckle up; the ride can get a bit bumpy. FSU’s President has recently lifted the suspension on Greek life, but has also instituted new policies and procedures to ensure student safety. Interfraternity Council (IFC) rush is right around the corner: House preview: September 5th 6:30 pm (meet at Westcott Fountain- on campus houses) and September 6th 6:00 pm  (meet at […]

Sorority Girl

So They’ve Joined a Sorority Congratulations if your daughter has found a place to call home. Being in a sorority opens the door to so many wonderful experiences. My daughter made some of her closest friends in her sorority at FSU. Every sorority is a little different as it relates to living in the house, eating meals at the house, academic, philanthropic, and social requirements. Your daughters will be expected to attend chapter meetings, eat their meals at the house (if they provide meals, which would also be included in the fees) and participate in their sorority’s events. Sororities are paired up with fraternities for socials. Some sororities require you to dress up for dinner; others do not care if you come straight from the gym. Some may require you to live in the house with your pledge class at some point; others it is optional. My older daughter lived in her […]

After The Hurricane

Post Hurricane Prior to Hurricane Michael, our blog talked about hurricanes that had impacted Florida, like last year’s Irma. Before that it had been twelve years since a major hurricane in the state. Hurricane Michael will be remembered not only for its strength and impact, causing damage and destruction. As a Florida resident for over 25 years, I felt anxious, worried and concerned as meteorologists threw out words such as catastrophic. You could see it in their facial expressions and hear it in their voices as they described the latest track. When they canceled classes, I really began to think that maybe the students should leave there too. I made it clear that any students that didn’t come from S. Florida were welcome to come home with my kids.  During Irma my home became a shelter for nine people and four dogs. As things changed, I was incredibly impressed by how quickly […]

Stay Fit in School

It’s Easy to Stay Fit! We all know by now the advantages of keeping fit, exercise, stress relief, healthy heart, maintaining weight (or losing if those freshman 15 do start to creep up) and so on. The question is will our students work out when they get to school. The truth is many do. I love seeing students jogging around campus; an inexpensive way to exercise. Some die-hards have been known to run up and down the stadium bleachers. Many students prefer the gym though and there are plenty of options as to how to keep fitness a priority in their lives. The FSU Group Fitness Program offers 2 dozen types of classes, each about 55 minutes, and over 80 sessions a week including Barre, Pilates, Body Sculpting, and yoga. Students should sign up in advance as classes fill up quickly. These, and more can be found at Leach; the on-campus gym. […]

Managing the Gap

Where Will They Live? Although it feels like you just moved your students into their dorms, you now have to move them out. The worst part, aside from the grueling heat, is that some may be returning in just a few weeks to move back in somewhere. And, if they have to be back early in August, whether it be another dorm, sorority or fraternity house or an apartment, having to schlep their stuff back home to return in just a few weeks seems a little silly. I know how many carloads it took to get our daughter moved in and, frankly, I am not prepared to rent a U-Haul to get her home and back again. So, my first piece of advice is to recommend that they start bringing things home over Spring Break or if you visit, take home a few things that they really aren’t using. I guarantee there […]

Transportation, Getting There

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles… Transportation to Tallahassee Freshman who brings their cars will quickly learn that parking during the fall and spring is at a premium and will most often not want to move their cars should they nab a great spot. Sure many will state the convenience of having their car (which will require a parking permit yearly) for multiple reasons, but having financed many parking tickets for my poor student one year, you may want to think twice or give them fair warning. You see the trick occurs when they come home late at night and want the closest spot possible. The problem arrives when that same spot is no longer legal after 8 am and they forget to wake up and move it….four days in a row…four tickets later and what could have been enough gas money to get her to Miami. Never mind, I think you get the […]

Exam Care Packages

Extra Care, Sent with Love. Midterm and final exams can be some of the biggest stressors for your student. I typically do not get to speak to my daughter during exam weeks. My calls usually get a “sorry I cannot talk right now” text response followed by an “I’m at the library mom” text. I also know that she is not going to eat healthily and probably going to consume any form of caffeine she can get whether it is coffee or energy drinks and late-night snacks most likely consisting of pizza and junk. Everything from eating habits to sleep habits, from study skills to exercise changes during exam time. I hate to say it but I had my share of all-nighters when I went to UF and, no matter how good a student you may have, when there is a grade on the line, students will do whatever it takes to […]

Major Decisions

Choosing or Changing Your Major Considering Florida State University offers a multitude of degrees; how is one to choose? Most students begin college with some idea of what they want to study, but it is not uncommon for them to change majors. My own children; I have three, each changed majors at least once….so far. My son found that he enjoyed the economics classes far more than some of the finance classes and switched from a finance major to an economics major junior year. Many of my friends have told me that their kids decided against a career in medicine after a few chemistry classes which, in turn, meant a major change as well. I used to envy those students who knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives and stuck with it, but then I learned to appreciate the opportunity to explore and possibly find something new that may […]

Delivery Services

There’s a knock at the door!  Taking time away from studying can be the difference between dinner or a bag of chips and a soda.  Sometimes it pays to turn to delivery services. Here are some of the ones we found and what they deliver and how they work. Bite Squad – There is a chat option if you would like to review your order or ask why your order is taking so long. You can schedule a delivery for later in the day and check the order status. Gift cards are available. Doorstep Delivery – Powered by Bite Squad. Order from anywhere anytime  – even in the park Panera – will deliver but only within a certain radius in the Tallahassee area. Some Noles literally live beyond the cutoff. Penny Deliveries – Delivery fee for every order is only a penny; just tip your driver. Sounds too good to be true, […]

Honor Roll

Did you get an envelope?  It is that time of year when students receive notifications that they have made a collegiate scholar society. The cream-colored linen envelope arrives with its gold embossed logo of said scholar society organization makes me smile just thinking about it. As a parent, you do a mental cartwheel as you see the invitation; as you should. Then take a breath and read the fine print carefully. There are many Honor Societies and it is important to be aware of what stands behind each of the various invitations to join. Educate yourself as to what they provide in exchange for this membership. Honestly, there are many organizations on campus that your student can get involved with that will be far more beneficial to their resume and postgraduate application than membership in a society that profit from the fees they collect. Read their annual report to see how much […]

Birthright Israel

What is Birthright Israel? Birthright Israel is the gift of a free, 10-day trip to Israel designed for young adults of Jewish heritage, aged 18–32. Florida State University is home to nearly 4000 Jewish students. Hillel at FSU and the members of the Jewish Council, which Hillel supports, provide diverse opportunities for making Jewish choices while being a student at FSU. FSU is proud to offer a study in Israel option through their world-class Study Abroad Program office. One out of every five FSU students participates in Greek life—as a result, Hillel partners with AEPI, SDT, and other Greeks to be Greek and Jewish. This is the trip you go on with your friends from college or to meet new people from your campus. Ten extraordinary days experiencing the enriching, inspiring and exhilarating sights, sounds, and soul of Israel. Hang out with Israelis your age, hike beautiful trails, and catch breathtaking views. […]

Technology Services

Check Out What You Get for Free!  HaveUHeard that Microsoft Office 365 is free for all enrolled FSU Students?  Click here for information about downloading this helpful technology. Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of productivity tools from Microsoft. It integrates all the apps you need to collaborate with your classmates or coworkers. Whether working from campus or on the go, Office 365 is available wherever you are, from virtually any device. Technology at your fingertips!  Students also receive 50GB of storage through their official student email which newly accepted students should create once they have made the decision to attend FSU. As an FSU student, not only do you receive technical assistance with connectivity and other authentication issues, but students may receive 60-80% savings in student licenses for special software they may need including Adobe Create Cloud Suite. While the computer of choice for many students is trending toward Macbooks, before you […]

Trouble In Paradise

It Happens… I began our conversations about walking alone at night, binge drinking, hazing, and drugs, among other things many months my kids left for college. I felt confident, as most of us do, yet, some of us may still get the phone call we dread. It happens. Your student got into trouble; now what? Remain calm, because most likely your child is freaking out and frankly, someone has to be the voice of reason. Yes, they may have done something stupid and immature, but let’s remember they are new to this freedom and still navigating their way around adulthood. Hopefully, it is as simple as a housing contract dispute and the FSU website can point you in the right direction as to where to find legal advice. SGA Student Assistance Center/Student Legal Services provides a list of local attorneys and legal resources. They also offer assistance with taxes (for free) and […]

Get Involved

Be a Part of the Action, Join the Fun With an undergraduate enrollment of nearly 33,000, set in Florida’s capital city, FSU spans 476 acres. Seems huge, doesn’t it? Yet there are many ways to make this giant university feel smaller. Some students will choose to rush a sorority or fraternity (see our blogs about that here), but others will not find Greek life their cup of tea. No worries; there are many other possible ways to get involved and join in on-campus life and activity. Some of you may believe that your student’s first job is school, and I couldn’t agree more. Being involved in some way is rather important too. Firstly, joining a club will help your student build a community. Since they’re leaving their family and sometimes their friends behind, getting involved helps them to discover new friends with similar interests. It only takes a few friends to make […]

So your student wants to be a Seminole?

The Truth… I don’t blame them; FSU is a great university right down to the beautiful brick buildings, deep-seated traditions and is filled with opportunity. The question is, how does your son or daughter get in? The truth is that for every 100 students that apply to FSU, 56 are admitted. The statistics, 4.1-4.5 academic GPA; 28-32 ACT composite; 1290-1400 SAT total, are pretty clear cut in regard to what FSU is looking for in a student, but here are a few thoughts as to how they can tweak their high school preparation. Please note that summer academic requirements are slightly lower. The December SAT and February ACT are the latest tests that can be used when applying for the summer or fall term. Students submitting the February ACT must have at least one test score on file by the February 7 deadline. Grades and test scores are (obviously) important, but so […]

Graduation – What You Need to Know

Time Flys! Remember how when our kids were little we couldn’t envision them leaving us and going off to college? Now, if you are like me, you can’t believe how quickly the time went. It continues to rush by and before you know it, college graduation will be here. I am not trying to scare you; I just want to give you ample time to make those hotel reservations. Similar to football weekends, graduation weekend hotels are at a premium. People book them a year out. No joke. I literally booked my rooms a solid year before my son graduated. (Don’t know where to stay, check out our Hotel blog.) Be sure to check the policy with whichever hotel you choose, but if possible, book more rooms and cancel later when Grandpa decides he isn’t up to the seven-hour drive. It is far easier to cancel than to try to find a […]

Transferring to FSU

Change is good.  Some students leave for college unsure of what to find and realize when they get there it is not the place for them. Perhaps too they never actually went away, but had been living at home for college and are now ready to go away.  If transferring to FSU is something your student is considering, they can start by checking out the requirements here. Note: the first condition is a minimum GPA of 3.0 (except for AA applicants from Florida community college enter based on articulation agreement), but some transfer students claim that it is not always as difficult as it sounds. Of course, the better the grades, the better their chances. If students are applying for less than 60 credit hours, they will need to send in their high school transcripts, as well as any college transcripts and SAT/ACT scores. (Submitting scores is recommended if applying for over […]

Finding a Job During Senior Year

Time to start networking.  Graduation is only a few months off and, depending on the type of job you are applying for, your senior should probably start their job search. Industries like investment banking, consulting and accounting are well known as early recruiters and often rely on summer internships between junior and senior year when making job offers. Smaller companies without training programs tend to recruit later in the year; as do employers in fields like communications, advertising, public relations, social media, the arts, and publishing. Starting to network can never happen too early. Preparing a resume and updated LinkedIn page is important too. FSU has a career center that students should undoubtedly visit as they begin to consider life after college. They also offer a career fair.  Students will meet recruiters from corporate, non-profit and government organizations to discuss job opportunities. It is important to dress appropriately and bring resumes (that […]

Finding an Internship

Get some experience! What better way to learn about a prospective field or career than to do an internship? What better way is there to get some experience that will beef up a resume for that real job someday? Obviously, I am a big believer in internships. It allows students to learn, but it also helps them decide if that is actually the career for them. Internships help students figure out, while still in school, whether the career they envisioned for themselves all along may (or may not) be just what they wanted? The question is how to find one. I’m not going to lie….if you know someone, now might be the time to put the word out there that your student is looking. Internships, full or part-time, in just the right field can be difficult to find. If it is possible, tell your student to offer to work for the semester […]

Career Showcase: A Student’s Perspective

Choosing a major is not only a big decision but a difficult one. For assistance in selecting a program of study, FSU has many resources to aid in student’s decision making. A unique thing about FSU is their exploratory program. Those who are not ready to commit to a specific department are able to receive guidance from advisors to figure out what major is best suited for them. Coming out of high school, I was uncertain what career I would pursue. The advisor I had was extremely helpful and gave me great advice on exploring my own options. Essentially, they help to narrow down what it is that you want to do and then suggest that you take intro or low-level courses to see if that is something you would be interested in. Did I mention that they even hold a pizza party for when you decide on a major? After confidently […]

Make the Call

Make the Call to Admissions A distraught friend recently called me wondering why they hadn’t yet heard from FSU although they sent in her son’s new SAT scores and first-semester senior grades. “How long do we have to wait?” she pleaded. I told her to have her son call. Of course, this is for students that have previously been denied admission and/or have negotiated a sort of conditional admission. Sometimes, if you can show FSU that your grades have improved senior year and/or that you brought up that ACT/SAT, they may be willing to make a deal. A semester at TCC may be part of the deal, but if your student’s heart is set on being a Nole, it may be worth the effort…and the call. Questions about this process would be the first call your student should make. Often we are apprehensive about calling the admissions departments of any college for […]

Dress for Success

Learning to Live in the Real World.  As they get closer to graduation, one of the greatest changes our students are about to experience is abandoning their shorts, t-shirts and yoga pants, as they begin to dress for success in their new roles, or as my older daughter stated, for adulting. Dressing for success can be daunting in different ways, but the one that stands out most may very well be its cost. Starting with the career and internship fairs students are attending, students need to look professional. For the young men, this may mean a suit and tie and for the young women, while they have more options, it may mean a suit, pantsuit, skirt, and blouse or dress. That’s not to mention shoes. For students who may not have the means to go and purchase a new outfit, FSU has The Professional Clothing Closet, a lending service where students can access […]

I’m Not Your Maid: Cleaning Services

Sometimes This Chore Is Just Too Much.  I never thought I would be saying this, but sometimes it is a good idea to hire a cleaning service for your students’ apartment or dorm. Hear me out…With flu season and virus’ going around; wouldn’t it give you peace of mind to know those nasty germs have been eradicated and may lessen the chances of your child catching what their roommate has? Of course, this is my strongest point, but having seen my son’s apartment after a few months of living with three other young men, I have others. Some students simply don’t have the time and are often searching for affordable cleaning help. Here are few cleaning services some of our Noles have tried. Sparkleen Cleaning Services – the price, according to students, was just right The Maids of Tallahassee – more expensive than some others, but according to reviews, “worth every penny” […]

Calendar of Events and Important Dates for FSU

Calendar of Events and Important Dates for FSU Here is where you can find a list of events and important dates for students and parents of the Florida State University.  We can’t list everything so here is the official FSU calendar of events. DECEMBER 2018 December 1, 2018 -Last day for community college and FSU students to submit Spring 2019 transient applications December 2 – 9, 2018 – Chaunkah – See our blog on Places of Worship here. December 3, 2018 – Menorah lighting, 5:30, Landis Green December 7, 2018 – Last Day of Classes December 8, 2018 – Santa Paws Walk Tallahassee, 10 am – 2 pm @ Lake Ella December 8- 9, 2018 – Gaines Street Fest – Big block party, free live music, local vendors, food trucks December 8, 2018 at 8 am – 2 pm, Delta Nu Zeta’s 4thAnnual Reindeer Run 5k December 10 – 14, 2018 – Finals Week December […]

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Paws at FSU… All About Pets How many of you have literally Face-timed with your student and been asked to put the family pet near the phone? Well, I have. I have also sent videos and photos of our dog wearing sunglasses, an FSU bandana and on occasion, attempting to lick his way to the bottom of an almost empty peanut butter jar. I do these things for a variety of reasons: 1) My kids miss our sweet dog and I can’t blame them, 2) I am hopeful that this will keep them satiated and not attempt to adopt another and 3) Our dog is just so darn cute. Clearly, I am a dog person….and so are our kids. Yet, I am not a big fan of students adopting pets when away at college. I understand that the unconditional love of a sweet puppy or kitten can be wonderful around stressful times […]