UF2018-07-02T06:08:41+00:00
University of Florida
  • All
  • Accommodations
  • Care & Heath
  • Career Help
  • Featured
  • Food & Restaurants
  • Fun
  • Graduation
  • Holidays & Breaks
  • Money
  • Repairs
  • School
  • Shopping
  • Social
  • Sports
  • Studying & Tutoring

Where to Pregame at UF

All Part of the Gameday Football Tradition Football season is upon us and other than making sure you will be properly attired in orange and blue and have your Gator chomp down, 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. I believe the term crazy fun was included in the description as well. Pre-gaming at UF mostly occurs by Midtown which is across the street from The Swamp (aka Ben Hill Griffin Stadium). You will see a sea of orange and blue crowding restaurants and bars including The Swamp restaurant (no reservations taken on Gameday so get there early), JJ’s Tavern, Tatu, and Salty’s as well as The Social, Fat Daddy’s, Rowdy’s, well just about any bar in the Midtown area. (It is also where you will find […]

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 […]

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. […]

Money,  Money, Money

When Will Financial Aid Disburse? 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).  In addition, her bank account did not reflect her Bright Futures Scholarship funds. So when does this money get disbursed? Can you get a deferral for books, living accommodations, and student fees? For your student’s specific account details, you should log into their account at myUFL. UF encourages all students receiving financial aid to sign up for direct deposit. To sign up, go to myUFL and select “Access myUFL” to log in. On the top toolbar, select “Main Menu.” Choose “My Campus Finances,” then “Student Direct Deposit.” Here are some specifics: Florida Prepaid Florida Prepaid will bill your student by the end of the […]

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 mentioning they cannot afford to buy what they need that helps them to have a balanced diet. As a college student who relied on school loans, I would often make light of this, kidding around saying my meals consisted of ramen noodles. But knowing now the importance a healthy diet plays on one’s health, […]

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 […]

Santa Fe First

Then Transfer to UF 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, Santa Fe College, that is located about 6 miles from UF. Santa Fe’s classes are definitely smaller than those at UF and tuition is less. Taking some classes at Santa Fe State College may be part of transitioning over to UF, but if your student’s heart is set on being a Gator, it may be worth the effort. While going to Santa Fe does not guarantee you admission to UF, UF does admit more students from SF than any other state college. The majority are admitted including 88% of students in the Santa Fe honors program. Santa Fe offers several other programs and perks that can help […]

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 […]

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 […]

Volunteering Turns Your Compassion into Action

Volunteering with passion is key. From personal experience, I have found that those who volunteer with a passion and find purpose in their work, have a strong personal statement for their desired application. Many pre-med students who volunteer are not always doing the majority of their volunteering in the medical sector but doing things they love. There are many reasons people choose to volunteer, to 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. Another option for students who are specifically medical, engineering, or agriculture […]

Namast’ ay with Yoga at UF

Keeping Stress at Bay with Yoga I started doing yoga several years ago after being invited by friends. I never thought of myself as much of a yoga person and more of a gym person, but I was feeling a little anxious and thought I would give it a try. Fast forward two and a half years later and I am hooked. My daughters also love it. Not only is it good for you physically, but, like many other things, it is great when you are feeling stressed. In fact, my younger daughter needed an elective and is taking it as a class. In Gainesville, there is plenty to choose from, both on and off campus. If your student is resistant, 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 [...]

Game Day Attire

Try these great gameday outfits! Picture this- It is a beautiful Saturday, your roommates and you are getting ready for pregaming, there is not a cloud in the sky and the Gators kickoff at 7:30 pm. Tailgate season is upon us and I’m here to bring you up to date with the latest fashion attire. 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 customized college tube top. Did I mention that they’re affordable too? I have also purchased a UF 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 leggings here or at redbubble.com, distressed overalls or plain jean […]

Preparing for Grad School Exams

The fun keeps going! It may seem 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 Getting familiar with the vast amount of degrees and programs out there would be the first step. If you are considering graduate school at The University of Florida, check to see if there is 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 your 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 your [...]

Make the Call to Admissions

If You’re Worried Then Call… Typically, on the second Friday in February, UF comes out with their acceptance letters. My older daughter, my niece and my nephew all applied the same year. That made the acceptance date even more nerve-wracking as my sisters and I all waiting anxiously, wondering if all three would get accepted or perhaps none, or a combination. As it turned out, two of the three got accepted, making that day bittersweet. While my sister and I were elated that our daughters got in, we felt bad for my sister whose son did not get accepted. Fast forward 8 years later and my sister would readily admit now that her son did not necessarily meet their qualifications. But back then, they both were devastated and she did call admissions. Of course, this is for students that have been denied admission or been accepted into one of UF’s newer student […]

Student Accessibility Services

Accommodations for all students. My daughter has several friends that require special accessibility accommodations for their disability; some for ADHD, some for medical issues. And, one of our interns needed the services and found that the UF employee she met with during her intake meeting was extremely understanding and helpful. She now takes all of her exams at the DRC and has extra time to take them. UF is large and frankly, can be rather overwhelming, but the 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 DRC is partnered with U Matter, We Care at UF. The first step for any student that will be requesting academic accommodations would be to schedule an intake appointment to speed up the processing. Remember to bring in any paperwork validating your needs. The Disability Resource Center located […]

Parking at UF – It’s Not As Easy As It Sounds!

Get that 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 UF can be pretty inconvenient and tends to be a problem every year. There are just not enough spots for as many students who drive to campus. Unless you need your car (coming from an apartment complex), we highly suggest using the free bus service. Run by RTS, you can download the app Rider. This app allows you to track RTS bus transit providing real-time transit tracking, arrival predictions, and proximity alerts and check bus times and routes Where do they expect students to park?  Well, student parking is based on whether a student lives on or off campus and the number of credit hours earned. Students who have completed fewer than 50 credit hours and […]

How to Transition as a Transfer Student

Transferring to a new college can be both daunting and exciting. I transferred to the University of Florida as a junior after completing my AA degree from out of state, and now that I have learned a few helpful tips over these past two semesters, I want to share some practical ways to arrive prepared for orientation, the first day of class, and the next semesters ahead! Now that you have been accepted you may be searching for housing options, ways to get around town, clubs, and organizations to build your resume, and many more important aspects of transferring. First, start with choosing a mandatory orientation date—this is one of the most important steps. Throughout this day, you will tour UF, choose your class schedule for the upcoming semester, and meet with financial aid advisors. This is a one-day event for transfer students. For other helpful orientation tips, read here. Second, research […]

Making the Most of Summer B

It can be the best season ever! Ask any older Gator what their favorite semester has been so far and, without a doubt, most (if not all), will tell you it was freshman year Summer B. It’s a summer filled with so many firsts. First college lecture, first college party, the first college friend and so on. Even though going off to college for the first time is certainly a bit daunting, UF does a great job of easing the transition to college life. A great resource for me during my freshman summer was my RA (resident assistant). She was super personable and quickly became a friend. I asked her all kinds of questions – from how to get to class to what to wear to parties – and she always had an answer. She lived only a few doors down from my room and her door was always open to her […]

Finding a Roommate

Adjusting to shared living. When I got into the University of Florida, my biggest dream came true. I had envisioned my four years at The Swamp as nothing less than epic. In all of these fantasies, I always saw someone, a roommate,  next to me experiencing it all with me. I wanted nothing more than for this person to be my roommate – to start and end my day with my best friend. The pressure was on to find the perfect roommate. Someone who would compliment my personality and become the perfect addition to my college years. The first big decision I had to make when it came to finding a roommate was deciding whether I wanted to live with a high school friend or a virtual stranger. Many people warn you against living with your high school best friend as it is known to lead to drama and even the end […]

It’s All About the Delivery

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 – Delivery from many Gainesville restaurants. 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. Delivery fees start at $1.99 depending on the distance Doorstep Delivery – Powered by Bite Squad. Order from anywhere anytime  – even in the park. Delivery fees from $2.99 352 Delivery– Delivery system from lots of Gainesville restaurants.  The delivery fee is $1.25 per mile from the restaurant to you, starting at $1.99. There is […]

What to Get Dad on a Limited Budget

Don’t Forget About Deal 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 […]

Happy Birthday Care Packages

Time to 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. Both of my daughters were away at college when their birthdays came. Our family tradition was decorating the entire house with happy birthday signs so where ever they looked or walked, they saw happy birthday. The house would not have that fun tradition so I mailed them to their roommates and asked them to hang them throughout their college apartments. They laughed and loved that I brought our tradition to them. If I couldn’t celebrate with them, at least they knew I was thinking of them. Some of the local places like Midnight 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 […]

Care Packages – Because Sometimes They Get Sick

You can close the distance with care!  I don’t know about you but when they call to say they are sick, the miles between home and school seem even longer. My daughter was very sick during spring semester 2018. She could barely get out of bed and I checked on her frequently throughout the day. I even offered to drive up if she needed me to. This was not an everyday cold; she sounded miserable and I knew she felt the same. But she said she would be fine and stuck it out, staying in bed for over a week. 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 simplest of care packages filled with soft tissues, lozenges, some Kind bars, Emergen-C, a few fun teas, Sudafed, Clorox wipes, […]

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

The worst chore ever!  I spent my daughter’s senior year of high school teaching her how to do laundry. I even tried using enticements (money) for each load she completed. It was a little bit of a battle because what should take maybe an hour or so to run two loads, dry and fold became an all-day project. She would leave wet clothes in the washer just to avoid folding the clothes in the dryer. By the time she was ready to head off to college, I felt she knew enough to be able to handle her own laundry. And then I just hoped she would wash her sheets and towels weekly as well as doing her regular laundry. She would tell me that students were willing to pay others to do their laundry. Or, that if she was doing her own laundry, if she did not get to the laundry room […]

An Insider’s Guide to Living on Campus at UF

We have the inside scoop on places to live!  You can certainly read about the dorms and where to live on campus on the UF Housing and Residence Education pages, but we asked my daughter and 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 Gator. Here’s what they had to say: Coming into college, I thought it was going to be the end of the world living in Mallory Hall, but it ended up being so much better than I thought. As a freshman coming into Summer B I wanted to live in Cypress Hall. Cypress was much newer and has full sized beds. Although I did not get what I wanted, living in Mallory played a huge role in the friends and memories I made my freshman year. My roommate was a girl I met […]

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 […]

The Innovation Academy Explained

All the Questions you have about the Innovation Academy Answered. So you just got into the University of Florida— what an exciting day! I still remember the day I opened that email. I started tearing up; I hadn’t even wanted to go to UF, but the fact that I got into this prestigious and legacy school was so overwhelming for me. I was never a great test-taker. I was a super hard-working student, but just never did well on exams. And it showed in my A/B grades and my SAT score. But here I was, I got into this amazing school. Then I noticed underneath the large “congratulations,” there was something about this academy. I didn’t know what that meant, but it had to be nothing. My mom came home with a cinnamon roll with blue and orange lettering on it that read “Baby Gator.” We were ecstatic. Both my parents had […]

Finals Care Packages

This will help the stress go away! 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 […]

Technology Needs for UF Students

HaveUHeard that Microsoft Office 365 is free? Yes! Free technology for all enrolled UF Students.  Click here for information about downloading. Students also receive 50GB of storage through GatorCloud Email As a UF 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 for their technology needs. While the computer of choice for many students is trending toward Macbooks, before you head out to get a computer for your student, some of the colleges have specific requirements that differ from general recommendations. Click here for the individual college and degree program hardware and software requirements as you may find that a Dell, IBM or HP may better serve your student’s needs. Students may print at various campus locations. Charges will appear on a student’s Financial account, which may […]

21 and Oh So Fun

An official adult now!  My daughter turned 21 in October of her junior year at UF as do many students. At UF, many girls who turn 21 have what is called a sign night when their friends make a pasteboard sign that sums up their personality… hers was an avocado that said Rachel’s 21st Fiesta with a photo of NYC in place of the pit. That means, she can legally get into places at UF that she could not get into before. Here are the favorite places that those 21 and over recommend when going out to have 21-fun. DOWNTOWN The Arcade Bar – This is what happens when you combine a pub and a bar. This three-story bar has a bar on the first floor with tv’s for Gator fans, a wraparound mezzanine overlooking the first floor with classic arcade games, hockey and more and a full-service bar with foosball, pinball, […]

More Veggies Please

Vegan-Vegetarian Dining. When my older daughter left for UF, she was a carnivore; in fact, one of her last meals at home was her dad’s steak dinner with his secret marinade. As time progressed, she experimented with her diet. She experimented trying to be a vegetarian and then settled on being pescatarian, which she and I both are today. So more veggies are needed, wanted and loved!  Whether your student is vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of options in Gainesville. Here are our recommendations: Daily Green (vegan) – located near downtown, this establishment offers organic and locally sourced foods for everyone including vegans and vegetarians. Soups, salads, sandwiches, smoothies and their original waffle cones filled with your choice of tempeh, their famous tarragon yogurt chicken salad, a lentil burger and more. Civilization – Known for its organic and locally sourced menu with Vegan options. Cash only restaurant serving lunch Tues- Fri, […]

Choosing or Changing Your Major

You can change your mind!  Considering the University of Florida 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 two, considered changing their major but, after seeing how far behind it would put them, chose to add a minor to round out their degree. Changing and choosing a major isn’t always easy. There are several ways you can support your student as they are trying to decide or consider changing a major. One of the main reasons students reconsider or hesitate to declare a major is because they do not understand the career options associated with it. Encourage your student to search the undergraduate catalog to see what courses are required in majors that are interesting to them. They should also meet with […]

What Not to Bring to College

You really 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 daughters 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 not only our two kids but our nieces and nephews (we are a multigenerational gator family going back to my almost 90-year-old uncle), 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 […]

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 if they are making any trips home between now and the end of the semester or if you are visiting […]

Transferring to UF

Better late than never.  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 UF is something your student is considering, they can start by checking out the requirements here. Note: the first condition is the completion of an Associate of Arts degree from a Florida public institution or a minimum 60 transferable semester credit hours from a regionally accredited institution (except for AA applicants from Florida community college enter based on articulation agreement). If students are applying with less than 60 credit hours, or have completed a bachelor’s degree, you are not eligible for the on-campus program but can apply for a UF Online Program or Graduate, Professional or post-baccalaureate admissions. Applicants must […]

Birthright Israel – Hillel

Young Jewish students trip.  Birthright Israel is the gift of a free, 10-day trip to Israel designed for young adults of Jewish heritage, aged 18–32.  Many students that have experienced this trip say it is a life-changing event that helped form their own unique Jewish Identity. Both of my daughters went on Birthright through UF. My older one initially had no desire to go and had put it off for 3 years, watching as her friends went after either their freshman or sophomore year. Some of her friends in her sorority convinced her to go after their junior year and she signed up. A month before, she came to me saying she wanted to cancel as she had to be in New York for her summer internship  a week later and thought it would be too much. I told her that she was an adult and that would be her decision but […]

I’m Not Your Maid

Cleaning Services Needed? 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…I think most kids are perfectly capable of keeping a clean room. Growing up, my daughters knew I was not their maid and they certainly learned how to clean their rooms. But, recently I had a friend whose daughter was extremely sick with the flu. The mom began a search to have the entire apartment disinfected. 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 or the roommates catching what your child has? Of course, this is my strongest point, but having seen my daughter’s apartment after a few months of living, I have others. […]

Dropping A Class

Here’s how to do it right.  Drop Deadline April 13th Dropping the Subject– The Financial and Grade Repercussions of dropping a class. When my daughter was a junior, she decided to take a very heavy school load which included beginning Chinese. We discussed whether she should take this class which had nothing to do with her major in conjunction with her other classes; however, my daughter believed it would be challenging. Four weeks into the class, she called me feeling extremely stressed and anxious. It was heartbreaking as she is an overachiever and, as much as she wanted to succeed, it was taking its toll on her. The ultimate decision was hers; however, I believe she wanted my support and blessing on this decision. As her mom, her mental health was more important. The University has an article that discusses the positives and negatives of dropping a class. advising.ufl.edu/docs/DropHandout.pdf   In addition, the […]

Dress for Success

Time to look the part!  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 put 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, UF has the Gator Career Closet, a lending service where students can borrow professional […]

Trouble in Paradise

Your Student got in trouble, now what? Is your student having trouble or in trouble? Are they having problems with a roommate, an apartment lease, underage drinking, academic troubles including plagiarism, parking tickets and so on? You send your student off to college with the best of intentions. You’ve had the discussion about budgets, walking alone at night, binge drinking, hazing, and drugs. You’ve even discussed being a good roommate and following the University’s code of conduct. But, there are situations that do come up no matter how responsible and mature your student is. The first thing you should do is breathe and remain calm because, chances are, your student is freaking out. Remember, they are still navigating adulthood. At the University of Florida, there is an on-campus service that offers a full range of legal services, such as consultation, assistance with traffic citations and criminal traffic charges, and even representation in […]

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 about 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 […]

Career Showcase

A Student Perspective Sometimes the thought of choosing a career is scary. Attending career showcase is important for all students no matter what year because it helps prepare students and gives them confidence for when you actually apply for jobs. My advisor always says, “You don’t want your first time at career showcase to be when you need a job.” I went for the first time in the spring of my freshman year. I was so nervous and I had no idea what to wear. My friend and I showed up in what we thought was business attire and were automatically overwhelmed by the number of people and lines at the O’Connell Center. We grabbed a map and began wandering around with no plan. We waited in line at Exxon and Frito-Lay to talk to the recruiters. They both said that they were happy that we started going to career showcase freshman […]

Finding an Internship

Best way to prepare for a job!  What better way to learn about a prospective field or career than to do an internship? Obviously, I am a big believer in internships. I did my first internship while at UF in Tallahassee as an intern for the Governor’s Office (I survived being a Gator in Tally). It was an amazing experience and I truly believed it helped me to get my first job out of college. Internships allow students to learn, but it also helps them decide if that is actually the career for them. They help them 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. […]

Spring Sports

There is always more than football!  Spring may not have football games but there are tons of other sports to enjoy! When people think of UF sports, they immediately think of football. After this year’s disappointing season, Gator fans may want to channel their love of all things Gators and attend one of the many other great sporting events at UF. Some of the sports in the spring include basketball, swimming, and diving, gymnastics, Lacrosse, Softball, and baseball. The best way to keep track of all of the sporting events and the dates is on floridagators.com/calendar.aspx or check out HaveUHeard’s calendar. HaveUHeard that last year, the women’s tennis team, men’s outdoor track and field and the men’s baseball team won the NCAA National Championship? Last year when I was sad about the football season is over, with no team to cheer on, my friends brought me to a gymnastics meet. The meet […]

Reitz Union Football Lottery – Bet You Already Knew That!

Reitz Union Football Lottery Reitz Union Football Lottery…HaveUHeard? Due to the tremendous demand for rooms at the Reitz Union Hotel during University of Florida home football games, the hotel has instituted a lottery system to determine room occupancy. Now is the time to apply so you and your family will have a chance to stay at Reitz Union. The lottery application for the 2018 football season will be available for submission from January 4th, 2018 until April 1st, 2018. Apply now! The Reitz Union Hotel is proud to be designated as a Green Lodging facility by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources.  Lottery Terms and Conditions A two-night (Friday and Saturday) minimum stay is required. Football lodging rates apply to all home game […]

Favorite Apartment Rentals

Favorite Apartment Rentals Here are some great tips about our favorite apartment rentals. With both of my daughters, I have two, not one stayed in the dorms beyond their freshman year. My youngest has lived in Oxford Terrace for the past two years because she loves the location, the rent is reasonable, the rooms are nice sized with each having their own bathroom and she hates moving. However, heading into her senior year, and not that uncommon for seniors, she and four of her friends are moving into a five-bedroom house practically across the street from her current apartment. In Gainesville, the choices are plentiful. Below are some of the more popular apartment complexes students live in near UF. 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 […]

Roommates and Residential Life

Roommates and Residential Life 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. Prior to starting summer B, my daughter had searched for a fall roommate through Facebook. She did not want to live an entire year with a friend, preferring to meet new people; all part of the college experience. She thought she had found a good match but upon meeting in person, it turned out they had different ideas as to what they were looking for in a roommate. This was a week before picking her dorm room. Fortunately, a friend introduced her virtually to another girl […]

Working While in College

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 through Europe after graduation or simply to augment their wardrobe; working, while in school, is not new. UF will even help students find jobs both on and off campus by visiting the Career Connections Center and the Jobs at UFL website.  There are many job fairs, both on and off campus, with UF students. Click here to find out about what job fair may be right for you. Students can also check […]

Searching for Scholarships – Find Your Way

Searching for Scholarships We invested in Florida Pre-paid for our daughters and encouraged them to get as much as they could from Bright Futures Scholarships. When they were small, it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly. 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.  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 is probably on some of following websites:  FastWeb and NextStudent.com […]

They’ve Been Accepted

They’ve Been Accepted  Congratulations Class of 2022… It is great to be a Florida Gator 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 and major. If any changes need to be made it needs to happen in writing or online at myUFL. When you applied, you would have gotten a UF identification number (ID) which can be found on your application status page. When I went to UF, they used our social security number so this protected students’ privacy. Next, you will create your Gator identity by creating a digital username which will give you access to most UF information systems and becomes your UF email address. You are going to want […]

Calendar of Events and Important Dates for UF

Here is where you can find a list of events and important dates for students and parents of the University of Florida. We would love to list every event, but we decided to list the major ones and give you a link to the official events calendar page. For a full list of sporting events, click here. JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY   JUNE 6/21/18 – Last Day Summer A Classes 6/28/18 – Move in Day for Incoming freshman and transfers JULY 7/2/18 – Summer B Begins 7/4/18 – No Classes- July 4th 7/11/18 – S-U Grade Option AUGUST 8/10/18 – Last Day Summer B 8/10/18 – 8/11/18 – Graduation 8/17/18 – Move in Day for incoming freshman and Transfers 8/22/18: School Starts 8/16/18:Sorority Fall Rush PNM Orientation 8/17- 8/18/18: Round 1 Sorority Fall Rush 8/19- 8/20/18 – Round 2 Sorority Fall Rush 8/21/18: Round 3 Sorority Fall Rush 8/24/18: Round 3 Sorority […]

Spring Break

Spring Break Mention Spring Break to most parents and immediate visions of lawless partying comes to mind. I get it. I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, the original Spring Break destination. As a high school student, my friends and I would drive up and down “The Strip” watching all of the college kids dancing, sunbathing and letting loose. When we were finally in college, we spent our days at the beach and our nights on The Strip. Spring Break is March 2nd through March 10th. While we parents are looking forward to some time with our students, they may have other plans. Just thought I would give you the heads up. It is not uncommon for students to go away with their friends for Spring Break. For those of you who have students living on-campus, dorms do stay open during Spring Break. Parking is lifted for certain lots. Click here for which […]

Computer and Phone Repair

Computer and Phone Repair  My daughters have dropped their phones more times than I care to admit (or they care to share); so much so that even the insurance for accidental damage is used up.  And, heaven forbid the phone stops working completely. 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, now that I no longer have a landline phone, I could not live too long without a phone, 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 plenty of (more competent than I) repair services available right near campus for those moments. I do, however, highly recommend a […]

Study? The Best Places to Study at UF

Best Places to Study at UF My daughter, like every other college student, has her own way of studying. She does not like to study in a group but prefers a quiet spot to read and re-read and re-read the material. If she comes across a concept or word she does not understand, she stops and looks it up before moving forward. Many times, she puts her Beats headphones on to block out any background noise. Her preference is sitting either at her desk or in her bed but while at UF, she can often be found in the library. Sometimes, 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 UF campus. The most obvious place would be one of the seven libraries. Check the hours before settling in; they often extend hours as students are […]

Tis the Season – Our Gift Guide

Tis the Season Oprah has her favorite things list; Ellen Degeneres has her 12 Days of Giveaways and now, HaveUHeard pulled together a list of the most requested holiday gifts according to our very unscientific but college student survey. Choosing the right gift can be tricky but this list will help! The holiday season is not that far away so you may want to get a jump on these items. 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 and products mentioned in our blogs are 100% our own. We hope you will patronize these businesses. Partnerships like these make HaveUHeard possible)   ELECTRONIC DEVICES TV– One of the most requested items by students. Look at some of the SmartTV’s. They have come down significantly in price. Great for students moving or living in apartments where most […]

The Best Apps For Students

UF 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, how to create a budget or the perfect bibliography. Below is a list of the ones I thought 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. UF and College Studying Apps UFMobile:  gives students access to UF resources, including campus maps, Web courses, ONE UF Mail, the library, dining, shuttle service, emergency information and more. GatorSafe, because the first thing on my list is always my child’s safety.  With GatorSafe, students can report a problem silently via text, attaching pictures, video and audio files if possible, even anonymously. It […]

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast It’s not just for fairy tales, getting the beauty treatment makes her happy.  As the mother of girls, I know all too well that not being able to go to get their hair cut, nails done, eyebrows waxed is something they really miss when they are away at school. My nephew is the same way. Now before anyone gets ready to jump all over the “beauty is skin deep” bandwagon, let me just say, when your student is away for an entire semester, being able to get a hair trim or eyebrows waxed may be important to them. And for special occasions (Greek formals, university banquet, job interview on campus), they want to make certain their nails look polished. So where are students to go for hair treatments (cut, color, and highlights), eyebrow waxing or threading, manicures, and pedicures? Even our interns and our own daughters do not always agree […]

Just Desserts! Get Yours, In a Good Way…

Just Desserts! In a good way… Getting your just desserts, where did that phrase come from? But desserts is our favorite meal! Sometimes, we think the best part of the dinner is the dessert; here are some of our favorites! Gigi’s – Located on Archer Road, this bakery offers gourmet cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies filled with frosting D’Lites Emporium – Located on NW 16th Blvd., serving frozen soft serve low-fat ice cream. Specials available each day of the week so check their website Karma Cream – located on University Avenue, this counter-service ice cream café offers vegan and dairy ice creams and organic homemade desserts coffee and tea. Check their facebook page for daily baked specials. Sweetberries Eatery and Frozen Custard – Located on 13th Street, they have the best custard and concretes. What’s a Concrete? It is fresh-scooped frozen custard with mix-ins of your choice stirred together until it reaches a thickness so […]

Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat for Halloween When I was a student at UF, they had an event called Halloween Ball, Gainesville’s version of Mardi Gras. Costumes ranged from innocent to obscene and included music and, well, if you were a student back in the 70’s or 80’s, you know what it was about. Performers included Jimmy Buffet, The Plasmatics to mention a few. Some would describe it as decadent; well many would and that is exactly why it was eventually canceled by the university. Today, the University’s approach is more about advising a student to think about their choices of costumes and themes so as to not offend groups of people or perpetuate stereotypes. My religious upbringing did not recognize Halloween. And for those that do not, that is fine. But I was raised in a home that saw Halloween as just a day we dressed up and went door-to-door collecting candy. And my […]

Graduation Restaurant Reservations

Great Places to Celebrate  Do you really make your restaurant reservations now? Graduation is a time to celebrate and a celebration requires a nice meal, a nice meal needs a reserved spot! UF holds graduation ceremonies three times per year with May being the largest ceremony, broken down by college. Summer Graduation is May 10th-12th; Fall graduation is Dec. 14th – 15th and Spring 2019 graduation is May 3rd – 5th. Hopefully, you have read our hotel blog and made your hotel reservations. But if you are coming up with your entire family, you may want to reserve your favorite restaurant in plenty of time as many of the restaurants get extremely busy especially for fall and more so for spring. Summer graduation is typically much smaller in size. To help you out, we are listing the restaurants that take a reservation and if they require a deposit to hold the reservation (some do). […]

The Stress of College

The Stress of College Stress.  It happens to all of us, including our kids. As though balancing a full schedule, the welcome distraction of football season, sorority and fraternity rush, adjusting to college and trying to maintain a social life is not enough, our students had the added bonus of an uninvited guest, Hurricane Irma. The stress levels increase during mid-terms and finals. Fortunately, UF is on top of it, offering various programs, workshops, training, and suggestions; most of which are free to our Gators. Individual wellness coaching is available through Wellness Services and is free to enroll students using their UFID.  Through GatorWell, your student has access to free wellness coaching programs addressing stress management, relaxation strategies, sleep habits, study skills, eating habits and exercise. Only students can schedule an appointment by going through the website, by email or by calling 352-273-4450. UF’s Counseling & Wellness Station offers many workshops throughout […]

Eating on a Budget

Budget Eating, Is Possible I have experimented with various approaches to teaching my daughters to live on a budget. When they lived at home, they had their own bank accounts and never had carte blanche when it came to spending money. Once they each left for college, the discussion about budgeting took on a more serious tone. Perhaps your student is actually able to keep to a budget. My daughters needed more guidance and they both struggled at the beginning, but eventually got it (for the most part). I admit, it was hard telling my daughter, as I watched her monthly allowance dwindle, that she better be a bit more cautious or stock up on peanut butter or ramen noodles for her next few meals until her next college allowance came. I knew though that the gift of teaching her to budget her money would be far more useful than the pain […]

Thanksgiving

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 two months of texts, phone calls, and face time there is nothing like being able to hug your student for the first time…. And then the tug a 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. I feel strongly that “my house, my rules.”  Just like when they lived at home, I have curfews, rules for housework and helping with chores around the house (I am a full-time working single mom), family dinners and keeping the common areas clutter free. I know we want them to love being home again however, there have to be […]

After The Hurricane

Post Hurricane,  Irma Prior to Hurricane Irma, our blog talked about Hurricanes that had impacted Florida. It had been twelve years since a major hurricane the state. Hurricane Irma will be remembered not only for its strength but for its impact on the entire state of Florida causing damage and destruction on both the east and west coast. I live in South Florida where the Hurricane was forecasted to take a direct hit on the Thursday prior to its Saturday landfall. And as a resident for over 45 years, I felt anxious, worried and concerned as meteorologists threw out words such as catastrophic. You could see it in their facial expressions as they gave the latest track and you could hear it in their voices. I, like every parent, also worried about my UF student. Was her apartment safe? Would she be able to handle this with her friends, instead of her family? […]

Eating Healthy

OK To Be Eating…Healthy! As with other college campuses, the amount of burger, pizza, and fast food restaurants at UF and the surrounding campus is a big reason for the Freshman 15. This is no surprise considering so many students live on a tight budget. But, 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. Certainly, sometimes nothing can take the place of a cheesy, greasy slice of pizza or a juicy hamburger but for those students that want food fast but healthy, UF students have many options. Some of UF students’ favorites include: Bento Café – located in S.W. Archer Road, students can pick between a rice or noodle bowl or a box which includes salad, string beans, and rice. They […]

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. I made some of my greatest friends when I was in a sorority at UF. They have been a part of my life through the ups and downs, good times and bad times. To this day, some of them are amongst my closest circle of friends. And, with Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with so many more of them. We now will meet up in Gainesville for football games and sorority reunions as well as getting together locally. Every sorority is a little different as it relates to living in the house, eating meals at the house, academic requirements, philanthropic requirements and social requirements. Your daughter will be expected to attend chapter meetings, eat their meals at the house (it is included […]

Bright Futures

Bright Futures – Shining Bright 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 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 […]

Staying Fit and Keeping Freshman 15 At Bay

Freshman 15, Keeping Fit!   Keeping fit counts, it helps mentally as well as physically. The phrase “Freshman 15” happens- it may not be 15, it may just be 5 or 10 extra pounds gained that first year of college, but there is a way to keep fit! I for one gained at least 15 pounds my first semester at college; definitely not my finest moment. I went from living at home with set meal times and not an overabundance of snacks (and definitely not alcohol even though the drinking age was 18 at the time) to live in Gainesville with late-night socializing, delivery of every food imaginable from pizza to ice cream and no exercising except for walking to class. We did not have a fitness center on campus included in our tuition.  But even with the amazing fitness centers available to today’s students, many students do gain weight. My daughters […]

Places of Worship

Continuing Traditions of Worship For all students, being able to continue to worship, pray and adhere to their religious beliefs is extremely important for several reasons. The most important thing is for them to be able to follow their faith. But 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. UF is a very diverse campus. At or around UF, there are places to worship, regardless of your students’ faith.   A month 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, she was unable to come home. So, she did what many […]

Are Your Student’s Valuables Protected – Everything Safe?

Is Their Stuff Safe? One more thing to worry about, is the 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 […]

Graduation at UF

Remember When… 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 blog on hotels here.) 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 four plus hour drive. It is far easier to cancel than to […]

Mother – Daughter Time

First-Timer I remember my first mother-daughter weekend in Gainesville. Although it was a sorority event, we did not participate in all of the planned activities opting instead to just have some alone time. We took a long walk around the campus, passing by Lake Alice. We are not big fans of alligators or other wildlife up close, but we did get close enough to see several gators. There is nothing like walking the campus, seeing the Spanish moss hanging from the trees, visiting the Baughman Center, which is a beautiful non-denominational chapel, walking by the Bat House (we had no desire to watch for bats). We caught up with what she had been doing, how she liked her sorority, how classes were going and how we were doing without her home (we still had her 14-year-old sister at home). We did participate in some of the organized events including a trunk show […]

U.F. Move.In.Day.

U.F.M.I.D. (Move-In Day) UF’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 or overlooked item (ours was not having enough Command hooks last year).  The heat does not help, but a hand truck does. I will not get into the emotional goodbyes at the end of the day, but I will say that large sunglasses to cover my watery, red eyes were my savior. M.I.D. is June 28th for Summer B Freshman/Transfers and August 17th for Freshman and Transfers Summer move in this year begins on Thursday, June 28th and fall move in this year begins on Friday, August 17th for incoming freshmen and transfers. Your student will get an appointment as to their move in time through email. Move in continues through Sunday for all other dorm residents and also goes by […]

So your student wants to be a Gator?

So your student wants to be a Gator? That is understandable; Time Magazine ranked UF as the best school in Florida. UF 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? I remember back to 2008 when I went to a UF Alumni event titled, How to get your child into UF. The takeaway was that most of us in that room would not meet their current standards (hard to hear but so accurate). They were moving from being a selective admittance school to very selective. Today, they are extremely selective looking not only at grades and test scores but student involvement, leadership roles and an essay that stands out.   Record High for Applications Applications reached a record high this past year with over 34,000 applicants with a 38 percent acceptance. […]

Lost and Found

Oh No…It Happened! It’s Lost.  Have you ever lost anything really important before? 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. Losing It… 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 UF page, and you will see daily posts for lost keys, wallets, cell phones, ID’s […]

Homecoming at UF

Gator Growl?  Being part of a huge Gator Family (16 of us went to UF including my 89-year-old uncle when it was an all-boys school); I have been to my share of Homecoming both as a student and a parent to a student. The years I chose to not attend was because my daughters had positions working on the Gator Growl staff (see our blog on getting involved so I wouldn’t have seen them. Many of the sororities and fraternities are paired together for a week of events so my daughters wanted to spend their time at these events. As an alumnus, even if I only saw them during the parade, a few meals and before the game, I was good with that. I would recommend experiencing Homecoming at least once during your student’s time at UF. What exactly is Gator Growl and Homecoming all about?  Homecoming takes on national holiday status in […]

Sick at School

Mom…… I’m sick…..It’s bound to happen.  At some point, the phone will ring and your mature, independent college student will cry “I don’t feel well.”  Hopefully their illness will be a result of their new-found independence that includes lack of sleep ,exercise, stress, an unhealthy diet and hygiene habits that don’t embrace enough hand-washing, and can be cured quickly and easily. I sent my daughters to school with a “things you may need that Mom thought of just in case” box. Inside was  a thermometer; vitamins,  the medicines that they used at home  for symptoms of a cold; sinus infection; stomach ache or other common ailments.  Sometimes they need care beyond your box. UF’s Health Care Center is comprehensive providing both primary and specialty care, including dentistry. If it is not a medical emergency or life-threatening circumstance, it is recommended that they go online to request an appointment. If it is a […]

Where the Wind Blows

Florida Weather = Storm 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 can say […]

Family Weekend

Gator Time – Family Time As a Gator Alum as well as a Gator Parent, any time the opportunity presents itself to be able to share in some Gator football with my daughter, I am there. This year’s Family Weekend will be September 28- 30th. Because it is an away football weekend, (Gators are playing SEC rival Mississippi), you should not have a problem being able to get a hotel. The only thing that may make demand high is that some of the sororities and fraternities have either family weekend or a mother/daughter or mother/son, father-daughter or father/son weekend in the fall. Be sure to check this out when booking; our blog on hotels may help. While there will not be a home game (head to some of the more popular viewing places including The Swamp Restaurant), be sure to check out the Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving All-Florida Invitational. Students […]

Budget 101

Asking for Money? I can vividly remember being in college and having to make the dreaded call home to my father to ask for money. My parents had three daughters at UF at the same time so finances were a sensitive subject. This was before cell phones (think wall corded phones) and, dare I say it, before the internet. Banking required you to wait for the statement to arrive in the mail. My father, who happened to also be a CPA, would go through each statement to see where we were spending our money. And, he felt they gave us a reasonable amount to make it through the month (with three daughters to support at college, monthly deposits worked for them). Since we only spoke once a week (again, no such thing as texting, emails or cell phones), having to mention needing money was not exactly what they wanted to talk about. During […]

Pets

Paws at UF I cannot begin to tell you how many times my kids have called from college saying they want to buy or foster a dog or cat. “Oh mom, you should see how cuuuute they are.” So far, in as much as they mention this regularly, they have not gone through with it yet. Perhaps it is my bombarding them with questions about whether they can have it in their apartment, where will it go when they leave for college breaks, who will watch this pet or pay for the care of this pet. But, every time I visit them at college, I am amazed at how many students actually have adopted pets (of course from a rescue or from the local humane society). Don’t get me wrong. I love animals; especially cats ….and so do my kids. Yet, I am not a big fan of students adopting pets when […]

Study Abroad UF

Study Abroad?  Not all classrooms have four walls. No place is this more evident than in the growing number of students that study abroad. This is one of the programs you will hear about from your student (and trust me, they will bring it up). I did not have that many friends that went abroad when I was in college. My older daughter, who graduated from UF, chose not to study abroad as she did not want to miss a full semester at UF.  Looking back, she has said it is one of her regrets now that her younger sister is studying abroad this summer in Madrid. I first learned about study abroad at orientation in 2015. The breakout session spoke of the benefits of studying abroad. You can read that here. I was impressed by the vast amount of information given out and, I must admit, envious of the many opportunities […]

PACE Yourself

Pathway to Campus Enrollment In 2015, UF launched a new enrollment program called PaCE, Pathway to Campus Enrollment to meet the growing demand of qualified freshman applicants.  Simply put, applicants that apply to UF and get accepted to the PaCE program begin their freshman year online and then transition to campus. A student accepted to this program determines their own pace thus the name) and can take their online classes in Gainesville or their home or anywhere they can access UF online. The transition over to residential status at UF requires a minimum enrollment in their online program of two semesters. Initially, some students (and less face it, their parents) may be disappointed in not being offered an on-campus admission. But, if going to UF was your student’s first choice, then this may be a perfect alternative. If your student wants the entire Gator experience, they can move to Gainesville and they […]

Books, Books, Books

Book Time A lot has changed since I was a student at UF but the one thing that has not is that textbooks are expensive. Sure the format is different, but the cost for books and supplies are soaring. From January 2006 to July 2016, the Consumer Price Index for college textbooks increased 88 percent. But students today have many different options than we did 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 may be minuscule and a used edition may be far cheaper.) […]

Get Involved

Get Involved With an undergraduate enrollment of over 35,000, spanning over 2,000 acres, UF is huge. That massive size means that students should find a way to make this university feel a bit smaller. Some students will choose to rush a sorority or fraternity (see sorority blog here and fraternity blog here) but others will not find Greek life their cup of tea. No worries; there are many other possible ways to get involved on campus. Some of you may believe that your student’s first job is school, and I couldn’t agree more. That said; 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 a large school feel smaller. Joining clubs or […]

Health Insurance

The Plan for Insurance Students at many colleges today must have a health insurance plan that meets their University’s minimum requirement. And, if you forget to submit a waiver if your student is covered under your medical plan, the University will purchase a plan for your student. Knowing this, my daughter still forgot to submit a waiver. When she received her bright futures deposit, I questioned why it was so low and, after a series of questions and looking through the allocation of funds, I learned that is exactly what happened. When I spoke to someone at the University, they assured me that my daughter had received many, and I mean many, reminder emails. This oversight cost us a penalty to have it canceled. Deciding on which health plan your student should be on may require a degree in economics. There are so many variables to consider when choosing: Does your current […]

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 the Marathon. If you have a student at UF, you will definitely want to know about this event, donate to this event and encourage your student to get involved in this event. This is college philanthropy at its best. Created to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 1991, the 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 Gainesville as DMUF, will take place on  Saturday, March 24th and end on March 25, 2018, at 2:00 p.m.The number of participants, which includes, dancers, staff, […]

Sports

…Football  Did U know…UF students get in FREE to all Gator athletic events, other than football, with their Gator1 ID Card. Regular season events for these sports are free and open to the public. Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Swimming & Diving, Tennis, Track & Field. Students who do not pay the UF athletic and activity fee are not eligible for student tickets. UF is a part of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and participates in almost every collegiate sport including football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, swimming, gymnastics, lacrosse and soccer. The Gators are considered to be an elite program with three national football championships and numerous division championships. The Gators play at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium better known as The Swamp. The official seating capacity is 88,548, although the actual attendance regularly exceeds 90,000. It is considered to be one of the loudest and toughest home stadiums for opponents. With a large and loyal alumni […]

Radio and TV Stations

For students coming from larger cities who are accustomed to nationally syndicated stations, rest assured, there are plenty of radio stations in Gainesville that will meet your listening tastes. Country music is very popular in the South but the major stations are as follows: Radio WJLF – 91.7 – Christian Contemporary WNDT – 92.5 – Classic Rock WOGK – 93.7 – Country WKTK- 98.5 – Adult Contemporary WXJZ – 100.9 – Top 40 WRUF – 103.7 Country (University of Florida) WYKS – 105.3 – Top 40 There are many other stations but their signals are fairly weak. Many of these stations broadcast its audio on the internet so you may be able to pick up the stations that way. For many students, they listen to streaming music and with free wifi on campus, it is a great alternative to listening to the radio. Students are typically way too busy to watch TV, but […]

Honor Roll

My Student Made Honor Roll 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. As a parent, you do a mental cartwheel as you see the invitation. Read the fine print carefully when you get invitations to join The XYZ Honor Societies. Educate yourself as to what they provide in exchange for this membership. Because 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 either profit from the fees they collect. Read their annual report to see how much of their revenue goes toward administrative fees, just as you would with a charity you are vetting. I am not trying to diminish the euphoric […]

Entertainment

More than Football…Entertainment That’s entertainment! Are you looking for more than the typical? If a movie night is what you are looking for, head to the Regal Cinemas (Regal Royal Park Stadium 16) on Archer Road or the Regal Cinema Gainesville Stadium 14 on SW 35th Blvd. The Hippodrome is a must see at some time during your time in Gainesville, offering live theater, films, gallery exhibits, classes, and special events. The Hippodrome screens first-run foreign, limited-release and avant-garde films. For bowling, there are three bowling alleys. The Closest is at the Reitz Union which was renovated in Spring 2016. The other two are Splitz which is by the Oaks Mall or Alley Gatorz Bowling Center on Waldo which is much further away. Owned by the same company that operates Splitz, is Funworks which includes roller skating, miniature golf, rock climbing, roller hockey, go-karts, batting cages and an arcade. For those of you that prefer the […]

Nature vs Nurture

Nature vs  Nurture When my oldest daughter was accepted to the University of Florida, during her high school graduation party, a relative who attended UF gave her a list of 100 things to do before leaving Gainesville. Of course, some of the items were meant for her eyes only. The list included sporting events, bars, restaurants, and student-only activities (did I mention bars) – an all-encompassing list based on their four years at Florida. Unfortunately, that list seems to have disappeared but I vaguely recall some of the places they said she should visit at least once. I have been to these places both as a student at UF and as a parent of a UF student.  When you are visiting your student, whether for a football game, family weekend, sorority/fraternity parents weekend, or just to visit; it is all about spending time together.  There are some great outdoor sites not to […]

Fix it!

Repair Shops Car, scooter or bike, oh my!  At UF, you will find all in large numbers. Talk to any student about which is the most useful at UF 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 Have U Heard that part of your tuition fees include having free bike repair at UF? Parts are available for a nominal fee or you can bring in your own parts and they will fix it. For more information, go to https://www.sg.ufl.edu/BikeRepair.   SG Bike Repair Reitz Union ground floor next to P.O.D. 352-846-3003   Bikes and More 2133 NW 6th St (352) 373-6574   Bike Works 2300 SW 34th St (352) […]

Getting There – Transportation

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles…All the Transportation You Can Think Of 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 if they want to go to a store off campus and do not want to carry heavy belongings back to their dorms if they are living in a dorm. Both my daughters brought their cars but aside from the occasional drive home, mostly relied on public transportation to get around because it was easier. For parking information should they bring their car, click here. Bicycles and Scooters Have u Heard that part of the activity and service fee you pay goes into a fund used by student government to provide services for all students? One of these […]

Grocery Stores

Let’s Eat For groceries, those of you from Florida or Georgia will be familiar with the major supermarket chain 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. Publix recently opened a smaller location directly across from the UF campus.with prepared foods like bento bowls, Florida-produced grocery items, and a Starbucks cafe.This smaller location hopes to compete against restaurants for students’ dining out dollars. The other major chain supermarkets you will find in Gainesville include The Fresh Market and cult followed Trader Joe’s and Lucky’s Market. Lucky’s is most comparable to a Trader Joe’s, The Fresh Market or Whole Foods in that their philosophy is to use local, organic and sustainable foods to support the local farmers and a farm to table existence. Whole Foods is also open […]

Retail Therapy

A Little Retail Therapy You will find almost every major box store including Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Family Dollar Store,  TJ Maxx, Marshalls and most others. Major department stores include Dillards, Kohl’s and Belks. Surely enough to soothe your retail therapy needs! For those unfamiliar with these stores, here is a quick description: Bed Bath & Beyond – As its name implies, this large store carries almost every item imaginable for a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen. They cater to the college market offering many convenient services including picking out items in your hometown or online and then arranging to pick them up in Gainesville. This can be extremely time-saving as well as freeing up space in your vehicle. If your student is flying into town, this service is even more convenient. Gainesville has one location on Newberry Road. When you are first moving to college, expect that the […]

Restaurants for Dinner Time

Dinner, Early or Late!  Paramount Downtown–  This is considered to be a bit more upscale than most restaurants in the downtown area. But, this being a college town, you can still get away with nice jeans. They use mainly fresh ingredients prepared in an inspiring manner.Recommend reservations especially during peak weekends. More of an upscale menu. The Top Downtown – There is typically a minimum 45-minute wait on weekends to get into this hip spot known for its vegetarian and vegan options and modern take on American food. A must try when you head to Gainesville. Midtown Social -good bar food known for mac and cheese but turns into a bar at night rooftop with good view of stadium. Crane Ramen– Downtown. We stumbled onto this charming restaurant during a busy football weekend. As its name would imply, they serve ramen but they take it to a completely new level. This is […]

Restaurants

Wakey Wakey- Eggs and Bakey Best Breakfast & Brunch Restaurants Afternoon – Located on NW 10th Avenue in the Grove Street neighborhood (closed on Wednesdays), this newest breakfast/brunch place is not too expensive but really good for either breakfast or brunch. From an egg & cheddar sando to corn & potatoes, from Shakshuka to poached eggs and many other options. The owners consider themselves as a New American brunch establishment serving traditional southern ingredients combined with international and American ingredients. Metro Diner– 34th Street. With multiple locations in many states, Metro Diner serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner but we are recommending for breakfast/lunch. Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, hosted by Guy Fieri. 43rd Street Deli and Breakfast House– 2 locations, Williston and NW 25th place. Open for 35 years, this is more of your traditional deli restaurants. Civilization- Near Downtown – Known for its organic and locally sourced menu with […]

Restaurants

Hundreds of Dining Options Like any college town,  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. When coming to Gainesville to visit your student or tour the campus with a prospective student, what restaurants are must visits? Below we give you a breakdown of some of our favorites.  During peak weekends and at some of the more popular selections, expect waits of an hour or more. Depending on the occasion, you may not get into a specific restaurant unless you get there very early. The Swamp is an example of a place that is very difficult to get a table during football Gamedays, graduation and other high demand weekend events (both home games and away games). But, figuring your student […]

Hotels

A Nice Place to Stay There are plenty of hotel options for visiting Gainesville. Remembering this is a college town, you should not be expecting to see high rise five-star hotels. Most of the hotels will be found on Archer Road right of I-75, but there are a few further away from the crowded Archer Road corridor. It is always a good idea to stay with one hotel chain allowing you to accumulate points to earn free night stays or other rewards offered by that particular program. The other important point to consider is that there are peak weekends in Gainesville where it is very difficult to get a room. Examples include all football weekends and graduation. During these high demand weekends, rates will double for a stay seemingly very high for a town like Gainesville. Expect to pay between $200 and $400 per night depending on the hotel you choose. For […]

Tax Time

Always 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 Opportunity Tax Credit. That means if you […]

FAFSA

What is  – FAFSA? 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 FAFSA using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. As a result of this change, you now can submit the FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year on October 1, 2018, using your 2017 tax and income information. (Summer applicants for 2018 need to submit a 2017-2018 application). If you have not done so already, you will also need to complete that year’s application as well. The IRS link for a tax return is no longer available for the 2017-2018 application […]

Tutoring

Challenges – Tutoring Can Help Students who attend UF, no different than many other highly sought after colleges, will be faced not only with challenging classes taught by respected and renowned professors. Tutoring is beneficial. This is not high school where a student can often coast by; succeeding at UF requires taking classes seriously. At the same time, there are many other 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 and social and civic activities. Talk About It If your student mentions they are having difficulty, there are many places to turn including speaking with their professor, teacher assistant. There are also […]

Safety Matters

Safety UF takes safety very seriously. Technology has changed the landscape of how they impart information to students through texts and emails, and social media platforms. There are also options available for students to use to get around the campus. For one, students can follow UF Alert on Twitter. Parents can follow as well but it may be overwhelming to get an alert for every activity when you are hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. I follow the alerts during Hurricane warnings/watches and other serious events and then unfollow. You can go ahead and bookmark in advance. University of Florida Web pages www.ufl.edu www.ufalert.ufl.edu www.emergency.ufl.edu UF Emergency Hotline 1-866-UF FACTS Follow UF Alert on Twitter It’s a SNAP! The Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol (SNAP) is a free, nightly, campus safety and transportation service sponsored by UF Student Government, Student Traffic Court and the University of Florida Police Department. SNAP provides a point-to- […]

U Matter We Care

We Really Do Care Now you have your college student moved in and they are ready to embark on a new independent life. As a parent, even if you are not a helicopter parent, it may be difficult to drive off. For me personally, while I miss my daughter immensely, I am also confident that I have given her the tools to succeed. The leash was loosened back in high school allowing her to make adult decisions while I was still around to offer my guidance. They are going to experiment perhaps staying out late or eating unhealthy foods, drinking and so forth. UF offers many safety nets if you have concerns that your student is having difficulty adjusting to life on their own. One of their newest initiatives is the U Matter We Care© campaign. The premise behind this initiative is that it is impossible for a large institution to know […]

What U Should Do Before Heading to UF

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 […]

The Next Four Years

The Next Four Years So you have a student ready to spend the next four years at UF? That means you will undoubtedly be visiting once or twice. If you have never been to Gainesville, you may have a preconceived idea about this college town from looking online. Or you may know very little. Like any college town, it is not a sprawling metropolis but it is not a barren town either. Here, you will find almost every major box store, almost every chain restaurant from fast food to quick service to full service plus many newer independents, shopping malls, hotels and grocery stores. What U Should Know About UF The University of Florida dates back to 1853 when the state-funded East Florida Seminary took over the Kingsbury Academy in Ocala. The seminary moved to Gainesville in the 1860s and later was consolidated with the state’s land-grant Florida Agricultural College, then in […]

Off Campus Living

Economical to Extravagant Off Campus Living Just a few months in from your freshman starting college and they bring up the subject of where they want to live the following year. By December, they are ready to sign a lease.  It is hard to imagine making a decision so early, however; the demand for living in certain areas is driving the need to sign early. You will hear them mention specific apartments yet all you want to know is the rent amount, is the area safe, how much it costs to rent an apartment. There will be questions you may not have thought to ask. By far, perhaps the most extravagant and newest complex to open across the street from the UF campus comes with a rooftop infinity pool, cabanas and lounge, a gym, racquetball courts, an arcade and game room, free tanning and an internet café. They have studio’s all the […]

Rushing His Way

Is It Really an Animal House? Going back to 1978 with the release of “Animal House”, which became one of the most successful comedies of all time, to 2014 with the release of “Neighbors”, fraternities have been portrayed as groups of Neanderthals that do nothing but party, drink alcohol and abuse drugs. Fraternities have been called out on national television for purported participation in horrific activities. Certainly, if a fraternity house is engaging in behavior that crosses the line, they should, and will, end up either on suspension or maybe even kicked off campus. But talk with many of the young men in fraternities at UF, and they will speak of brotherhood, a lifetime of friendships and access to leadership positions on campus. UF has the 4th largest fraternity system in the country with over 26 chapters.   For parents of incoming freshman, you have probably started to hear about fraternity rush. […]

Rushing Her Way

To Sorority or Not? Rushing In… Are you rushing in? For parents of incoming freshman, you probably are starting to hear whispers about sorority rush. The way rush is handled for sororities are very different than fraternities. Talk to any parent at any school, and you will not find too many who love the process.  But like the process or not, sororities and fraternities do have their advantages, especially at a large college. At this point, you may be thinking why would I want my daughter to subject herself to going through this process? Personally speaking, while sorority life may not be for everyone, they do offer a lot of benefits including being extremely visible and active on campus, involvement in philanthropies, high academics and most importantly, they make the massive size of UF seem a little smaller. To this day, I can say I made lifelong friendships in my sorority at […]

Meal Plan and Other Ways to Eat

Burgers and Pizza and Fries… Oh my A Guide to Meal Plans The start of college is right around the corner and many of you might be envisioning your student’s diet as burgers and pizzas and fries, oh my? Sure, we have been making meals for our kids for as long as we can remember. And yes, some of our kids know how to cook or even enjoy cooking but most have come to rely on their meals being ready the minute you yell “Dinnertime?” We get it… but what happens now that they will be on their own to figure out their meals? Before you get ready to go on a cooking frenzy, packaging and labeling items to send with them, stop. Because we assure you, college food choices have changed since many of us went to college. That’s not to say they won’t be tempted by the vast array of […]

Orient Yourself

I Remember When… I remember when my daughter was attending UF Orientation a few years ago. This was my second go around yet I was still wildly excited for her.  She had attended when her sister was accepted and she was only 13 years old. We laughed about how bored she was sitting all day in the Reitz Union fidgeting and playing with her phone. I remember letting her go by herself to the bathroom (she was 13 so I figured she could navigate finding a bathroom on her own and also recognized she needed a break from what was probably a very boring way to spend the day even though she was missing school to go with us. A few minutes later, she came back in tugging on my shirt and whispering to me, so that her father would not hear, that she had dropped her new iphone in the toilet. […]

Move In? All the Tips and Tricks to Making it Easy

Move In Date! Apartments and Dorms 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, pictures 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. Back to college spending is expected to reach $1,347 this year. This is big business with […]

Home Sweet Dorm

Is It Home Yet? Home Sweet Dorm 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 the primary concern, because after all 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 […]

Moving Out

Time to Move On… Moving out can be almost as hectic as moving into the dorms and apartments. You are typically assigned a move out time to keep the flow smooth. 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 her rent an air-conditioned storage facility with friends. 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. She was able to move her belongings into storage herself by getting boxes and packing up her dorm. There were items that she no longer needed (nor did we want). Most dorms collect these items in a common area and donate them to a local community collection organization. If it is in decent shape, then it does […]

Care Packages That Really Help

Special Care – Care Packages When my older daughter left for UF, I wavered between giving her space to find her way and wanting to hear all about her life at college. This was before social media documented almost every move she made. Sure there were some posts on her Facebook page, but I missed her terribly and we were still adjusting to our new family dynamic. How could you spend eighteen years making your kids your priority and then watch them leave and not feel a sharp pang of sadness? As days went by (felt like weeks), I decided that I was not going to stand on ceremony so I sent her a text saying “Would love to catch up. Miss you <3 emoji.”  In time, we did adjust to it being the three of us.  But her four years flew by and her sister’s turn came to leave. And, here […]

Are U Ready For Some Football

You can almost hear the crowd roar!  Now may not yet seem like the time to talk football, but if you are planning on coming up for a game in the fall, you should be looking to book your hotel fairly soon especially for the more popular opponents coming to The Swamp.  I have been going to Gator football games since I was a student (not mentioning age but I already have a daughter that graduated UF and one that is a sophomore).  I know which opponents are the big rivalries (did I mention LSU, Tennessee, and Kentucky) and which games should be sleepers (okay we won’t count the time that the Gators almost lost to Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns). A Gator home game is an experience, from the pre-gaming (ask your college student) to the Gator Walk (2 hours and 25 minutes prior to each home game when fans line the north […]

University of Florida

University of Florida Gainesville, FL 32611 (352) 392-3261 Congratulations! If you are on this page, you have a UF student! Read on to find out the inside scoop! Pass on these great tips, tell your friends and like us on Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for other great tips at www.haveuheard.com.

Orange and Blue Debut

It’s Gator time! Now that the Gators have a new football coach, the spring game will return to its Saturday tradition. The Orange & Blue Game is a full scrimmage football practice. There is open seating so plan on arriving early for some of the best seats you may get for the UF Football Game. This year’s Orange & Blue Debut will take place on Saturday, April 14th at 3 p.m. under new head coach Dan Mullen. There will be the traditional Gator Walk, a Pep Rally, Food Trucks and many other events. Click here for more information. In addition to the football game, there are many other UF sports teams that will be playing that weekend including baseball, softball, track and field and tennis. Students will be a few weeks away from finals so it is most likely the last opportunity for them to enjoy Gator sports before holing up in […]

Sign up for UF info and tips.

You have Successfully Subscribed!