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University of North Florida

University of North Florida 1 UNF Drive Jacksonville, FL 32224 (904) 620-1000 www.unf.edu

Best Apps For Students at UNF

App?  Apps? What is that? Did someone forget to add the “le”?  My kids make fun of me and when I  say “when I went to school.” Well, when I went to school there was no such thing as apps, smartphones or computers for that matter.  Nowadays there is an app for everything. UNF and College Study Apps UNF Safety App – This safety app will communicate messages and alerts to the campus community.   Students, faculty, staff, and parents can now open the Apps Store for Apple products and Google Play Store for Android products and download the free-of-charge app. The MyWings app is also super convenient because it takes you straight to the MyWings page with all the ‘tiles’ that have all your student information, class information, and more. You can schedule an advising appointment, check your class schedule, or one of the student’s biggest uses for this app is to […]

Best Places to Study around UNF

Shhhhh, Here Is a Great Study Spot! Finding the perfect study spot complete with peace and quiet may sometimes be difficult. Students can bring earphones or headphones to tune out unwanted noise and turn up the recorded lectures, explanatory videos, or a study playlist.  Studying is something the majority of students hate, but it’s one of those things they just have to struggle through in order to retain what they’ve learned and pass classes. It’s mundane and time-consuming, it can be incredibly exhausting, and sometimes studying in the dorm or apartment just doesn’t cut it. There are some hidden gems on and off-campus that are absolutely perfect for cracking open a textbook. Here are a few places they can get study and hopefully learn a thing or two. The Spots 3rd Floor of Thomas G. Carpenter Library, Reading Rooms – These rooms are perfect for homework or catching up on some class reading. […]

Budget 101, Money Talks

The Budget Your Money Talk Some of the most common and often asked questions from new parents are “how much money should I give my student?” “Should I give them money weekly or monthly?””How do I teach them to budget?”,  “Should my student get a job?”  These questions are very personal to each family and their financial circumstances. When I was in school (many, many years ago), my parents paid for my expenses i.e. dorm, meal plan, books, etc.; however, any spending money came from my own earnings.    I felt this was difficult for me so when I dropped off my oldest son at school, I decided to give him cash “as needed.” Well, let’s just say that the first semester cost me a ridiculous amount of money and I quickly learned that Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks and Einstein’s were “needed” every day.  After this, we set up a reasonable budget for him that […]

Happy Birthday Care Packages

If You Can’t Be there this is Best for a Birthday. There is not much I love more than my children’s birthdays!  I make a point of buying them a bigger gift and then a bunch of little things – candy, gum, etc and I wrap each one so that when they wake up on the morning of their birthday, there are a ton of gifts to open.  Two out of the three of my kids have birthdays that fall during the school year and I love sending them packages. If I couldn’t celebrate with them, at least they knew I was thinking of them. What’s a better way to let your child know how much you love and miss them than to send them some baked goodies for their birthday.  These local places will deliver to campus for any occasion: Nothing Bundt Cakes – they deliver to UNF campus for a […]

Who You Going to Call…

Who Should You Call When You Need Answers? The important contact info you need to have. Over the years there have been only a few times that I, as a parent, have felt the need to call the campus to resolve an issue. Generally, I try to get my kids to handle it themselves. However, knowing where to call for whatever the issue can be daunting. For instance, trying to decipher how rush works or even having financial aid issues.  Be aware though that, unless your student has given you permission to call or is sitting with you, some departments won’t speak to you, the parent. Check out our blog What You Should Do Before Leaving For UNF to download different legal documents.  These documents give parents’ permission in different medical and legal scenarios. President of UNF: Dr. David Szymanski.  His office is located at 1 UNF Drive J.J. Daniel Hall, Suite […]

Cell Phone and Computer Repair

When Disaster Strikes, repair it! Ugh, nothing is more annoying than when your cell phone stops working or when your computer suddenly shuts down. For students, this minor catastrophe turns into a major problem. I do however highly recommend a backup system. I presently use Mozy for myself and my students’ computers. It simply backs up their computer daily (or however they deem necessary) so if they ever run into a jam, they don’t have to panic that all their work has been lost. As for the phone, encourage them to plug it into their computer (or some use iCloud) once in a while to be sure all their contacts and photos are backed-up. I also highly recommend a good phone case. They can find some fun cases on Casetify so perhaps they won’t complain as much about having a case on their phone.  Casetify even offers a 15% student discount with […]

Register to Vote

How to Have Your Vote Count While at College, Register! For students in a new city adapting to a busy college schedule, the voting process can seem daunting. As an 18-year-old freshman, I didn’t even know where to begin to register or where to go to vote! With an election year coming up, taking the time to go to the polls and vote is more important than ever. So, how can you do it? First, students must be registered to vote and meet the eligibility requirements. You can find your state’s requirements here. To register to vote in Florida, you must fill out a new registration form online at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, by mail or in person. If you prefer to fill out the form in person, there are more places than you think to grab one. It’s available for download or available at any County Supervisor of Elections (Duval County for UNF), any […]

Banks and Credit Unions UNF

Many Places to Grab Money, Banks Galore! Leaving for college comes with so many new things, but handling their own money can be one of the scariest. We have all kinds of suggestions regarding Working While in College, Teaching Them to Budget; even the Best Credit Cards for College Students, but this blog is all about banking. Before your child leaves for college, a conversation that every parent needs to have is on Budgeting their money.  How will they spend it, on what and how will they get their money? These days a lot of students use Venmo, Zelle or other money transfer apps.  However, if they use any of these apps or if they just need to have a local bank account, the following information will be useful while looking for the best Bank for your family. It is not necessary to open a bank account that is on campus.  If […]

Brunch is Breakfast plus Lunch plus Fun

“Brunch is breakfast without an alarm.” — Unknown Most college kids sleep late. It’s a well-known fact. So, going out for breakfast on weekends, in particular, may not be an option. Brunch, however, is generally a good option on weekends and there are quite a few choices not far from UNF’s campus. However, if you can get your student out of bed early and breakfast is what you want; check out our blog Wakey, Wakey Eggs & Bakey. Some things to consider beforehand are price and time. It is not unusual for there to be a considerable wait, even with a reservation, on a game weekend or graduation, at some of the more popular selections. Brunch…. Another Broken Egg Cafe – Open for breakfast as well!  7:00 am-2:00 pm. Biscotti’s – A nicer place that I would recommend making a reservation to go to.  Brunch is Saturday and Sundays from 8:00 am-3:00 […]

Florida Prepaid

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

Dinner, It’s Time Check out these Restaurants

It’s dinner-time! Everyone has their favorite place, here are the places we love to frequent, which one is your favorite restaurant? Restaurants Within 2 Miles of UNF Campus Angie’s Subs – Highly recommended by myself, my daughter (who frequents at least once a week) and many of the UNF students, this sub place is anything but ordinary.  More on the casual side, you order at the counter and have your sub brought to your table.  Serving everything from tuna sub to vegetarian, they also have a cheeseburger sub.  Sounds like this is a definite must stop! Open from 10:00 am-9:00 pm every day and Sunday from 11:00 am-4:00 pm. Bahama Breeze Island Grill – Caribbean-inspired food with a vibrant island atmosphere.  Music plays a major part in our restaurant’s fun island-vibe. Conveniently located 5 minutes from the UNF campus near E Beltway 295 and St Johns Town Center Mall.  Hours are 11:00 […]

Pets in School

Take Your Dog (or Cat) to College I do believe that the greatest gift I could give to my daughter, maybe almost more than some new clothing, purse or jewelry, would be if I brought out dog up to visit her one weekend. We all love our pets. Our dog is the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever had or known (I am sure all pet owners say the same thing!) But seriously, ours is the best! So if I did bring Lulu (that’s our Goldendoodle’s name) to visit my daughter, it would be great to know different restaurants, hotels and dog parks in the area. Dog-friendly Restaurants:  When it comes to dog-friendly restaurants unless you have a Service/Emotional Support animal, dog-friendly means you may eat outside with them. Harpoon Louie’s M Shack Orsay River City Brewing Company The Blue Fish The Brick Restaurant Taverna Uptown Kitchen and Bar Pet-friendly Hotels: […]

Storage at UNF

Where Will They Put All Their Stuff? In Storage? Feels like they have just moved in!  Cars loaded with Every. Single. Thing. from their room at home to their dorm and now they need to bring all of that stuff home, plus all of the things that they have accumulated this year.  If you have plenty of room in your garage or closets this shouldn’t be an issue, however, if you are like me plastic crates will be piled up in my garage for 3-4 months this summer. Before you begin the moving out process check out our blog, you may find some helpful tips to assist with the process. After seeing all of the items that need to move out, perhaps finding a storage area is not such a bad idea.  When looking for a storage facility there are a few things to keep in mind. Some storage may be a […]

Entertainment is Entertaining!

Try These Fun Things To Do! While visiting UNF and the Jacksonville area, there are plenty of things to do for entertainment.  The campus is within 20 minutes from the beach if you want to go for a beautiful moonlight walk or spend time walking along the St. John’s River.  You will find incredible restaurants in downtown Jacksonville, some of which are located at The Landings, an outdoor waterfront area filled with shops and restaurant. Food can be entertainment too! Something more low key would be catching a movie at Cinemark Tinseltown & XD which has multiple screens, stadium seats & self-service ticketing kiosks. Another great nighttime option is Top Golf. Located within minutes of UNF this is a really fun activity to do with the whole family. What about bowling? There are several bowling alleys near UNF with Bowl America being the closest serving food and drinks with an arcade room. […]

They’ve Been Accepted

Now, What do You Do? Congratulations Class of 2023… Swoop and Welcome to The Nest!!  You can now take that sigh of relief that a decision has been made and they have been accepted.  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 myUNF. UNF does not require a tuition deposit, so the only way to lock in your seat in the freshman class is to register for orientation. Orientation is mandatory for all first-time-in-college students. You can read our blog on Orientation so you know what to expect after being accepted. Next step is setting up your official UNF email account.  UNF will only correspond with you via your official UNF email […]

Sorority Girl – The Inside Scoop

It’s More Than Parties, Sorority Life. Congratulations if your daughter has joined a sorority!  Joining a sorority was one of the best decisions I made while being in college.  I made amazing friends and connections. I am still friends with many sorority sisters; in fact, the owners of the website of the blog are two of my sorority sisters. At UNF, every sorority is a little different as it relates to academic requirements, philanthropic requirements and social requirements. Your daughter will be expected to attend chapter meetings and participate in their sorority’s events. They are paired up with fraternities for socials which may be mandatory. Some sororities require you to dress up for chapter meetings; others do not care if you come straight from the gym. Be prepared for an entire wardrobe change as they can often be seen wearing frat tanks (some girls sell their collection for as little as $5 […]

Our Favorite Apartment Rentals For Real!

Our Fav – Rentals Save U Time! Most students cannot wait to move into rentals or apartments after their freshman year for very good reasons.  They will get a room to themselves, in most cases a bathroom to themselves and have a kitchen to cook (and clean.) There are many different factors that go into choosing apartments or rentals for your student. Our list of favorite rentals can help. Location, for one thing, is important to my daughter because she will not have a car next year.  So she either has to live close to campus, on-campus or make sure there is a bus that can take her to and from UNF.  Money is another factor. Typically speaking, the closer to campus that an apartment is, the more money it is and, the nicer it is, the more money it is.  This isn’t to say that apartments that aren’t as expensive will […]

Career Showcase: A Student Perspective

How To Align Your Studies With Your Future Career Plans As a freshman in college, being asked to decide your major and think about your eventual career can be daunting and overwhelming. Lots of students feel unsure of what major to pick and what kind of job they can see themselves doing. Major decisions are difficult and switches are often made. I myself started college as an undecided freshman and spent my first two semesters meeting with advisors, researching majors and course requirements, and of course, researching different careers and what kind of knowledge and degrees are required for those careers. However, it’s still hard to know where your future will be when you as a student have no real experience in a career field of say, finance, biology, or entertainment management. If you’re looking for more guidance, the school has many events including fairs, guest speakers, and discussions designed to broaden […]

Fix It! Fix it good!

If it’s Broken, You Must Fix It Fix it and repair shops are one of the necessities of life, and when our kids are away at school, we want to make sure that they are receiving quality service at reputable prices. It can happen to anyone, stuff just breaks down, so whether it’s a bike or car there is always a way to get it fixed right. Although UNF is a smaller campus compared to other Florida universities, students still prefer skateboards and bicycles as the main mode of transportation on campus, but they also have break-down issues. Cars are still the main transportation for students off-campus, and as we know cars breakdown or little accidents happen. Keeping your student mobilized is important. Listed below are the repair shops for bicycles, skateboards, and autos that we have found near UNF: Bicycle Repair Shops – These lists are in order from closest to […]

Dropping a Class

Dropping, When Is it Time? Here are the guidelines you should consider when dropping a class. “I need to drop my Business Calculus class.”  Not the best words that a parent wants to hear; however, sometimes circumstances present themselves that your student will need to do just this.  UNF, as well as other colleges, differentiate between dropping and withdrawing from a class. Dropping a class Students may drop courses through the registration period preceding the term and during the “Add/Drop” period. The Add/Drop period occurs during the first five days of courses for a given semester.  Courses scheduled to meet for the first time after add/drop ends may be dropped the next business day only in One-Stop Student Services. Tuition and fee payment is still due on the regular deadline for all classes.  If a student drops a course on or before the last day to drop courses, the student will not […]

The ABC’s of 529 Savings Plans UNF

What 529 Pays When you decide to have kids, your first thought is not how am I going to pay for college, but it might be your second. I made a decision when they were about 5 to buy a Prepaid Florida Tuition Plan which is one type of plan, locking in a Florida college. The 529 Savings Plans, or what is also known as a Qualified Tuition Plan (QTP), is a saving was fairly new and I chose not to invest in a 529 savings plan. I wish I had not overlooked this type of tuition plan or had asked their grandparents to invest in a 529 Savings plan, as opposed to gifting them money for birthdays and holidays. Since 1996, 529 plans are a way of saving for college for your student. If you had such a qualified tuition plan or a relative set one up for you, then you […]

Trick or Treat The College Version

That Was Then … I would race home from school so my mom could put together some sort of costume for me then rush to meet my friends to go trick-or-treating. Somehow, by the time I had my own kids, Halloween included much more; carving pumpkins, putting up decorations, more formal costumes, and, of course, trick-or-treating throughout our neighborhood, but not without a parent escort. This is Now… Halloween traditions in college are, well, a far cry from the pumpkin carving, candy apple making gatherings we had in our driveway before the kids started their trick-or-treating. Many places, including the bars and the frats, will have parties – all week. Keep in mind this is Jacksonville and there is a lot of Halloween-themed partying going on in general. It may not be a bad idea to remind your students of all the nice parts of Halloween and to keep their good judgment […]

Getting Involved

When You Join You Get Involved Part of the beauty of the University of North Florida is the size of the school.  With just about 16,000 students, UNF is the perfect combination of not too big and not too small.  Getting involved at UNF will offer your student plenty of clubs, organizations, social and academic group and must more all at just the right size. Campus life can be so much more than classes and homework when your student finds the right outlet for them.  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. First, 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. Some students will choose to rush a […]

Wakey Wakey- Eggs and Bakey Breakfast

Here are Our Favorites for Breakfast Another Broken Egg Café – Start your day the delicious way with southern-style biscuit beignets, gourmet omelets, a variety of unique eggs benedicts and more. You can find everything from bowls to pancakes, from chocolate stuffed waffles to crab cakes with fried green tomatoes.  Hours are 7:00 am-2:00 pm, come early because there is usually a wait. Canopy Road Cafe – Check out the sweet potato pancakes with maple syrup and pecans. Sure it is slightly more like dessert but fabulous. Based out of Tallahassee, they just opened in the Shoppes of Bayard at 12525 Philips Highway. It is breakfast and lunch only, which by my standards means no mimosas; and that’s right, they do not serve alcohol. About a 12-minute drive from UNF but well worth the visit. Deerwood Bistro – A full traditional menu is available at the Deerwood Bistro.  Offering everything from eggs to […]

Bright Futures – Shining Bright

The Future Is So Bright You’ll Need Shades! SEE END OF BLOG FOR CHANGES EFFECTIVE WITH THE 2020-2021 ACADEMIC SCHOOL YEAR Bright Futures has been a great source of financial aid for many Florida Students and is now shining even brighter. Summer 2018 was the first-year Florida Academic Scholars received 100% tuition and summer 2019, 75% of tuition is available for Florida Medallion Scholars. The $300 college-related expense stipend is still only available for fall and spring semesters. The requirements for summer are as follows Must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours across all summer sessions. Students with less than 6 credit hours required for graduation, may receive FAS and FMS by submitting a memo on letterhead from an academic advisor indicating less than 6 hours are required for graduation. Graduate-level hours may be approved by the student’s academic advisor.  Students taking graduate-level courses must submit a memo from […]

Celebrate Easter or Passover

Where To Go To Celebrate One of the more difficult moments of having our college kids away at school is missing them to celebrate with on the holidays. With Easter and Passover falling during the same period, some students will head home for the weekend but many are not able to leave. We have put together information so your student does not miss out on celebrating the holidays including restaurants that are having Easter brunch.  Make sure to check back in the spring of 2020 updated information. For a listing of other places to worship at UNF or nearby, click here. If you are looking to send your student an Easter basket, we recommend Mrs. Fields. Passover Seders Chabad of Southside – 11271 Alumni Way. Easter Services Campus Church at UNF Easter Brunch Museum of Contemporary Art – 333 North Laura Street.  Enjoy something different, downtown Jacksonville. The Capital Grille- 5197 Big Island […]

Mother’s Day Gift Guide, You’ve Got This!

Ready for Mom’s Important Day? Mother’s Day only comes once a year, so you better believe the pressure is on to show your mother just how much she means to you. If you’re anything like me, your mom is your absolute best friend and #1 fan so you should know exactly what to get her, right?… Wrong! Being a college student on a tight budget puts a bit of a restriction on the “world” you think your mom deserves. And even though my mom, and the other moms we checked in with, overwhelmingly say all they want is to spend time with us, we can still get them a little something to show how much we care (recruit any siblings to pitch in for a gift). Luckily we’re here to make it a little easier to pick out a great gift for your mom while making sure you don’t have to be […]

Auxiliary Fees for Classes

HaveUHeard of These Fees for Online Classes? There is no denying that college tuition, in and of itself, is a huge expense; however, on top of the cost, HaveUHeard that some classes have extra fees that may or may not be covered by some scholarships or prepaid programs? Costs of online courses are usually equal to tuition plus a distance learning fee. Distance learning fees are authorized by Florida statute. Fees vary by program, depending on specific costs of curriculum development, technology tools, and course mentors. Each program’s fees are examined annually and adjusted up or down accordingly, on a cost-recovery basis. Online courses will say when they register for that subject: “The cost of this course is equal to tuition and fees for the Academic Year 2019-2020 as determined by Student Business Services, plus a per credit hour distance learning fee (amounts vary).” At UNF, there are several fees associated with […]

Father-Daughter or Father-Son Weekend

Officially, unofficial for Father. There is nothing like a father and son or father and daughter weekend to get the bonding time flowing!  I truly believe there is nothing more valuable than one on one time with your dad and, if you are a mom reading this blog, it also gives you the opportunity to have some alone time as well to catch up on things that you like to do (i.e. sleeping, yoga classes, reading, shopping, etc.). Dad’s weekend isn’t exactly official at UNF, meaning there isn’t one specific weekend that it is called for, but many sororities and fraternities have one. Some will rotate years with mother-daughter or mother-son weekends but when they come for an “unofficial” visit, it is all about Dad and your son or daughter. UNF and the Jacksonville area offer so many things for dads and their college students to do together.  Jacksonville has a ton […]

Thanksgiving … and they’re back!

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 Facetime, there is nothing like being able to hug your student for the first time…. And then the tug of war begins – sometimes hours after they arrive. At school, they come and go as they please. They keep their rooms, dorms, apartments, and houses the way they want, do laundry when they run out of clothes, have their personal belongings thrown everywhere (although this dropping of personal items everywhere was the norm before college for my daughters too). I feel strongly that it’s “my house; therefore my rules.”  Just like when they lived at home, I have curfews and they must help with chores around the house. Family dinners and keeping the common areas clutter-free are two of my biggest issues. I […]

Getting There – Transportation

Planes, Trains, Buses, Transportation, Oh My! Whether it will be the first time dropping off your student, visiting them for parent’s weekend or attending their graduation, there are a variety of very easy ways to get to the University of North Florida.  UNF, located in Jacksonville, is home to a large airport, bus terminals, train station, and many major roads. Depending on where you are traveling from you can choose which is the best transportation option for you. Airport Located only 21 miles from UNF, Jacksonville International Airport is an easy drive to the school.  The airport is small enough, so you won’t feel the hectic hustle and bustle of a major airport, yet it is home to the following airlines: Air Canada, Allegiant Air, American, Delta, Frontier, Jetblue, Silver Airways, Southwest and United Airlines.  Fares to and from Jacksonville are usually reasonable with connecting flights to most major cities. Trains Jacksonville […]

My Student Made Honor Roll

Honor Roll Pride Some parents believe in rewarding hard work-honor roll, with money or gifts, I happen to not be one of those parents.  I always tell my children to work hard, try your best and be proud of your efforts. Sometimes those efforts result in a C and sometimes those efforts result in an A.  Whatever the grade maybe my kids know that they worked hard and earned the grade. Obviously, this is just my opinion and you and your student may feel differently and that is ok! At UNF, the President’s Honor Roll was established to recognize those students who have achieved the highest academic standards in a given term. The Honor Roll is awarded to full-time (15 credit hours), undergraduate students with a term grade point average of 4.0.  This is a wonderful honor to receive the President’s Honor Roll award! Students who have completed 15 credit hours at […]

Care Packages

How to Take Care of Them Who doesn’t love an awesome care package?!  I remember being in college and receiving a care package from my mom.  It was filled with all of the things that I loved, including Teen magazine, my favorite candy, and a ton of gum and money.  These days some care packages could be a part of The Lifestyles of Rich and Famous! Filled with clothing, gift cards, food, etc – I want my own care package again!! There are many occasions for you to send a care package. Midterms and final exams can be some of the biggest stressors for your student. I typically don’t talk to my kids very often during finals week or if I do, it is just for a few minutes to let me know they are ok.  I do get the occasional text that says “I am so stressed!” accompanied by a ton […]

Planning to Sublease Your Apartment at UNF

The Supply is Greater Than the Demand, Here’s How to Sublease HaveUHeard that when a student moves into an off-campus apartment they generally sign a lease for twelve months? (it is actually a 10-month lease that apartments prorated so it gets paid over 12 months). Unlike most dorms, students are responsible for the entire year, even if they do not intend to stay for the summer. So how do you sublease a place if you can’t be there? I recently completed the subletting process as both a sublessor and sublessee. I decided to transfer to UNF after already signing a lease with a new apartment complex while I was at FSU. I was unable to get out of the lease, so I had to begin searching for someone to take over my lease. The best platforms to get your apartment noticed are a student and/or parent facebook group and Craigslist. There are […]

Make The Call to Admissions

Should I, or Shouldn’t I Make the Call? Waiting to find out if you were accepted into the college of your choice is nothing short of nerve-wracking, especially in the case of schools like UNF, who have rolling admissions. Rolling admissions means that applications are not responded to on one set date but on an individual basis as they are received. Those who apply earlier will probably be hearing back earlier as well. Not knowing when you’ll hear back from your university can leave lots of students and parents anxious stressed. While it’s important to allow UNF time to view the application, you shouldn’t be afraid to call and ask about your application if their response is unusually delayed or if your application has any special circumstances. When I was applying to UNF as a transfer student, my application had lots of special circumstances, one being that I couldn’t send my first-semester […]


Can they Already be Finished? Seems like yesterday that your Osprey was an incoming freshman and now, within a few months, they will be graduating and looking towards the next step in their lives.  For some it will be graduate school, for some it may be the military and for some, it may be their first job in the “real” world. Whatever it will be, graduation time is a very prideful and exciting time!  Here are some helpful tips and some guidance to ensure that the time for graduation is the most memorable time and not the most stressful. UNF has three graduations, fall, spring, and summer. Commencement is held in The Arena. Fall graduation will be December 13, 2019. Tip #1 Where to stay You may think six to nine months before graduation is a crazy amount of time to make hotel reservations, however, most local hotels will be sold out […]

Flu Season Ahead

The Flu ends with “U” It’s that season again – and I don’t mean hurricanes. Flu season is generally from October through May. Given that the flu is easily spread by coughing, sneezing and close contact – and what gets closer than dorm life and classrooms – your student may want to consider getting vaccinated. HaveUHeard the UNF’s Student Health Center offers the flu vaccine?  During flu season the cost for the vaccine is $20.00 and students must make an appointment. Another option to get a flu shot is at: CVS Minute Clinic – Located within minutes from UNF.  If you go on the CVS Minute Clinic website you can find what the wait time is so you don’t have to sit around for too long. The vaccine can cost between $50 and $70, but chances are insurance will cover it.  Check first. And CVS will give you a coupon for $5 […]

Health Insurance

Know More About Insurance Options Students at many colleges today must have a health insurance plan that meets their university’s minimum requirement.  The University of North Florida only makes this a requirement if your student is an international student. While this does make life easier in that it can eliminate some paperwork, it is still wise that your student has some sort of health insurance. UNF does have an available Student Health Plan, underwritten by United Healthcare Insurance Company and serviced by Gallagher Student Health. Regardless, as part of your student’s tuition fees, there is a mandatory health fee that you will pay and probably not even know it. The health fee, medical compliance fee, health promotion fee, counseling fee, and DRC accommodations are health-related fees that support student activities and support services for the Dottie Dorion Fitness Center, the Counseling Center and the Campus Alcohol and Drug Information Center. It is […]

Grad School Housing is More Grown Up

Because Grad School Needs are Different Most grad students are looking to live in apartments or houses.  Their needs are different than incoming freshmen or even upperclassmen.  UNF does not offer on-campus housing for grad students, however, The Flats at UNF is an appealing option for grad students as it is an apartment-style living off-campus that is accessible to campus utilizing the Osprey Connector shuttle service.  Other than the Flats, there are a few off-campus options for grad students. They tend to be looking either beachside or close to campus, depending on their preferences. Jacksonville has an abundance of beautiful complexes, especially in the Town Center area. Some popular apartments are: Cape House Apartments – Cape House Apartments is fairly close to UNF and offers 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments.  Apartments offer washer and dryer connections and a detached garage. The community has pickleball courts, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a fitness center. […]

Advice I’d Give my Freshman Self

Freshman Year is an Adjustment, Here’s My Advice… My freshman year wasn’t your typical one. I started as an undecided freshman at Florida State University, unsure of what path to take towards finding a major, not to mention a career. My first semester was filled with doubt, and as the semester went on, I found that the large classes and the wild hustle and bustle of Tallahassee nightlife made me feel overwhelmed and as though I was lost in the crowd of students at FSU. I decided I wanted to transfer and switched to the University of North Florida for the spring semester. My time at both schools taught me that the school you choose is important not just for its academic programs, but for the people and the environment. This is where you will be spending the next four years of your life, and you want to find a place you […]

Home Sweet Dorm

Turn Their Dorm Room From Drab to Fab Don’t be alarmed on move-in day when you walk into your student’s bare and cold dorm room. It’s amazing how quickly this space can change with planning and some trips to Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target and Walmart. The key to transforming the dorm space into something a little homier is preplanning. 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. UNF freshman residence halls (Osprey Cove, Osprey Crossing, Osprey Hall and Osprey Landing) offer twin extra-long beds.  Two of the upperclassmen dorms (Osprey Village and Osprey Fountains) both have twin beds. The last upperclassmen dorm (The Flats at UNF) offers double size beds. The Flats at UNF are more apartment-style housing. Over the […]

Eating on a Budget

Teach Them To Budget And The Rest Is Easy Eating on a budget is hard to do at any age.  Teaching my three kids how to budget their money was not an easy chore.  I am currently in the process of teaching my daughter and, let’s just say, girls, are worse than boys.  I watch her bank account go lower and lower each week and am so grateful that she has her meal plan! The summer before they each went off to college, I sat down with them and tried to explain how to budget their money, however, the reality is much different than just having a conversation.  Remind your student there is no shame in eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – it costs pennies to make. I really believe that businesses know college kids are broke. Luckily there are plenty of places to eat on and off campus that help […]

The First Few Weeks

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


A Nice Place to Stay Keeping in my that UNF is a small part of the thriving city of Jacksonville, there are plenty of hotel options.  The airport is within 20 miles of the school as well as the Port of Jacksonville with a lot of hotels close to those areas so the availability of a hotel close to the school will be great. It is 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 Jacksonville where it could be difficult to get a room, so I always recommend booking a hotel far enough in advance to get the best rates.  Most hotels will honor AAA and other discounts. Pet-Friendly Hotels For those who are traveling with pets, the hotels that […]

Lost and Found

Oh No…. It Happened! We’ve all done it, lost something.  But what’s been lost can be found! It’s not surprising that a college student may lose their keys, book, wallet, phone, etc.  They have so many things occupying their minds and are learning to “adult” for the first time.  As parents, the frustration is usually about the security of things (i.e. losing a debit card). Things can be found or replaced, but with so many cases of identity theft, your student is just as vulnerable.  And with students being far from home, fixing the problem can be challenging. It was not a pleasant experience this summer to get a phone call from my daughter, who had just started her first term at UNF, telling me she could not find her backpack with her laptop in it.  Needless to say, I was far from pleased. I did, however, stay calm and remember that […]

Insider’s Guide to Living on Campus

We have the inside scoop on places to live ON-Campus! You can certainly read about the dorms and where to live from UNF’s web page Housing and Residence Life and get most of the information that you need.  I decided to ask my freshman daughter and her friends to see what they thought of the dorms and get more of an insider’s point of view. When you start during the summer of freshman year, the dorms that are open are limited.  This past summer there were only two dorms that were open – Osprey Cove and Osprey Landings. These two dorms are typically all freshman year round so it would make sense that they would be the two that were open.  During the school year, however, the following are all the dorms available to students. Osprey Cove – Freshman dorm.  This is where my daughter lived this past summer.  At first, I was […]

Meal Plan at UNF

Burgers and Pizza and Fries – OH MY! The start of college at UNF is right around the corner and many of you might be envisioning your student’s diet as burgers, pizza, fries and ice cream! 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? What’s the plan? 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 […]

Get on the Bus

A Guide to UNF’s Bus System Getting to and from campus or around campus at UNF can be a little stressful, however, UNF’s Bus system Osprey Connector can make things much easier.  The UNF “Osprey Connector” is the university’s shuttle system that provides transportation around campus and to the St. Johns Town Center when UNF classes are in session. This service is available to all students, faculty & staff, and campus visitors. Take advantage of this opportunity it is fast, safe, clean and free!  All Osprey Connector shuttles are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. The shuttle runs Monday through Friday from 7 am – 3 am, Sundays from 6 pm to 12 am (modified housing route) but does not offer service on Saturdays. The Osprey Transit is a dedicated shuttle to assist students, faculty, and staff with mobility needs and/or temporary mobility needs that extend beyond the assigned standard shuttle stop on […]

Away for the High Holidays

Celebrate High Holidays with a New Community Generally, our kids get to come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for those who celebrate the upcoming Jewish High Holidays, it may be your first one without your students at your holiday table. While it may feel strange having that empty seat, it can feel better to know that they are celebrating the high holidays with a new community of their peers. There are options for Jewish students at UNF. You may want to let them know they exist and then hope that they will choose to participate. Rosh Hashana this year is September 29-Oct 1 and Yom Kippur is October 8-9, 2019. Time Off Not all colleges give days off for every holiday and it doesn’t look like UNF is any different. Students can certainly inform their professors, in advance, of their absence for the holiday, but chances are class will go on […]

Move-In Day   

More Move-In, Less Stress-Out One of the most exciting, nerve-wracking, filled-with-emotion days is the day I moved my daughter into UNF.  I had been preparing for this day with her since she found out she was accepted to UNF in January – six months earlier.  The heat does not help, but a hand truck and Ikea bags do. 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 (and having to wait another 8 years for my youngest to move out) was my savior. Everyone’s experiences are a little different but here are a few tips to make your move-in day a drop easier. Move-in day for the Fall session is August 16, 2019, and it will be here before you know it. Be Prepared and organized – Make sure that you print college-ready lists from […]

Eating Healthy

Not an easy feat! It can be hard to eat healthy when at college. While on-campus dining offers healthy options, sometimes having the option for pizza, burgers and ice cream staring us right in the face makes it difficult to choose.  Don’t get discouraged yet though. Today’s college students are demanding higher quality foods varied in taste and economically priced. There are several apps that many students can download for the latest promotions and deals at some of their favorite places. Read about those apps here. HaveUHeard that UNF’s wellness center has an assessment center where students can get immediate access to fitness and nutritional information? Below are some UNF student recommendations on where to eat healthily. Chicken Salad Chick – Chicken salad made many different ways from traditional to fruity to spicy – add a soup or salad for a balanced meal. Jamba Juice – This couldn’t be more convenient as it […]

Taking the Campus Tour

What To Do On Tour! Touring college campuses is so important before your student decides where they want to attend school.  Some students will tour campuses before they apply and some will tour after they have been accepted. Obviously, whichever works best for your student is the way to go. I have three kids; one toured before he applied, one toured after she got accepted and one didn’t tour at all.  Discuss with your child what they feel is best for them. Because of the size of UNF, touring the campus is very manageable in just a few hours.  Tours are typically led by current college students and include classrooms, state-of-the-art labs, the Student Wellness Complex, and a residence hall room.  Haveuheard that UNF tours are available weekdays and Saturdays for groups of about 25? When you take the tour, be prepared. Go with a list of questions, but not the kind of […]

Moving In

All the Tips and Tricks to Make Moving Easy Once your student has been given their move-in date and dorm or residence assignment, the process of handling what can be a stressful, labor-intensive and often expensive process of moving 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 be one of those sticker price shock moments. According to the National Retail Federation, […]

Finding An Internship

Learn About Your Options, Find an Internship I have three children; one graduated from FSU, one is a junior at FSU and one is a freshman at UNF.  Each one has had and will have, a different experience finding an internship. My oldest son called a family friend and was hired almost immediately for the summer vacation of his sophomore and junior year. Easy as pie for him – not the norm for most. In the case of my younger son, a junior and a Finance Major at FSU, the search was pretty typical, resumes emailed, phone calls and follow up.  For my daughter, a freshman at UNF, her major is Early Education so her search will be different as well. There are quite a few avenues to take when looking for an internship.  My first recommendation would be to check with the college. Many times professors and other professionals within the […]

Should You Take a Gap Year Before Graduate School?

Gap Year Answers. 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 their proposed field. Shadowing a professional in […]

Moving Out

Is Moving Out Harder? For some, the process of moving in is easier than moving out.  When your student moves in, they neatly pack their items in a suitcase. Their towels, sheets, comforters, and décor are new, clean and many times still in its original packaging.  Moving out? Not the case. Items are shoved in garbage bags, clothing is piled into a suitcase and the suitcase is sat on so that it can be zippered. Towels and sheets haven’t been washed all semester and can practically walk home!  Needless to say, it can be just as stressful as moving in. For some students who are coming back to school for the summer session, their items can be stored.  Some students can move their items into their next year’s apartment and some just don’t want the hassle or see the necessity to bring their refrigerator or microwave home.  For these students there are […]

Trouble in Paradise

Trouble, It Happens… 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. First, breathe. Your student is probably freaking out and is terrified to talk to you. Remain calm and get all of the facts. Remind your child to obtain and keep all paperwork and information. Go over the dates and processes that they have been given. HaveUHeard about the services provided by the Office of the General Council that include aid to students? […]

Off-Campus Living

Economical to Extravagant Off-Campus Your child moves into their dorm in August and everyone is so excited…new friends, new digs and everything’s going just great.  Literally 2-3 months later, they are discussing moving into an off-campus apartment. What? Why? and Where? are some common questions that come up about off-campus living.  With some other Florida colleges, picking an apartment and signing a lease becomes a bit of a race to get into the best places which can actually be extremely stressful.  However, I believe, because of the number of students at UNF, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Close to campus There are quite a few apartment complexes that are close to UNF, some of which are quite luxurious.  Visit our blog regarding favorite apartment complexes to view a variety of choices. UNF actually houses its own apartment complex right on campus called The Flats at UNF.  These apartments are comprised of […]

Need Advice?

Advice Guide to Getting An Advising Appointment Usually, the busiest time of a semester is when students need to create their schedule for the following semester.  An incoming freshman needs advice, they will meet with their advisor during orientation to select their classes for the first semester. There are prerequisites that they need to take and, with so many students needing the same type of classes, like ENC 1101, those are offered at several different times.  However, as semesters go by and majors get chosen, classes that are needed for different majors are offered on a limited schedule. Students often try to pick classes with professors that are popular and have the best rating or classes with schedules that fit into their schedules.  The best advice that I can give is for your student to have their academic goals in mind when meeting with their advisor. An open line of communication is […]

Nature vs. Nurture

So Much More Than You Think Thinking back to when my daughter went to orientation at UNF, we never imagined that Jacksonville had much nature to explore.  We always thought Jacksonville had some pretty beaches, however, we figured the area was just a big city with a lot of hustle and bustle. Were we wrong!  Good news is that there is so much to see and do outdoors that you will not be disappointed. Jacksonville has some of the most beautiful white-sand beaches. There are actually four main beaches. They are Jacksonville Beach, Neptune Beach, Mayport Beach, and Atlantic Beach. You can paddleboard, dive, rent a beach cruiser and surf. All are a short distance away (approximately 20 minutes). If you are visiting from May 1st through October 31st, it is sea turtle nesting season. Jacksonville proudly boasts the largest urban park system in the country with more than 80,000 acres including 400 […]

21 And Oh So Fun!

You’ve waited 21 years for this fun! As each year ticked off, you waited for the fun of being ‘legal’! Anyone over 21 in Jacksonville will know about the infamous “Beach Bars”. The beach bars are more or less the area right on Jacksonville Beach where many lively bars are open until 4 am, providing a great place to ‘bar crawl’ with friends. Some of the most popular bars here are Lynch’s Irish Pub, Flask and Cannon, Surfer, and The Shim Sham Room, more commonly called Shim Sham. These are just a few of the different bars you can find on the beach, all with different atmospheres, food, fun, and drinks. (These bars are known for being strict about IDs, though, so don’t try anything if you’re under 21!). A lot of UNF students will argue that the beach bars are almost a “rite of passage” to attend for your first time […]

Orient Yourself, What You Need For Orientation

A Guide to Orientation Congratulations!  Your child has been accepted to UNF!  This is such a wonderful time in your child’s life and the start of the next chapter for your family.  With being accepted to UNF comes signing up for orientation. The university will provide you with everything you need to know to sign up for orientation,  what you will need to bring and how the two-day event will function. However, I will give you some valuable information to help with this process. Just so you know, you will not be spending most of those two days with your student; they have their own sessions. Students will stay in the dorms and parents will stay in hotels.    Try to discuss what classes your student may want to take before orientation so they are prepared when they actually sit down with an advisor for enrollment (at the end of a successful orientation). […]

How to Choose or Change Majors

Feels Like A Really Big Decision! Considering the University of North 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.  I have three kids and none of them really knew what their major would be before they started school. Picking a major was a little easier for them during their orientation and first session with their advisor. My daughter did, however, change her major midway through her freshman year after looking at all the science classes she would have to take. 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 […]

Dress for Success

Time to Step It Up, Success Is Waiting! As they get closer to graduation, there are many changes that students will have to face.  Although it may not be the most important change, transitioning their wardrobe from yoga clothes, shorts, t-shirts, sweats and sneakers to dresses, suits, ties, heels and button-up shirts can be a bit of a challenge.  Dressing for success can be daunting in different ways, but the one that stands out most may very well be its cost. Your first impression can make or break your success in an interview. 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. Students need to research the companies […]

First Time Loan Borrower

You’ll Need to Do This for a Loan What is the 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 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 […]

Where Will They Live – Managing the Gap

Managing the Gap Did you know there was a time gap? 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 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. I recommend your student start bringing things home if they are making any trips home between now and end of the semester or if you are visiting, bring some items home. Also […]

Food for Thought, Is Everyone Fed?

No Student Goes 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 plan, following the recommended Food plans, is $223.55. Many students who are struggling just to keep up with the cost of college even while working and getting loans, often feel uncomfortable saying anything about struggling to maintain a balanced diet. As a college student who relied on school loans, I would often make light of this, kidding around and saying my meals consisted of ramen noodles. But knowing the importance a healthy diet plays on one’s health, sleep patterns, stress, capacity to think and be […]

Calendar of Events for UNF

Here is where you can find a list of events and important dates for students and parents of the University of North 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. 2019 Calendar September 2019 September 2, 2019 – Labor Day -Classes, office, and administration closed September 13, 2019 – Withdrawal from classes deadline September 15, 2019 – Spring 2020 study abroad applications deadline September 17, 2019 – Coggin Study Abroad Fair. John A. Delaney Student Union Plaza, 10 am – 2 pm September 23, 2019, Autumnal Equinox September 29, 2019, Rosh Hashanah October 2019 October 1, 2019 – Osprey Career Fair 3:00-6: 00 pm October 4, 2019 – Graduation application deadline October 8, 2019 – Yom Kippur October 10, 2019 – Midterm grades in […]

Mother Daughter Time

There is Nothing Like It! One of my favorite things to do with my kids is spending one on one time with them.  Typically speaking, my daughter always wants to spend time with just me! As she is getting ready to finish her freshman year, we were fortunate to spend quite a few weekends together this year; however, the one weekend that it was just the two of us was the weekend of a mother-daughter sorority event that was just for us. When she and I are together, there is never a shortage of mother-daughter things for us to do.  We will try to make a trip to the UNF bookstore to buy whatever essentials that she needs or to pick up a few UNF items.  A trip to Target or Publix is always on our list as well as lunch, dinner and some froyo! If we have some extra time, we […]

You Really Do Want More Veggies!

More Veggies Please – Vegetarian/Vegan Dining With our country’s focus on health and healthy eating, college students are growing up used to “making better choices” and being aware of responsible farming and food preparations. It’s not surprising that colleges are having to provide choices for all types of eaters on their campuses, so more veggies, please! That being said, there will never be a shortage of late-night pizza eaters on campuses. But for those sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet, there are some choices for you to check out. Veggies rule! Green Erth Bistro (no not a typo!) – Downtown Jax.  A beautiful bistro that serves Persian specialties. House of Leaf & Bean, An Organic Restaurant & Cafe – Located within minutes of the beach.  A combination of western and Asian organic food and teas.  Catering available. Southern Roots Filling Station – Downtown Jax.  I loved their mission statement….” We love our […]

Having a Car at College

Can You Get By Without a Car? Whether to let your student bring a car to campus will probably lead to many conversations. In order to try to have a student perspective based on their experience, we turned to our intern. These are just suggestions that we hope will bring a productive conversation for you and your Osprey. In my opinion as a student, if you’re living on campus, then being without a car is not a huge problem, as everything on campus is easily accessible with walking or the shuttles. UNF’s Osprey Connection is the university’s shuttle system. It is fast, safe, clean and free! You can read more about that here. However, as far as off-campus activities, Jacksonville is known for how expansive and spread out it is, so admittedly it is difficult to get around without a car. Jacksonville does have some interesting public transportation options for students looking […]

UNF Care, How to Adjust to a New Life

Transition Can Be an Adjustment, We Care Moving to college is a huge adjustment for many students. Some students don’t know where to start when they are on their own and free to make their own decisions when it comes to eating habits, health, and wellness care. Luckily, UNF has many programs that can help students with that transition as well as other aspects of health and wellness. Through UNF’s Health and Wellness Center, students are not only connected to various resources around campus but also receive numerous resources directly in their office. UNF Health and Wellness specifically focuses on physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and environmental well-being. The university has identified these topics as the most important in the success of college students. Some of the programs offered include psychological services, wellness coaching, time-management courses, outdoor recreation, nutrition coaching, and personal training. HaveUHeard that UNF also has apps that they recommend for students to […]

Money, Money, Money

When Will Financial Aid Disburse? Or, Show Me The Money! The time has come to pay for your college costs and panic sets in. I have three kids and each experience has been different.  My oldest son’s financial aid took forever to disburse and we had to make sure that the school would not assess any penalties.  My younger son’s financial aid disbursement has been like a dream (knock wood). Disbursement has been on schedule with a certain amount left over for his books, rent or whatever he needs.  Although my daughter’s funds were disbursed on time, UNF requested a lot of financial information for her financial aid. With each child, I wonder when does this money get disbursed? Can you get a deferral for books, living accommodations, and student fees if necessary? For your student’s specific account details, you should log into their mywings account. UNF encourages all students receiving financial aid […]

Transfer to UNF

You Can Change Your Mind and Transfer It is not uncommon for students to start at one university and find that it is not the place for them or to begin their college journey at a local community college and transfer to a larger school at the right time.  Transferring to UNF can be done as a lower-level student, upper-level student or from a partner school. Lower Level Student Lower-level students are defined as those with fewer than 60 hours of college coursework. In order to be accepted as a transfer student, they must satisfy the same admission requirements as incoming freshman applicants and have a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.0 (“C”) or higher and in good standing.  They must complete an admissions application, pay $30 application fee, send their official high school transcripts and all SAT/ACT test scores and official post-secondary transcripts as well. Transfer students may apply for entrance […]

Spring Break, Fun Times

Letting Off Steam Before Finals Spring Break…just the words conjure up so many different feelings, memories, and emotions.  Some of the memories are from my own spring break during my college years. Goodness, those were some fun times with some of my closest friends.  Other thoughts about spring break are of my kids – safety, cost, and fun! I am from South Florida and I have seen my share of crazy spring break scenes so being a parent of college-age students can sometimes be a daunting job. Spring break vacations these days are a bit different than years ago. Cruises are a very popular spring break trip.  What could be better than to be on a floating party for 7 nights with 300 of your closest friends? Usually, four kids (one of which must be 21 or older) cram into the cheapest cabin possible, purchase the all-you-can-drink package (this does not mean […]

Parking at UNF

Get the Last Spot! When getting ready to send your student off to UNF, the decision of should they bring their car to school, and then what to do with it when they do, must be decided.  Having a car on campus makes things easier for your student – getting to Publix, CVS, the mall; however, parking can be a little bit of a hassle. UNF has some parking information and rules that can make the whole car situation a bit more manageable. One of the first things to remember is immediately upon registering for classes, buy your permit as soon as permits go on sale! Permit sale dates can be viewed through Osprey Update for Students and on the UNF parking information page. Permits are sold on a “first-come, first-served” basis, because some of the more desirable permits, such as Blue Lot permits, have set sales limits and will sell out. The Gray […]

Graduation Restaurant Reservations

Reservations! The Earlier, The Better! Can’t believe that graduation is right around the corner! UNF’s Fall Graduation is Friday, December 13th and is held in the UNF Arena.  With two graduations that day, scheduling a time and place to eat around your student’s ceremony is important especially as family and friends join in on the celebration. Hopefully, you have read our blog Graduation at UNF and already arranged your hotel rooms. But, if you are coming up with your entire family, you may want to make your restaurant reservations as many of the restaurants get extremely busy. With that being said there will be many places that will require reservations for brunch, lunch or dinner depending on the time of your student’s graduation.  To help you out, we are listing the restaurants that take will reserve and if they require a deposit to hold the table (some do, depending on the size of your party). […]

Paws at UNF, Pets at School?

All About Pets Most every time I Face Time with my daughter, she always asks to see our dog. We all love our pets. We can be talking on the phone and I can guarantee you that she will ask me to drive to see her dog.  Four hours in a car with my dog? No thank you! I love my daughter and I love my dog however that is not happening! So, what is the second-best thing to my daughter other than seeing her dog on campus?  Buying her a pet of her own. Unfortunately for her, most of the dorms do not allow any type of pet except for a non-aggressive fish.  My assumption is something like a piranha or a baby shark would not be acceptable. If you read properly, I did say “most of the dorms” because there is one area on campus that students are allowed, with […]


Are U an Osprey? Unlike almost any other Florida university, UNF does not have a football team.  To some this may seem like a major disappointment; however, to most Ospreys, it is not the focus of our athletic program.  Basketball, tennis, golf, cross country and beach volleyball are just a few of the sports that UNF focuses on. UNF Ospreys compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference Division I program and fields teams in seven men’s sports and ten women’s sports. For students at UNF, there is no charge for any sporting event.  Students can watch an exciting game of men or women’s basketball in the UNF Arena, baseball or softball at the Harmon Stadium.  Most ticketed games, such as men’s and women’s basketball, a student needs to print a ticket and have their student id. Click here to ticketing information including dates, cost, and seating in the Arena. The University of North Florida […]

Technology Needs for UNF Students

Here is What You Get For Free! HaveUHeard that Microsoft Office 365 is free for all enrolled UNF students? And it’s free for up to five devices. That is a huge cost saving for a college student.  Click here for information about downloading this great technology. Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of tools from Microsoft. With it, you also have Microsoft OneDrive which provides cloud storage and sharing files. It can also be accessed from your mobile device. Other information on Class Prep technology can be found here. 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. However, if you do decide to purchase a MacBook, make sure that you have your student […]

Places of Worship

Continuing Traditions Whether you are away from home as a first-year freshman or a fourth-year senior, it is always comforting to know that you can carry on your religious traditions and worship customs at school.  Besides being able to continue your faith at school it is also a great way to meet other students. UNF is a very diverse campus. At or around UNF, there are places to worship, regardless of your students’ faith. In addition to the on-campus religious organizations, Jacksonville has many places of worship.  Here is a list of the religious organizations on or near campus at the University of North Florida. On-Campus Worship Jewish Student Union – The Jewish Student Union (JSU) is a student organization that provides programming for Jewish and non-Jewish students at the University of North Florida.  Located on campus at 1 UNF Drive or email for more information jsu.unf@gmail.com Jewish Ospreys – The UNF […]

Teaching them to Budget

My Best Budget Advice as a Parent Teach them to budget. Third times the charm. Well, I suppose that isn’t fair; all three of my kids are charming and adorable. The difference is the first two are boys and my third is a girl.  However, this really didn’t matter when they each left for school the first time. 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. I thought we would give him money “as needed,” however that soon turned in to a free for all because he never had enough.  Let’s just say his first semester cost me a ridiculous amount of money and I quickly learned that Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks and Einstein’s were “needed” every day. That first semester his dad and I went […]


Great Places to Eat! 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 Jacksonville 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. Jacksonville is a huge city with a tremendous number of restaurants near UNF.  We have broken it up by meal selection with some restaurants listed for breakfast, brunch, and dinner.  Most of the restaurants are open for lunch but here we focus just on these dayparts. There are many chain restaurants near UNF, focusing a lot in St John’s Center.  But, the […]

Safety Matters

How To Handle The Fact You Are Not There I am a neurotic mother, yes, I admit it! When my older sons left for school, I realized that I no longer had them in my “clutches.” It was a totally eye-opening experience for me. I had to understand that no matter how much I stressed and worried, their safety was not in my hands.  So, when my daughter left for UNF last June it was both a bit easier because I had experience with my boys and also a bit harder because she is a girl. The school has a variety of safety programs that keep us both informed. Safety App UNF has a safety app, Safe Ospreys, that can be downloaded on any smartphone.  The app allows students to complete their emergency contacts, automatically call 911 or UPD and has an emergency plan screen that allows the student to be prepared […]

Are Your Student’s Valuables Safe?

Keep Them Safe As we were preparing my daughter for college, one of the most popular subjects discussed on my parent Facebook page was safety.  I’m talking about how to keep all of their “stuff” safe. There were opinions and suggestions flying around weekly. No matter how many suggestions, opinions, and items you buy, they only work if your student actually heeds the advice, and uses said items to keep stuff safe. That being said, do not be surprised when your child calls you to tell you that they lost their ID, phone, keys, etc.  It’s bound to happen. But worse than that is when they call you to tell you that something was actually stolen from them.  When I was in college, the biggest thing to be stolen was a bike or a meal plan card (back then it was a flimsy laminated punch card).  Today, students come to school with […]

Being Thrifty

When You Need to Stay on Budget, Be Thrifty! Being a college student, it can be stressful to be thrifty and stay on budget throughout the semester. There can be interviews, social events, and many occasions for a new outfit. In between, living in a rental, I like to redecorate my room and living space with my roommates. Spending money at the mall, popular house décor stores, Target, or discount stores, such as Homegoods, can add up quickly. Fortunately, Jacksonville has many great options for thrift shopping for almost any type of item. From gently used kitchen appliances, wall decorations, lamps, clothing, and much more, thrift shops allow for students on a budget to not only enjoy their living space but feel confident at interviews as well! Additionally, many thrift stores in Jacksonville are non-for-profit. For example, The Hubbard House Thrift Store offers high-quality clothing and household goods for sale.  The Hubbard House, […]

Rushing Her Way

Sorority Low-Down When my daughter was accepted to UNF she was thrilled!  She starting talking about where she would live, who her roommate would be and how they were going to decorate their room. Before too long, the topic of rushing and joining a sorority came up. I went to UF and one of the best experiences of my college life was rushing and joining a sorority – well maybe rushing wasn’t the best experience; however, joining a sorority was.  So, when my daughter brought up the subject of going through rush, I thought it was a great idea. UNF is a smaller school and with that also brings fewer sororities to choose from and a different Greek life than I went through.  However, none of that would take away from the experience she would embark on. So, what is Greek life all about? First of all, there are different requirements to join. […]

Staying Fit

Keeping Fit Counts! Freshman 15?  No way! Keep fit! We have all heard about the dreaded freshman 15 pounds that is so easy to gain the first year away at school.  Our kids are away at school and basically free to eat whatever they want so it is not difficult to understand how weight can be gained the first year – I know I did my freshman year!  However, health and food are far more important these days than it was years ago. Colleges offer many different types of foods catering to different eating styles, whether it be vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free. If your student finds that they are gaining weight or they just want to live a healthy and active lifestyle, UNF has many options to keep fit.  UNF has a beautiful wellness center that is located directly across the street from the bookstore and next to the arena.   This state-of-the-art comprehensive […]

The Stress of College

Stress, It Happens to All of Us One of my biggest worries, when they left for college, was would my kids be able to handle the stress of college life.  There are a lot of things to juggle when they are away at school for the first time. Besides the adjustment of living away from home, they are now dealing with classes, homework, and exams that are all heading them down the path for their future. Being able to cope with new situations, parties, new friends, can be a lot for many new college students. I encourage you to talk to your child often, even if they don’t want to, just to make sure that they are adjusting well no matter what year they are in.  UNF offers different ways to cope with the stress of college. As a part of UNF’s health and wellness/wellbeing program,  they offer diverse programs and services that […]

Family Weekend, Fun and more!

Fun Family Time Family or Parent’s Weekend is a fabulous weekend when you get to visit your son or daughter at UNF.  They will want to show you all their new favorite places around campus and town and introduce you to their new friends. UNF Parents Weekend is scheduled for the weekend of October 25, 2019, and there are many planned events for the weekend that you can sign up for. Having two sons at another state college, one of the first questions I asked when my daughter moved into UNF was “when is Parent’s Weekend?” I knew from experience Parent’s Weekend can be very crowded and chaotic and wanted to book my hotel and if possible, make dinner reservations. Surprisingly enough, everything about UNF Parent’s Weekend was simple and easy.  I had no problem making a hotel reservation, the prices were not increased for the weekend, local restaurants were not overly […]

Just Desserts!

Who Wants Dessert, Is My Favorite Sentence! Seriously?!  My favorite meal of the day is dessert.  When my kids were little, many times I would give them ice-cream for breakfast, typically on the weekend of course!  Who doesn’t love delicious desserts to start or end the day? Jacksonville has some amazing dessert places, below are just a few.  Some locations are not near UNF, however, all are within the Jacksonville area. Desserts For You! Amaretti Desserts – Located in San Marco and Mandarin this made from scratch bakery serves cookies, cakes, pies, and pastries. Cinnaholic – This is not your typical cinnamon roll shop.  100% vegan offering so much more than a typical cinnamon roll.  You can get your choice of almost 20 frosting flavors with an incredible array of toppings. Cold Stone Creamery – Ahhhh delicious!  Cold Stone offers a wide array of ice cream flavors with mix-ins.  Cups, cones and […]

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, particularly when they have been studying for hours on end or they aren’t feeling well. It’s good to know that food can be delivered right to their dorm or apartment. Here are some of the ones we found and what they deliver and how they work. As you will see not every delivery service is for food. Bite Squad – There is a chat option if you would like to review your order or ask why your order is taking so long. You can schedule a delivery for later in the day and check the order status. Gift cards are available. Delivery Services DoorDash – More food delivery at your fingertips. Some say it is more efficient than UberEats […]

Rushing His Way

What Is the Real Story? So many times, we think about a fraternity and think of the movie Animal House.  The brothers are living in a house that is disgusting, everyone is partying, drinking alcohol and doing drugs.  Certainly, if a fraternity 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 UNF, and they will speak of brotherhood, a lifetime of friendships and access to leadership positions on campus. This is what the rushing process is like. UNF has 28 chartered fraternal organizations.  Some of these are social in nature and some are academic in nature.  The academic fraternities are based on a lot of factors, all of which are academic in nature.  Typically, an academic fraternity will invite members based on grade point average. Whichever your son […]

Graduation Gift Guide

Finally, Graduation! It seemed this day was always way off in the future, but it’s true; graduation is almost here. Many people will be asking what good gifts for college graduates are these days; so HaveUHeard pulled together a list of the most requested graduation gifts according to our very unscientific college student survey. Graduation is here and you really want to make student happy! Choosing the right gift can be tricky but this list will help! 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.) Electronics for Graduation TV– One of the most requested items by students as many of them will actually be moving into their own apartments after graduation and can […]

Making the Most of Summer B

It Can Be The Best Season Ever! Starting school over the summer is the way many Florida colleges are accepting new students.  In my opinion, it is the best way to start school. Campuses are quieter with fewer students attending school and students aren’t taking a full 4-5 class load.  All three of my kids and I started our college experiences during the summer. Summer is a quiet time and really gives students an opportunity to get acclimated and adjusted to college life. The state of Florida requires students to have a minimum of 9 summer credit hours and some people may consider this to be an inconvenience especially with summer travel; however, if your student spends more than one summer taking classes and they accumulate more than the required 9 hours, they could be setting themselves up to graduate early.  As I already stated, it is also a great way to […]

How to Transition as a Transfer Student

Transfer, There is A Place For Everyone! Some students transfer after attending a two-year college and some transfer because they recognize that the university they are at is not for them. I myself was a transfer to UNF spring of 2019, and I definitely worried that I wouldn’t be able to find my place there. As a transfer student, you often end up behind other students due to credits not transferring to your new school, having new required classes to take unique to this university, or simply because you have later access to registration. In order to combat these setbacks, it’s important to take initiative in the first weeks of school and meet with an advisor. They will help you figure out a way to catch up and get anything you need to have done so that you aren’t blindsided by a class you didn’t know you had to take or a […]

Beauty and The Beast

Is That How Your Favorite Fairy Tale Begins? When planning for school, we often think of all the essentials, dorm room decorations, meal plans, registration, etc; however, one of the things that are not often thought of is haircuts, manicures, waxings, etc. Beauty and beast! Most of our children at some point and time will need to get some type of service.  After asking my daughter, her boyfriend and some of their friends where they go here are some of their suggestions and others that we found. Barbershops The Barbershop – Closed Sundays Empire Latin Barbershop – Cuts only Fades and Combs Barber Lounge – Offers cuts, beard trim and shave. Luxury Hair Studio for Men – located at the beach.  Cuts, shaves, waxing and mani/pedis. Precision Barber Shop Regis Salon – Men’s and women’s services. Open 7 days. Studio 904 Barber Shop – Cuts, shaves, beard trim, women’s cuts as well. Nail […]

Roommates and Residential Life

First Time Living With Someone You’re Not Related To! 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.  As my daughter is almost finished with her first year at UNF, the roommate that she randomly picked has turned out to be an excellent choice. Of course, they have had their share of differences and annoyances with each other but that’s to […]

Credit Cards for College Students

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

Student Accessibility Service

Consideration for Providing Accessibility for Everyone For students with a disability, UNF takes great care in providing resources for their students, whether it be ADHD, Autism or any other disability.  The primary mission of the Disability Resource Center (DRC) is to ensure that all students with disabilities have equal access to educational opportunities at the University of North Florida. Accessibility for all! Students with disabilities must apply to UNF through the regular admissions procedure. There are no special admissions procedures.  Applications are accepted via the UNF Admissions page. Once a student with a disability is accepted, UNF will request documentation regarding the disability.  Based on the disability, different documentation will be needed. For a list of documentation requirements and registration click here. Options to submit documentation are as follows: Upload via Clockwork during online intake application through mywings account. Drop it off at the DRC in person, Building 57 room 1500, Attn: India Hamilton. […]


Calling All Ospreys…it’s Nest Fest! Homecoming is always a special event and the homecoming at UNF is known as Nest Fest. It is a week-long celebration that has something for everyone: students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and friends. It is typically held in February. My daughter and her friends were super busy with different events.  To give you an idea of the events, here is a schedule of events.  There are many events that take place and these are worth highlighting. Hope you all have a great time! Comedy Show – The week kicks off with a comedy show held at the UNF Arena. This past year it featured Jay Pharoah & Nasim Pedrad.  Tickets for an event like these are free for students with a valid Osprey 1 card and for purchase to UNF Alumni and the public Homecoming Village  – A HUGE party in the plaza!  A free family-friendly event with […]

Is A Grade A Really An A?

Those Pluses and Minuses Do Count! Get the Right Grade. Getting good grades in school really does matter. The grade you are given will have an effect on your overall college experience, and possible graduate schools you would like to attend. The college grading system can be confusing, especially coming from high school.  Is an A the same points as an A- or that matter is a B+ the same as an A-? Here is a look at the UNF Grading System. Grade   GPA A             4.0 A-           3.7 B+           3.3 B             3.0 B-            2.7 C+           2.3 C             2.0 D             1.0 F              0 Some students may end the semester with W or withdrawals and these do not factor into their GPA.  Typically speaking, students are aware of classes they have withdrawn from and students are aware of their grades going into finals. As a parent, while I am thrilled with my children if […]

Birthright Israel

Young Jewish Adults Israel Trip What exactly is Birthright Israel?  Birthright Israel began in 1999 with a bold idea—offering a free, life-changing trip to Israel to young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 26 and, in doing so, transforming the Jewish future. Their mission is to give every Jewish young adult around the world, especially the less connected, the opportunity to visit Israel on an educational trip. Today, Birthright Israel is the largest educational tourism organization in the world and it aims to strengthen Jewish identity, communities, and connection with Israel.  Each 10 trip is 100% funded by 30,000+ donors each year. Both of my sons went on Birthright in the last five years and had an amazing time. They went with some friends that they knew from school and also met some new friends as well.  The experience of Birthright is one that they will remember always. UNF does not […]

Spring Sports at UNF

So Many Sports, So Little Time As most students and parents know, UNF does not have a football team.  So the usual hubbub and spirit surrounding football season doesn’t really occur at UNF. However, what UNF may lack in the fall and football season, it more than makes up for during the spring semester with several different sports being played.  Swoop! HaveUHeard that UNF hosts both men’s and women’s teams?  Actually, UNF has more women’s sports teams than men’s. Some of the popular spring sports include baseball, basketball, softball, tennis, track and field, swimming and beach volleyball.  For the whole list of teams and calendar, this site has all of the info.  And, we list many of the games in our calendar. Also new this year is the UNF Athletics Department along with UNF Campus Life and Student Government have partnered to create a new opportunity for UNF students to engage with athletics […]

Preparing for Graduate School Exams UNF

Just Keep Going… Deciding to go to graduate school is a major decision for a lot of students.  Having a master’s degree is a great way for students to further their education and to increase their marketability.  Some jobs require a master’s degree while others do not. My son, who is going into his senior year at FSU as a finance major, has decided that he wants to get his masters. With all of that being said, preparing for graduate school exams can take a minimum of 6 months to a year. If your student is interested in getting their master’s degree at UNF, they should contact the Graduate School.  HaveUHeard that UNF’s graduate school offers over 44 graduate degrees and certificates with a wide range of concentrations in arts and sciences, business, computing and engineering, education, and health?  Click here to apply for a program and click here for a full list of degrees […]

Books, Books, Books

To Buy or Rent books, That is the Question. I remember when I went to college, the lines at the bookstore were forever. The first day of class, the professor handed out the syllabus with the required books on the first day of class.  Immediately after class, I went to the book store, bought all of my books, carried them back to my dorm and hoped that the “used” books didn’t have too many highlighted pages. Well, some things have changed since then.  Students are now able to find their classes online, see what books they need, order the books and have them waiting at the UNF bookstore before classes begin.  If they prefer, they don’t have to buy the actual textbook they can rent or get a downloaded digital version. Some students, however, prefer to wait until classes have started because many professors either change the requirements at the last minute […]

What You Should Do Before Heading to UNF

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 HIPAA 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 […]

Controversial Speakers

Is Free Expression Controversial? UNF has definitely had its fair share of public speakers coming on campus and preaching to those who pass by. While it can be somewhat annoying, they normally refrain from any direct insults or attacks on a specific person or group of persons. This situation is still a delicate one, as UNF is a very forward-thinking and accepting campus and the people who come on campus to speak often hold very controversial or “old-fashioned” ideals, which can often lead to some discomfort or clashing views. UNF, like all Florida public universities, applies something called the Campus Free Expression Act. This act is a law for public universities and colleges in Florida that allows these universities to allow visitors to freely speak in outside areas around campus. UNF has been a campus that has always promoted free speech by every person: an employee, a student, invited and uninvited speakers. […]

Working While In College

Who doesn’t need extra money… Some students are working to supplement the allowance that their parents are giving them each week or month and some students are working to pay their bills or putting themselves through school.  Regardless of the reason, working while going to school is an excellent way for students to learn to prioritize and organize their time. Some students will find employment on campus.  There are all kinds of opportunities in every single department across campus.  The first step to seeking employment in one of these positions would be to visit unfjobs.org and browse the publicly listed postings of jobs available. A position can be found in most of the University’s numerous departments, from chemistry to athletics. However, this isn’t the only way to find a job on campus.  Many professors or departments are actually looking for students to work for them, yet they haven’t advertised it.  So if […]

Finding A Roommate at UNF

First time living with someone you’re not related to! When I went to school, there was no way to find out who my roommate was until the day I got to school.  The anticipation was high – would I like her? Would we be best friends? Would we both like to do the same things, join a sorority, stay up late? Would we be a roommate match? These days it’s soooo much different. There are websites, FB pages, group texting and much more for students to pick their roommates and get to know them. Roommate Choices Some students choose to live with their friends from high school.  Living with friends gives you the comfort of knowing that person and their personality.  But here’s a warning: a lot of friends that live with each other don’t end up staying friends.  That may sound extreme but think about it. Going to college is the […]

Sick at School

Mom…I’m sick? When my kids were growing up, I always hated when they said: “I don’t feel well.”  Having my daughter 4 hours away and hearing those words makes me hate them even more.  No one wants their kids to be sick, especially when they aren’t at home near their doctor.  Fortunately, there are things that can be done to help them to get through the illness. I sent my kids to school with a plastic container that had as many things that I could think of to help them if they weren’t feeling well or just needed some first aid.  From band-aids to allergy pills, the box was filled and I told them to wash their hands and change their sheets and toothbrush as often as possible. Sometimes they need care beyond your box. In my experience, my kids and I have had great results taking Source Naturals Wellness Formula. It […]

Sorting Out College Life, Laundry and Beyond

Your guide to washing, drying and never losing our favorite pair of socks! I was never the mom who made her kids do their own laundry, although they knew how to use the washer and dryer and, on occasion, would move the wash from one to the other. I always took on the task of washing their clothing.  So, as I watched my own kids learn to do their laundry a few weeks before they left for school the first time, there was a bit of sadness, a touch of pride and a whole lot of woohoo!! Now that they are at school it is pretty amazing to see just what they are able to do with a load of dirty laundry.  I had to laugh the first time my daughter called me telling me her favorite white shirt was now a lovely shade of pink! Campus Laundry If your child plans […]

Study Abroad

All Aboard the Study Abroad Train! Wow!  Just the thought of my daughter being able to study abroad is so exciting to me!  Nowadays it seems like it is the thing that most college students are doing. From what I hear, the first semester of their junior year is when most kids are going.  The latest national report on Study Abroad showed that more than 238,332 students from colleges and universities across the United States went overseas to earn credit during their academic years.  There are so many factors involved in making the decision. At UNF there are a few study-abroad programs to choose from.  The three study abroad programs are through the Coggin College of Business. The first program is a faculty-led study abroad program.  This program involves the student registering for a business class during the spring semester.  The student studies a particular business discipline and country throughout the spring semester.  During […]

Tax Time

TAX, A Necessary Evil Taxes, we have to admit, are not fun but necessary. 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 […]

High School Graduation Gift Ideas

Get Them Something Practical Yet Fun When my older son graduated from high school, not only did he go to a lot of graduation parties, but he also had a party. He received gift cards, money and a lot of logoed apparel from the college he was going to (FSU). By the time my younger daughter graduated, the gifts she received, in addition to money and gift cards, were from the college registry she set up (plus a bunch of UNF t-shirts.) Today, the lists have gotten longer but so have the places to buy gifts, many of which are now online. Whether your student is having a graduation party, sending out announcements or just has a big family that is looking to get the high school grad a gift, HaveUHeard pulled together a list of the most requested graduation gifts for 2019 according to our very unscientific high school and college […]

Namast’ay at UNF, Your Yoga Connection

Keeping Stress at Bay with  Yoga Ahhhhh, one of my favorite things to do, and by far the best way to get my head cleared is to practice yoga. Very few things have been continuously practiced for over 5000 years with continued success.  The practice proves that mind, body, and spirit are healthier. Whether you are looking to get a workout or to stretch and breathe, practicing this age-old art is an excellent way to move your body.  I am relatively new at it and my daughter has only practiced a few times and we have found a tremendous amount of yoga and meditation classes in our home town and at UNF respectively. Haveuheard that UNF offers a bunch of classes in the Student Wellness Center? They offer the following classes which are all 55 minutes. Acro Yoga – This class will teach you how to fly, base, spot, stretch and strengthen […]

The Next Four Years

Welcome to the Nest Do you have a student ready to spend the next four years as a UNF Osprey? SWOOP and Welcome to the Nest!   The next four years will be some of the most amazing times for your student, and without a doubt for yourself as well, in the Jacksonville area.  Jacksonville, perfectly positioned along the Atlantic Ocean in northeast Florida, is a natural paradise. Otherwise known as the “River City by the Sea”, this beautiful city boasts more than 20 miles of wide and uncrowded beaches, close to 40 miles of the tranquil Intracoastal Waterway canal, and the longest stretch of the beautiful St. Johns River. Jacksonville is home to the largest urban park system in the nation, with 10 state and national parks. Its authentic cuisine, incredible shopping areas, historic district and more, “Jax” is definitely making its mark on the map. There is something for everyone in […]


When Additional Help is Needed Students who attend UNF, face the same challenging classes, taught by respected and renowned professors, than any other competitive college. Using tutoring assistance to keep up with studies is an excellent idea. They are no longer in high school where a student can often coast by; succeeding at UNF requires taking classes seriously. At the same time, there are many opportunities to get involved and enjoy these four years including basketball 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 the admissions process has grown more selective, the understanding is that many of these students have already been faced with balancing academics, social and civic activities. If your student mentions that they are having trouble in classes, there are many places that they can turn including speaking to their professor. On-Campus […]

What is FAFSA?

First Applicants Find Substantial Assets, of course! FAFSA is the national Free Application for Federal Student Aid based on how aid is distributed. Because aid is distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, every student that hopes to receive aid for college must fill out this form to even be considered. Every college has its own deadline. Beginning with the 2017-2018 FAFSA, students were able to file using prior-prior year (PPY) tax data. As a result of this change, you could submit the FAFSA for the 2019-2020 academic year on October 1, 2018, using your 2017 tax and income information. (Summer applicants for 2020 need to submit a 2019-2020 application using the 2017 tax and income information). If you have not done so already, you will also need to complete that year’s application as well.  In addition, if an amended return was filed, the IRS will notify the individual financial aid office. For […]

What Not to Bring to College

No, you don’t need that! I remember when I first went to college – many, many years ago, I packed my car and my parents’ car full of my clothing, accessories, bedding and as much of my childhood as I could. I wanted to bring everything. Needless to say, there was no way that my stuff from my room at home was now going to fit into a college dorm room that was shared with two other girls. Now that my daughter is a freshman at UNF, I tried to tell her she didn’t to pack everything from her closet.  Unbeknownst to me, her closet was huge along with a very large dresser. She was able to bring all the clothing that she wanted and had plenty of room to unpack them.  UNF has a specific list of items that can be brought to the dorms and items that cannot be brought. Before she started last […]

When the Wind Blows a Hurricane is coming!

Being prepared for a Hurricane Having lived in Florida since 1983, I have seen and experienced a lot of hurricane preparedness and fortunately, I have not experienced a direct hit of any storm. Most of the times with hurricanes, the preparation is the most chaotic, stressful time. Gas lines will be long, Publix and Walmart will run out of water and batteries immediately and parents will worry about their home and children. For those who have students who are from out of state, the first mention of a potential storm or hurricane and the unknown sends parents into a justifiable panic. When the news about a potential storm starts dominating the airwaves, especially in the area to which the storm is headed, parent’s concerns go into overdrive. The level of panic for in-state residents is equivalent to the category storm being forecast. Floridians seem to look at Cat 1’s with an almost […]

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Interning in New York

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

Searching for Scholarships at UNF

Congratulations on Your Child Being Accepted! Now that that’s settled, the idea of actually paying for college looms.  Hopefully, you have prepared in some way but fear not. Finding a scholarship can help with the cost of college. If you live in Florida and have purchased a Florida Prepaid plan, then that will start working for you immediately. And, if your student received assistance from Bright Futures, that too helps offset some of the costs. Every year, I hear stories about thousands of dollars in scholarship money that are never applied for.  It does take a lot of work and time to research scholarships, apply for them, and to validate the authenticity of them.  But, that work can pay off at a reduced cost to you. Some are quite competitive, some last for four years, and some are downright silly, but pay for something.  Some scholarships require essays and believe it or not, […]