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University of Florida

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

Career Showcase

A Student Perspective Sometimes the thought of choosing a career is scary. Attending a career showcase is important for all students no matter what year of study they are in. At any age, it helps prepare students, giving them the confidence needed when applying for jobs and internships. My advisor always says, “You don’t want your first time at career showcase to be when you need a job.” I went to my first career showcase in the spring of my freshman year. I was nervous and had no idea what to wear. My friend and I showed up in what we thought was business attire and were immediately overwhelmed by the number of people and lines at the O’Connell Center. Without a plan, we grabbed a map and began wandering. We ended up waiting in line at Exxon and Frito-Lay to talk to the recruiters, and they were very encouraging. They both […]

Graduation Restaurant Reservations

Great Places to Celebrate Do you really need to make your restaurant reservations now? Graduation is a time to celebrate and a celebration requires a nice meal and a nice meal needs a reserved spot! Soooo…YES! UF holds graduation ceremonies three times per year. Spring graduation features the largest ceremony, one that includes both a university-wide ceremony at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and individual college ceremonies, as well. Fall 2020 graduation is currently scheduled for December 18th and 19th. Hopefully, you have already read our hotel blog and made your hotel reservations. But if you are coming up with your entire family, you may want to reserve your favorite restaurant as well. Many of the restaurants get extremely busy, both for fall and, even more so, for spring. Summer graduation is typically smaller in size. To help you out, we are listing the restaurants that take reservations and noting if they require […]

Tax Time

Tax time is Always Right Around the Corner! Taxes, we have to admit, are decidedly not fun. But they ARE necessary. Whether you are preparing your return or having a CPA prepare your return, do not forget to take advantage of the Education Tax Credits available. These credits can help offset the cost of your student’s education. Two Credits Available There are two tax credits available to you: The American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit. The AOTC (American Opportunity Tax Credit) was made permanent by the Protecting Americans from the Tax Hikes Act signed in 2015. The AOTC allows credit to be claimed for four post-secondary education years instead of two. The AOTC/Lifetime Learning credits are based on the payment of “qualified tuition and related expenses.” These are the expenses for tuition and academic fees that are required for enrollment or attendance at an eligible educational institution. Qualified tuition and […]


What is – FAFSA? First Applicants Find Substantial Assets, of course! FAFSA is the national Free Application for Federal Student Aid but, based on how aid is distributed, it may as well stand for First Applications Find Substantial Assets. 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. UF’s school code is 001535. UF’s priority deadlines are December 15th each year. After December 15, applications are reviewed in the order they were received.  Of course, if your student did not know if they were accepted back then, but they can speak with the Office of Financial Affairs to update their application if your circumstances have changed substantially from what was reported on the Federal Income tax return for the year submitted. If your student has not yet filled […]

Off Campus Living INfo on Every Price

Economical to Extravagant Off-Campus Living Just a few months in from your freshman starting college and they already bring up the subject of where they want to live the following year. HUH?? By December, they are ready to sign a lease.  It’s hard to imagine making a decision so early. However, the demand for living in certain areas is definitely driving the need to sign early. Your student’s take and talk on the subject will be all about specific apartments and their appeal, but what you want to know is “What’s the rent?”, “Is that apartment in a safe area?, and “Does it come with parking?” There will also be questions you may not even have thought to ask. One of the newest and perhaps, by far, most extravagant apartment complexes to open across the street from the UF campus comes with a rooftop infinity pool, cabanas and lounge, a gym, racquetball […]

Make the Call to Admissions to Get Answers

If You’re Worried, Then Call… Sometime later in February, the UF Admissions department sends out with their acceptance letters. My older daughter, my niece, and my nephew all applied the same year. That made the acceptance date even more nerve-wracking, with my sisters and I all waiting anxiously along with our kids. We all felt engulfed by a swirling cloud of concern, wondering if all three would get accepted, perhaps none, or an awkward combination of some. As it turned out, two of the three got accepted, making that day bittersweet. While my sister and I were elated that our daughters got in, we felt sad for my sister, whose son did not. Fast forward 8 years, and my sister will readily admit now that her son’s qualifications did not necessarily match up with the highest of UF’s applicants. And he DID end up on exactly the right track for him. But […]

Favorite Apartment Rentals

Favorite Apartment Rentals Here are some great tips about our favorite apartment rentals. In my case, neither of my daughters stayed in the dorms beyond their freshman year. My youngest has lived in Oxford Terrace for the past two years because she loves the location, the rent is reasonable, and the bedrooms — each with its own bathroom — are a nice size. Plus, she hates moving. However, now that she’s heading into her senior year, she and four of her friends (like many seniors) are moving into a five-bedroom house practically across the street from her current apartment. In Gainesville, the rentals are plentiful. Below are some of the more popular apartment complexes students live in near UF. Some provide buses to campus (which can be super important since parking on campus can be a nightmare), some have facilities that rival a fancy hotel (pools, hot tubs, volleyball courts, lounges), some […]

They’ve Been Accepted, Now What?

They’ve Been Accepted Congratulations Class of 2024… YOU’VE BEEN ACCEPTED! It IS great to be a Florida Gator for so many reasons. You can all now take that deep sigh of relief that your student’s decision has been made and then take a look at our list of what to do next. While this may sound silly, first check your student’s admission letter for accuracy regarding their name, entrance term, address, and major. If any changes need to be made it needs to happen in writing or online at myUFL. When they applied, your student will have received a UF identification number (ID) which can be found on their application status page. (When I went to UF, they used our social security number, but that’s no longer the case so as to further protect a student’s privacy.) Next, they will create their Gator identity via a digital username which will both give […]

Bright Futures

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 long been a significant source of financial aid for many Florida Students, and the scholarship program is now shining even brighter. Summer 2018 was the first-year Florida Academic Scholars received 100% tuition and summer 2019, 75% of tuition became 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 […]

Orange and Blue Gator Debut Football

It’s Gator Gridiron time! There will not be a Gator spring football game for the University of Florida this offseason, at least according to schedule. Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the Southeastern Conference has suspended all practices and team activities through April 15th on top of previously canceling all regular and postseason competitions on Thursday. Thus, the University of Florida has announced today that the 2020 spring game and spring football practice will not be played as scheduled. The Florida athletic department is closing all team areas in its athletic facilities until further notice. The football calendar is in the works trying to squeeze in a spring ball in early summer, whether the NCAA will allow us to start practices earlier in the fall, assuming we have a fall, those are things that will still be decided. The spring football program is currently “in flux” until further notice, given the unpredictability […]

Sending A Package to Your Student?

Make Sure Your Package Gets There For all the many reasons that a student receives a package, most of them bring a welcome highlight to their day. Whether it is just their usual Amazon delivery or a care package for midterms — or even because your student is under the weather — it’s good to know a few things that will make package delivery simpler. If you have a student living on campus, UF utilizes package lockers. This allows students to pick up their packages anytime, day or night, 24/7. To alert them to pick up their items, students receive a notification email, along with two codes, when a package is delivered to their area locker. We actually recommend using UPS (or FedEx) in comparison to USPS as it is just timelier, especially for in-state shipping. Typically, if you are sending packages from one Florida location to another, it arrives in one […]

Storage UF, where does the stuff go?

Where Will They Put All Their Stuff? Can you put it in storage? Oh, PLEEEASE can you put it in storage?? It’s that time between semesters when they want to bring EVERYTHING home for a few weeks or even the summer. You’re wondering: (a) how will I get it all back here and (b) where in the heck am I going store it all? Not earth-shattering questions, by any means, but certainly heavy ones. And I mean literally heavy. I remember my daughter’s freshman year. I drove up to get her and, by the time we had finished packing the car, there was barely enough room to squeeze our bodies into our seats. Not to mention, I had the feeling the whole drive home that the car was skimming the pavement, in true (if unintended) lowrider fashion. I wondered if her belongings had somehow multiplied over the previous 10 months. Then the […]

First Time Student Loan Borrower?

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

Choosing or Changing Your Major

You can change your mind and your major! The University of Florida offers a million-gazillion (okay, a multitude of) degrees. How is your student supposed to choose a major? Most students begin college with some idea of what they want to study, but it is not uncommon for them to change majors. When it came to my own Gators,  they both considered changing their major. One chose the route of change. She turned her original major into a minor as she moved forward into her new major. The other considered how far behind it would put her, then chose to add a minor to round out her degree. She was also able to dovetail into a more specific allied masters program that addressed her specific interests. Choosing and changing a major isn’t always easy. There are several ways you can support your student as they try to decide on their best path […]

Spring Break

Letting Off Steam before Finals Mention Spring Break to most parents and immediate visions of lawless partying comes to mind. I get it. I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, the original Spring Break destination. As a high school student, my friends and I would drive up and down “The Strip” watching all of the college kids dancing, sunbathing and letting loose. When we were finally in college, we spent our days at the beach and our nights on The Strip. UF Spring Break this year is February 29th through March 8th. While we parents might be looking forward to some time with our students, they may — well, probably do — have other plans. I just thought I would give you that heads up; it’s not uncommon for students to go away with their friends for Spring Break. For those of you who have students living (and wanting to remain) on-campus, it’s […]

Budget 101

Asking for Money? I can vividly remember being in college and having to make the dreaded call home to my father to ask for money after I blew through my monthly budget. My parents had three daughters at UF at the same time, so finances were a sensitive subject. This was before cell phones (think wall-corded phones, even) and — GASP!! — before the internet. Banking required you to wait for the statement to arrive in the mail. My father, who happened to be a CPA, would go through each statement to see where we were spending our money. He felt they gave us reasonable funds to make it through the month, with monthly deposits working best for them to effectively provide for the three of us. Since we only spoke once a week on those landlines that charged per long-distance minute, my having to mention needing money was not exactly a […]

Ready for The Next Four Years

Are U Ready For The Next Four Years? You now have a student ready to spend the next four years at UF! That means you will undoubtedly be visiting once or twice. (Or a lot…) If you have never been to Gainesville, you may have a preconceived idea about this college town from your online perusing. Or you may know very little. Like any classic college town, it is not a sprawling metropolis. But it’s not a tiny oasis either, appearing to rise like a mirage from Paynes Prairie or Florida’s farm fields. Here, you will find almost every major box store, nearly every chain restaurant (from fast food to quick service to full service) plus many independent retailers bursting with quirkiness, quality, and Orange and Blue pride. You’ll also find an expansive array of shopping venues, hotels, and grocery stores, newcomers as well as the solidly entrenched. What U Should Know […]

Meal Plan and Other Ways to Eat

Burgers and Pizza and Fries…Oh my! A Guide to Meal Plans With college right around the corner, I see you fearfully envisioning your student’s diet as one of  burgers and pizza and fries, oh my! Yes, we’ve been making meals for our kids for as long as we can remember. (So, quite frankly, we might welcome a break.) And yes, some of our kids have learned how to cook or even to enjoy doing so. But most have come to rely on their meal being ready the minute you — or their stomach — yells “Dinnertime!” NOW what will happen? Before you get ready to go on a cooking, packaging, and labeling frenzy to send food with them, just STOP. I’m  here to assure you that college food has indeed changed since many of us went to college. That’s not to say they won’t still be tempted by the same fast foods […]

Orientation, You can Do It Yourself

I Remember When… I remember when my younger daughter was attending UF Orientation. This was my second go-around, yet, I was still wildly excited for her.  She had tagged along us when she was only 13 years old and we laughed about how bored she was, sitting all day in the Reitz Union, fidgeting and playing with her phone. Fast forward 4 years (which flew by) and she was the incoming Gator. Even as a gator grad myself and the mom of another gator grad, I still found going to orientation along with my student invaluable. **You can currently access virtual campus tours, housing tours, and Honors Info Sessions in addition to the UF Preview Orientation Session you registered to attend.** So Many Choices When it comes to attending the breakout sessions, let your student choose which ones to attend. Mine wanted to go to the one about study abroad. Since her […]

Making the Most of Summer B

Summer can be the best season ever! Ask any older Gator what their favorite semester has been so far and many will tell you it was freshman year Summer B. It’s a summer filled with so many firsts. First college lecture, first college party, first college friend, and for many, first stab at adult freedom. Even though going off to college for the first time is certainly a bit daunting, UF does a great job of easing the transition to college life. A great resource for me during my freshman summer was my RA (resident assistant). She was super personable and quickly became a friend. I asked her all kinds of questions – from how to get to class to what to wear to parties – and she always had an answer. She lived only a few doors down from my room and her door was always open to her residents. Don’t […]

Dress for Success and be ready for Adulting!

Time to look the part! As they get closer to graduation, one of the greatest changes our students are about to experience is the need to abandon their shorts, t-shirts, and yoga pants.  Alas. It’s time to dress for success in their new roles, or — as my older daughter states — dress for adulting. Dressing for success can be daunting in different ways, but the one that stands out most is often cost. Beginning with the career and internship fairs they attend, students need to look professional. For young men, this often means a suit and tie. For the young women, there may be a few more options, but most successful looks will center around a suit or suit pieces, a pantsuit, a skirt, and blouse, or dress. Then there are the shoes. Flops and sneakers are not going to cut it. Even when you are able to borrow or cheaply […]

What U Should Do Before Heading to UF

Before you leave! Before you leave to take your kid to college, there are a few items you will want to take care of that are extremely important. Although a few are younger, most college students are 18. This means they are now considered legal adults. With that comes a whole lot of independence — expected or unexpected — from their parents, regardless of who is footing the bill for their education or claiming dependency on a tax return. Unless they give you permission or their login information, you will be unable to access your student’s health records, grades, and pretty much anything that has HPPA laws behind it. Before move-in day, talk to your student about signing the necessary permission for the college to speak with you. Make certain they understand that without that signed permission, nothing — and we mean NOTHING — pertaining to the college can be discussed with […]

Home Sweet Dorm

Does Their Dorm Room Feel Like Home Yet? You may be surprised at how one can transform a dorm that is mass-produced and industrial-looking into a warm and inviting dorm space. Not surprisingly, there is plenty of help out there to both spur ideas and help you organize. Pinterest, anyone? But let me assure you, organization is the primary concern. If your kids are anything like mine, they will try to take enough stuff from home to settle them in as though the only laundry facilities or stores are across state lines. Bed Time Of course, decorating for a girl’s room is drastically different from a boy’s, but both will need a little extra organization. After you have taken a virtual dorm tour to draw up your master plan, then check the size bed their dorm will provide. They are usually those extra-long twin beds (with just a couple of exceptions). Many […]

Move Out Now?

Time to Move On… Moving out can be almost as hectic as moving into the dorms and apartments. When it comes to dorms, you are typically assigned a move out time to keep things flowing smoothly. But in our experience, a smooth move is even more of an oxymoron in this scenario than in a singles bar. So each move — in, out, or partial — we made our plans, crossed our fingers, and hoped for the best. One thing we decided early on was that it made absolutely no sense for us to drag the entire dorm room’s worth of supplies and furnishings home for the summer, just to lug them back in the fall. We opted to have our daughter rent an air-conditioned storage facility, sharing the space and cost with friends. (You may luck out with a friend who offers to let your student store their belongings in their […]

Are You a Pre-Med Major?

Tips every pre-med student should know! Planning on going to medical school one day? If so, there are a few things that I wish I knew as a pre-med freshman at the University of Florida that I’d like to share with you. The University of Florida culture of “pre-med” students is very competitive. In the 2018-2019 cycle, UF produced the most undergraduate medical school applicants to Doctor of Osteopathic Medical Schools in the nation. With that acknowledged, these three tips are incredibly useful to know: First, stand out among your classmates. The best way to do this is to be passionate about where you choose to spend your time. Many pre-med students become obsessive about getting the “most volunteer hours” or joining a club just because you think it will “look good.” This is a trap. When it comes time to write your personal statement for medical school applications, you’ll have to […]

Banks and Credit Unions at UF

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, and even the dreaded conversation about Teaching Them to Budget but this blog is all about banking. Both of my daughters opening up a student account with UF’s banking partner, Wells Fargo. While mine and their personal bank account were with a different bank that was not in Gainesville until recently, having a Wells Fargo account allowed me to keep their college expenses separate which I did for budgeting and tax purposes. I chose not to link their Gator 1 card as one daughter tended to lose more cards (think driver’s licenses, debit cards, and so forth), so I did not want to have another person using her Gator 1 card. UF can easily any […]

Need Advice About Your College Career?

A Guide to Getting Advice As a fourth-year college student at the University of Florida, the best semesters were the ones in which I created my schedule and hand-picked each class. The goal for my undergraduate education has been to get the most from each class, choose professors that had the best rating, learn many new things, and meet great people along the way. Each semester, I wanted to craft my schedule to fit my goals while balancing extracurricular activities, work, and academic challenges. For any student that has a goal for their time in college, having an open line of communication with his or her academic advisor for advice is a great start. Getting an appointment with an academic advisor in large colleges such as the College of Liberal Arts and Science and Heavener College of Business can be difficult at times, however, taking these steps may help to get the […]

Good Advice To My Freshman Self

Advice Every Freshman Should Know Starting a new experience like college is a good time for good (not just any, but legit) advice. As a senior in high school, you knew the ropes, all of the Do’s and Don’ts, the inside skinny on teachers and coaches,  and the comforts and limits of a familiar campus. High school graduation was a time to celebrate four hard years and look forward to four fun ones. And then the questions begin, as you prepare to become a small fish in the big pond. (Swamp, actually!) What are the customs and traditions at my new school? Where do I start to fit myself into the Gator Nation? Once your dorm contract is signed, your meal plan submitted, an academic schedule is planned, and even your new books and pencils are in place for the semester, it’s then that the logistics of everyday life on your new […]

Money, Money, Money

When Will Financial Aid Money Disburse? The time has come to pay for the first college bills. For some reason, this always cues panic. I remember receiving the first tuition statement for my daughter. Her student account showed no payment from Prepaid Florida (even though I had purchased one for her that included a 4-year college and 1-year dorm). Neither did her bank account reflect her Bright Futures Scholarship funds. When does this money get disbursed? And while you’re waiting for that elusive disbursement, can you get a deferral for books, living accommodations, and student fees? For your student’s specific account details, have them log into their account at myUFL. HaveUHeard that UF encourages all students receiving financial aid to sign up for a direct deposit? To sign up, go to myUFL and select “Access myUFL” to log in. On the top toolbar, select “Main Menu.” Choose “My Campus Finances,” then “Student […]

Lunch Bunch

Mid-Day Munchies- what’s for lunch? The best part of lunch is the break it gives you in the middle of the day! But it’s even better when you’re enjoying the meal as well. Like any college town or city, there are literally hundreds of dining options in Gainesville from fast food to fast-casual, from family-style to fine dining. The more time my daughter spends there, the more places to eat we have discovered. (Food is a big draw for us, can you tell?) Some are old favorites from when her sister was a Gator undergrad. Some are happy new finds that have quickly become habit-forming.  No matter which direction your taste buds or price preferences are pointing, you will find your share of burgers, pizza, Mexican, Asian, barbecue, sushi, salads, and Mediterranean cuisine. And more! Of course, if you are in a hurry, Croutons and Pollo Tropical can both be found in […]

Football Seats in The Swamp at UF

A Guide to The Swamp! Everyone should get to at least one Gator football game. Or, perhaps you want to get season tickets. One of the keys to making it great, however; is knowing where to sit. For instance, the blazing sun can make a big difference in the fun factor of a game. Here are some thoughts about the best seats for football games. University of Florida’s, “The Swamp,” is one of the largest and loudest stadiums in college football. Attending any home Florida Gator football game throughout the fall semester is an incredible experience and one you should not miss. Despite the exciting sights and sounds of The Swamp, the Florida heat is inevitable, so, here are a few insider tips to have the best football experience: Know the layout of the stadium. Sections 1-18 are typically the parent and alumni section and face East. This portion of the stadium […]

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, particularly on weekends, may not be an option. Brunch, however, is generally a great option on weekends, with quite a few enticing choices not far from UF’s campus. If you are one of those rare parents with both a fondness for breakfast and a student who is an early riser (or perhaps is still up), then check out our blog Wakey, Wakey Eggs & Bakey.  If you’re more in line with the rest of us, then start by considering your price and time parameters as you contemplate where to brunch from our list below. And be aware that it is not unusual for there to be a considerable wait, even with a reservation, at some of the more popular selections on a game or graduation weekend. So many choices… Afternoon […]

An Insider’s Guide to Campus Dorm Living at UF

Campus Living — We have the inside scoop! For sure, start your process by reading about the dorms and where you should live on campus on the UF Housing and Residence Education pages. But for the inside scoop, we asked my daughter and our interns to tell us what you really want to know before you choose where to live when you become a Gator. Here’s what they had to say: Coming into college, I thought it was going to be the end of the world living in Mallory Hall. Instead, it ended up being so much better than I could have thought. As a freshman coming into Summer B, I just wanted to live in Cypress Hall. Cypress was much newer and has full-sized beds. I did not get the room in Cypress that I wanted. But living in Mallory played a huge role in the friends and memories I made […]

Sick at School

Mom………I’m sick. It’s bound to happen. At some point, the phone will ring and your mature, independent college student will cry “I don’t feel well. I’m siiiiiiccccck.”  With the best of bad-germ luck, their illness will just be a result of their new-found independence that includes lack of sleep and exercise, too much stress, a not-always-healthy diet, and hygiene habits that don’t embrace enough hand-washing. Knowing I would get that call at some point, I sent my daughters to school with a “things you may need that Mom thought of just in case” box. Inside was a thermometer, vitamins, and whichever medicines they used at home for symptoms of a cold, sinus infection, stomach ache, or other common ailments.  But sometimes, they will need care beyond your box. In our personal experience, my kids and I have had great results taking Source Naturals Wellness Formula. Recommended to me by a local natural […]

Get Involved

Get Involved With an undergraduate enrollment of over 35,000, spanning over 2,000 acres, UF is huge. That massive size means that students should find a way to make this university feel a bit smaller. Some students will choose to rush a sorority or fraternity (see sorority and fraternity blog) but others will not find Greek life their cup of tea. No worries; there are many other possible ways to get involved on campus. Some of you may believe that your student’s first job is school, and I couldn’t agree more. That said; being involved in some way is rather important too. Firstly, joining a club will help your students build a community. Since they’re leaving their family and sometimes their friends behind, getting involved helps them to discover new friends with similar interests. It only takes a few friends to make a large school feel smaller. Joining clubs or organizations allows students to […]

Grocery Stores

Let’s Eat Calling all Gator chefs de college cuisine! Here’s where to find your grocery stores. Those of you from Florida — or any of the Southeastern states, actually — will be familiar with the major supermarket chain, Publix. Publix is a Lakeland, Florida-based supermarket featuring every department found in most grocery stores. You’ll find fresh produce, a deli and a bakery, fresh meat and seafood, canned goods, dairy and frozen foods, soda, beer and wine, flowers and stationery, candy and more. Their Pub Subs are the uncontested taste of home for Floridians, both native and UF-adopted! Conveniently, Publix has recently opened a smaller location directly across from the north side of the UF campus, featuring prepared foods that include more than just those famous subs. Your student can satisfy their craving for bento bowls, sushi, Florida-produced grocery items, and Starbucks coffee, all in one place. This location hopes to augment students’ […]

Grad School Housing is More Grown Up!

Because Grad School Needs Are Different For Grad School students, finding an apartment entails completely different criteria, especially if they are heading off to a different university. My niece and our interns all recently moved on to universities other than where they spent their undergrad years. As we found, Grad School housing comes with its own set of unique challenges. Facing expensive tuition and long study sessions, the last thing your grad student needs to waste time on is finding an apartment near the University of Florida campus to call home. Gainesville has a wide range of graduate student apartments. You can go from opting for quiet and cozy to large and luxurious. UF, itself has several halls that accept graduate students.  If your student favors the on-campus lifestyle, they should be looking at Corry Village, Diamond Village, Maguire Village, Tanglewood Village, The Continuum, and University Village South. Just a side note […]

Fun Classes When You Need an Elective

What Students Wish They Took Today, universities have students declare a major almost immediately. That’s not to say they cannot change their major but, once a student is following their course track, it can become more difficult to switch as they progress further into their major. And for those students that love their major, they often opt to take other classes within their college major instead of exploring all the different electives that are available. But, sometimes students’ schedules are just so stress-packed that an easy, fun, and exciting elective is the perfect way to round out a schedule. Electives can serve many purposes: fulfill an individual’s major requirement, supplement more rigorous courses to complete a minor, fill a schedule, or simply to have great fun. The following electives offer lots of fun choices: Arts & Crafts Ceramics: Beginning Throwing Ceramics: Hand-building Decorative Pots for Plants Craft Workshops: Make It and Take […]

Managing the Gap, when they are in between

It’s Gap Time…Where Will They Live? Although it feels like you just moved your students into their dorms, you now have to move them out. The worst part, aside from the grueling heat, is the gap time. Some students will be returning in just a few weeks, with a move to another dorm room or sublease. If they have to be back early in August — whether it be another dorm, sorority or fraternity house, or an apartment — the schlep home and back is all effort and no reward. Not to mention silly. I know how many carloads it took to get my daughter moved in and, frankly, I am not prepared to rent a U-Haul to get her stuff home and then back again. My first piece of advice is to recommend that they start early, bringing or sending any of those things home that need to be at home […]

Eating Healthy when you are a student

OK to be Eating…Healthy! As with other college campuses, the amount of burger, pizza, and fast-food restaurants at and surrounding the UF campus is a big reason for the Freshman 15. This is no surprise considering so many students live on a tight budget. But today’s college students are definitely into eating healthy, and they seek higher quality foods that are both varied in taste and economically priced. Granted, sometimes nothing can take the place of a cheesy, greasy slice of pizza or a juicy hamburger. Comfort food is just that, after all. But for those students that want more of their food fast but healthy, UF students have many options. There are also several apps that many students can download to find the latest promotions and deals at some of their favorite places. (These apps include Hooked and Pocket Points. And don’t forget to try Seamless — whose very likeable motto: […]

Study Abroad UF

Study Abroad? Not all classrooms have four walls. The best often have no walls. Nowhere is this more evident than with the growing number of students that study abroad. This is one of the programs you WILL hear about from your student — I heard about it from my younger Gator before she even started her first semester — and many students start their college years planning for such an experience. In (once again) another sign of generational change, I did not have all that many friends that went abroad when I was in college. My older daughter, who has already graduated from UF, chose not to study abroad because she did not want to miss a full Gainesville semester.  Looking back, she has said it is one of her regrets now that she has seen her younger sister’s Study Abroad experience in Madrid. I first learned about study abroad through UF […]

Health Insurance

The Plan for Insurance Students at many colleges today must have a health insurance plan that meets their University’s minimum requirement. HaveUHeard that if you forget to submit the waiver that is required to show that your student is covered under your medical plan, the University will purchase an insurance plan for your student? Even knowing this, my daughter still forgot to submit a waiver. (Yeah, forgetting things happens – even with our smart, collegiate kids!) When she received her Bright Futures deposit for that semester and I questioned why it was so low, it took a bit of questioning, querying, and sifting through the allocation of funds to learn that that was, indeed, exactly what had happened. When I spoke to someone at the university (which I was able to do because my daughter had signed the appropriate permission), they assured me that my daughter had received many, and I mean […]

Roommates and Residential Life

Learning to Live With Roommates… I’ll never forget my first visit to Preview with my elder daughter. The UF advisor leading one session asked for a show of hands from a ballroom full of students, wanting to see who had never shared a bedroom before. The sea of raised hands was deep enough for dolphins to frolic in. And these were the students heading to an immersion of shared life with roommates in mere weeks! This is not the only big lifestyle change facing new Gators. For many of these college-bound students, this may be their first time away from home for an extended period of time. Dorm living can be an enriching and wonderful part of the college experience. But it can also be a source of great stress and discomfort if the roommates are not a good fit, for whatever reason. So, who’s perfect? It’s not really about a perfect […]

Are U Ready For Some Football

You can almost hear the crowd roar… Now may not yet seem like the time to talk football. But if you are planning on coming up for a game in the fall, you should be buying your tickets and looking to book your hotel fairly soon, especially for the more popular opponents coming to The Swamp. I have been going to Gator football games since I was a student and, not to give away my age here, but I have since had two daughters become Gators. That’s a lot of UF football. I know which opponents are the big rivalries (did I mention LSU, Tennessee, and Kentucky?) and which games should be sleepers. (Okay, we won’t count the time that the Gators almost lost to Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns…) A Gator home game is an experience, from the pre-gaming (ask your college student) to the Gator Walk. Two hours and 25 minutes prior […]

The Benefits of Joining the UF Alumni Association

Alumni Networking, Perks, and More… Before you know it, your student is walking across the stage at graduation and, with that last step, they are officially a Gator alumnus. The question is, what does it mean to be an alumnus? Certainly, your graduate will wear their Orange and Blue pride for years to come, but there is more. Right from the start, they will find that Gators want to help each other. Encourage your student to join the UF Alumni Association for a lot of really good reasons but, first and foremost, to network with other alumni when looking for jobs. HaveUHeard’s founder’s daughter landed a job interview because she was a Gator and went on to be hired (and of course, continue in their love of the Gators with her coworkers). And, many of the alumni associations raise money to provide scholarships to future gators so being able to pay it forward […]

Wake Up Gators, It’s Game Day!

Get ready for the big game with these attire tips! The best feeling for any college student, especially if you’re a Gator, is waking up knowing it’s game day! There is so much preparation that goes into game days: where to tailgate, who to squad up with, and what to wear. Showing up to tailgates and games is more than just rocking your school colors. It’s showing your spirit and how much you love your school. It almost feels like a school-wide competition – who can get the most spirited? With this list, you’ll be sure to come in first! It is important that whenever you are shopping for game day attire, you look specifically for your school colors. You don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb, wearing the one color that doesn’t match everyone else’s gear. As Game Day gets closer, UF will announce what colors students are expected […]

The ABC’s of 529 Savings Plans UF

What 529 Pays When you decided to have kids, I would bet your first thought was not, “How am I going to pay for college?” But it might have been your second. When my kids were about five years old, I made a decision to buy a Prepaid Florida Tuition Plan. This is one type of plan, available here in Florida, which locks in rates for a Florida college or university. The 529 Savings Plans (or what is also known as a Qualified Tuition Plan – QTP) was a fairly new savings plan at that time,  and I chose not to invest in one. Alas. Regret 101 for my approach to college savings. I wish I had not overlooked this type of universal tuition savings plan. I might even have asked their grandparents to invest in a 529 Savings plan as opposed to sending them money for birthdays and holidays. Since 1996, […]

Birthright Israel – Hillel and the trip of a lifetime!

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

The Best Apps For Students

UF and College Studying Apps Remember when you were in college and everything you needed was easily accessible via apps on your phone? No? Well, me either. Our kids, however, do live in this world and there are apps that provide everything from food delivery to tutoring services, not to mention how to create a budget or even the perfect bibliography. Below is a list of the ones I thought most useful. Please forgive me for its length, but there is truly an app for EVERYTHING. How could I narrow it down? UF Apps GatorSafe — I’m starting my list here because the first thing on my list is ALWAYS my child’s safety.  With the  GatorSafe app, students can report a problem silently via text, also attaching pictures, video and audio files if available, and even anonymously. It empowers students to prevent assaults or other incidents before they get out of hand. […]

The Stress of College

The Stress of College Stress. It affects all of us, including our kids. Honestly, what do we expect from balancing a full schedule, the welcome distraction of football season, the sorority and fraternity rush, and all this while adjusting to college and trying to maintain a social life? These stress levels increase during mid-terms and finals, and it all seems a Wallenda-like tightrope, for sure. Fortunately, UF is on top of it. They offer various programs, workshops, training, and suggestions, most of which are free to our Gators. Individual wellness coaching is available through Wellness Services and students enroll for free using their UFID. Through GatorWell, your student has access to free wellness coaching programs addressing stress management, relaxation strategies, sleep habits, study skills, eating habits, and exercise. Only students can schedule an appointment by going through the website, by email or by calling 352-273-4450. UF’s Counseling & Wellness Station offers many […]

PACE Yourself

Pathway to Campus Enrollment In 2015, UF launched a new enrollment program called PaCE, Pathway to Campus Enrollment. PaCE is a program designed to meet the exploding demand of qualified freshman applicants to UF. The latest figures from 2020 report an astounding 49,401 applicants for about 14,ooo slots. When your public university is ranked #7 nationally and located in sunny Florida, you can understand the overwhelming appeal! With this new program design, students that apply to UF and get accepted to the PaCE program begin their freshman year online before transitioning to campus. A student accepted to this program determines their own pace — thus the name. They can take their online classes in Gainesville, their home, or anywhere they can access UF online. The transition to residential status at UF requires a minimum enrollment in their online program of two semesters. Initially, some students (and, to be honest, their parents) might […]


Tutoring Can Help Like students at many other highly sought-after colleges, those who attend UF will be faced with challenging classes taught by respected, renowned, and demanding professors. Tutoring is not only beneficial, but it can also be your student’s secret weapon to minimize stress and maximize results. This is not high school, where a student can often coast by on their innate smarts. Succeeding at UF requires taking classes seriously. At the same time, there are many other opportunities to get involved and enjoy these four years full of football games, Greek life, outdoor activities, and not-to-miss Gainesville adventures. A student needs to be able to balance all of this, which can prove daunting to many of them.  UF has such a selective admissions process that there is also, perhaps, an expectation that many of these students have already successfully mastered balancing academics with social and civic activities. But it’s a […]

Spring Sports are fun in the sports!

There is always more than football! Spring may not feature the iconic collegiate sport of football, but there are tons of other sports to enjoy! (Don’t forget — you can still get your Gator gridiron fix before next fall by enjoying the Spring Orange and Blue contest on Saturday, April 18th.) We do know that when people think of UF sports, they immediately think of football. And after this year’s appearance in the New Year’s Six bowl game, who can blame them? But Gator fans can still indulge their love of all things Orange-and-Blue-and-sporting, and attend any one of many other great sports events at UF. Sports that claim space in our glorious Florida spring include basketball, swimming and diving, gymnastics, lacrosse, softball, and baseball. The best way to keep track of all of the sporting events and game dates is on floridagators.com/calendar.aspx. You can also check out HaveUHeard’s calendar. HaveUHeard that, […]

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast It’s not just for fairy tales. Getting that beauty treatment makes her happy. As the mother of girls (one who’s a performer), I know all too well that not being able to hit the salon for a hair cut, mani-and-pedi, and eyebrow-waxing is something they really miss when away at school. My nephew is the same way….about his hair cut, at least. And before anyone jumps all over the “beauty is skin deep” bandwagon, I’d just like to say: when your student is away for an entire semester, being able to get a hair trim or eyebrows waxed may be important to them. Looking your best helps you feel your best, and that goes for all of us. For those special occasions (Greek formals, university banquet, job interview on campus), they especially want to make certain they look polished, from head to toe. So where can students go for […]

Are Your Student’s Valuables Safe – Everything Safe?

How Safe Is Their Stuff? One more thing to worry about: is the stuff safe? Right up there on the anxiety ladder along with the call from my college daughter saying that she has lost her phone, keys, student ID, or (fill in the blank), is the call I get when they tell me someone took their cell phone, watch, or other valuable. Through their tears and wailing about their stolen item, I find myself asking — once again — if they had locked their door. You see, for all the time my daughters have lived in dorms, apartments, sorority houses, and off-campus houses, I have personally and regularly witnessed them forgetting to lock their room doors (and — not usually but sometimes — the front door, too). When I make a mere “Mom mention” about that, I get a sassy response along the lines of “I’m just running down the hall […]

Reitz Union Football Lottery – Bet You Already Knew That!

Reitz Union Football Lottery Reitz Union Football Lottery…HaveUHeard? Due to the tremendous demand for rooms at the Reitz Union Hotel during the University of Florida home football games, the hotel has instituted a lottery system to determine room occupancy. Now is the time to apply so you and your family will have a chance to stay at Reitz Union. The lottery application for the 2019 football season will be available for submission from January 4th, 2019 until April 1st, 2019. Apply now! The Reitz Union Hotel is proud to be designated as a Green Lodging facility by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The Florida Green Lodging Program is a voluntary initiative of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection that designates and recognizes lodging facilities that make a commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s natural resources. While you’re picking your dates, be sure to get yourself up-to-date on UF’s new online football ticketing system. Lottery […]

Staying Fit and Keeping Freshman 15 At Bay

Freshman 15, Keeping Fit! Keeping fit matters. It helps mentally as well as physically. The phrase “Freshman 15” has its own claim to fame, actually infamy, because it does happen all too often. It may not be 15. It can just be 5 or 10 extra pounds gained that first year of college, which might or might not be added to the next year. I gained at least 15 pounds during my first semester at college. It was definitely NOT my finest moment. I went from living at home with set meal times and no abundance of snacks (not even alcohol, even though the drinking age was 18 at the time) to living in Gainesville among all its temptations. Who could resist the lure of late-night socializing and delivery of every (mostly fast) food imaginable? And, of course, I had no time (so I told myself) for exercising except walking to class. […]

Getting There – Transportation

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles…All the Transportation You Can Think Of Freshmen who bring their cars will quickly learn that parking during the fall and spring is at a premium, and will most often not want to move their cars should they nab a great spot. Still, many will insist on the convenience of having their car if they want to go to a store off-campus and not want to carry heavy belongings back to their dorms (if that’s where they are living.) Both my daughters brought their cars but, aside from the occasional drive home, relied mostly on public transportation to get around town because it was easier. For parking information should your students bring their car, click here. Bicycles and Scooters HaveUHeard that part of the activity and service fee you pay goes into a fund used by the student government to provide services for all students? One of these services […]

Planning to Sublease an Apartment at UF?

Here’s How to Sublease – The Supply is Greater Than the Demand HaveUHeard that students generally sign a lease for twelve months when they move into an off-campus apartment? Most leases run from early August (usually a few days up to a week after August 1st) through July 31st. Unlike most dorms, students are responsible for the entire year, even if they do not intend to stay for the summer. However, most apartment complexes will allow students to sublet their apartments. You will, nevertheless, have to jump through a few hoops to make a sublease happen. It is best to start looking in the fall semester to find a sublessor for the summer. It may seem a bit early, but there are usually more available apartments looking for sublessors than there are people looking to sublet. Post on Facebook pages and begin asking around in December.  Get the word out there if […]

More Veggies if you please! Here are our pleasing choices.

Vegan-Vegetarian Dining, love veggies. When my older daughter left for UF, she was a carnivore. In fact, one of her last meals at home was her dad’s steak dinner with his secret marinade. As time progressed, she experimented with her diet. She first tried vegetarianism and ultimately found her comfort zone as a pescatarian, a lifestyle choice she and I both still practice. So I’m here to tell you: more veggies are needed, wanted, and loved! Whether your student is vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of options for veggies in Gainesville. Even if you’re just trying to keep veggies in your student’s away-from-home diet, here are our tasty recommendations for doing just that: Afternoon – This new breakfast addition to the Gainesville dining scene is located in the Grove Street neighborhood, which is about 1.4 miles from campus. The owner worked at The Top for ten years before opening this small, […]

Eating on a Budget

Budget Eating Is Possible Keeping your college kid eating while at the same time balancing their food budget is a real challenge. Through the years, I have experimented with various approaches to teaching my daughters to live on a budget. Even when they lived at home, they had their own bank accounts and never had carte blanche when it came to spending. So when it was time to leave for college, the discussion about budgeting took on a more serious tone. Perhaps your student is actually able to stick to a budget. My daughters needed more guidance, and they both struggled at the beginning. Eventually they got it (for the most part). I admit that it was hard telling my daughter, as I watched her monthly allowance dwindle, that she had better be a bit more cautious. More than once I suggested stocking up on peanut butter or ramen noodles for the […]

Graduation at UF

Remember When… Remember when our kids were little and we couldn’t imagine them ever leaving us and going off to college? Now, if you’re anything like me, you can’t believe how quickly the time has passed. As time continues to rush by (because it doesn’t even wait for a mother’s heart to catch up), college graduation will be here before you know it. I’m really not trying to shock you. But I do want to give you a head start, at least on making those hotel reservations. (I’m not sure we can help you with the guard-your-heart prep.) If you’ve been to The Swamp for a football weekend, you know just how difficult and pricey it is to nab yourself a hotel room for the weekend. Graduation weekend may even take that up a notch. People book them a year out. No joke. I literally booked my rooms a solid year before […]

Books, Books, Books

Book Time A lot has changed since I was a student, but one thing has not: Textbooks are expensive! Sure, the format differs, but the cost for books and supplies keeps soaring. HaveUHeard that in the 2018-2019 academic year, the estimated cost of books and supplies for UF undergraduates was $1030? UF now has the Affordable UF initiative designed to ensure that every student at the University of Florida has access to quality, reasonably priced course materials, the Affordable UF initiative works to raise awareness of textbook affordability issues on campus and provide support and guidance for members of the UF community who seek to make their courses more affordable. Make certain your student checks the resources out first before purchasing books. One of the programs in this initiative that we recommend is the UF All Access program. Students today have many more and different options than we did, including rentals. Plan […]

Controversial Speakers

Is Free Expression, Controversial? UF is a melting pot with diverse people from different backgrounds and beliefs. No matter who you are, UF makes sure that you feel comfortable expressing who you are. While this is great for most students, this certainly strikes up the issue of controversial speakers. UF 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. UF has been a campus that has always promoted free speech by every person: an employee, a student, invited and uninvited speakers. As long as these visitors do not materially disrupt any scheduled or reserved activities on campus. This means they are not allowed to ruin another person’s expressive rights. The fact that this act prohibits visitors from materially disrupting other activities adds a bit of protection for […]

I’m Not Your Maid, but here is a solution

Cleaning Maid Services Needed? I never thought I would be saying this, but sometimes it is actually a good idea to hire a cleaning service for your student’s apartment or dorm. Hear me out…I think most kids are perfectly capable of keeping a cleanroom. Growing up, my daughters knew I was not their maid and they certainly learned how to clean their rooms, and more. But, recently, I had a friend whose daughter was extremely sick with the flu. The mom began a search to have the entire apartment cleaned and disinfected. Wouldn’t it give you peace of mind to know any lingering nastiness and germs have been eradicated? I think we all would do everything possible to lessen the chance of our child catching what their roommate had or vice versa. Keeping my Gator healthy is my primary reason for actually contemplating maid service. Of course, there have also been the […]

Fix it! Repair it!

Repair Shops Car, scooter, or bike, oh my!  At UF, you will find all in large numbers. Talk to any student about which is the most useful at UF and you’re likely to get an equal array of answers. No matter the transportation your student is using, they may, at some point, need a repair shop.  And we all know there is nothing worse than having your main mode of transportation break down. Below you will find a list of repair shops for bikes and scooters so when you need to, you can have your ride repaired and get back on the road. Because cars typically come with bigger problems and carry bigger price tags for fixing those problems, we have a separate blog here for auto repair and car maintenance. Bike Shops HaveUHeard that a part of your tuition fees includes having free bike repairs at UF? Gator Gears repairs are […]

Flu Season Ahead, Wash Your Hands!

The Flu ends with “U” It’s that season again – and I don’t mean hurricanes. Flu season generally runs from October through May, peaking in December. Given that the flu is easily spread by coughing, sneezing, and close contact (can you say dorm life and classrooms?), your student may want to consider getting vaccinated. UF makes it incredibly easy to do so, and it’s free. For some fun and info before we tackle this serious subject, check out UF’s 2014 Silver Addy Flu Shots Music winning video! The UF health center is currently open for appointments from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm on weekdays. Telehealth visits are also available. Currently, students can make an appointment by contacting the center at 352-392-1161 or visiting the site for UF’s Student Health Care Center. Bring a valid student ID to your appointment. Your student can also check for dates, times, and various locations that flu […]

Searching for Scholarships – Find Your Way

Searching for Scholarships 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 if your prep has resulted in less than you hoped for, fear not. Finding scholarships can help with the cost of college. If you live in Florida and have purchased a Florida Prepaid plan, that will start working for you immediately. Bright Futures Scholarships have also been a goal of many Florida students while in high school.  If earned, those funds also apply once your student starts. Every year, I hear stories about thousands of dollars in scholarship money that never reach a student.  Admittedly, it takes a lot of work and time to research scholarships and validate their authenticity. And that’s before you even apply for them!  But, that work can pay off. I often reframe the time investment for my daughter […]

Register to Vote UF

How to Have Your Vote Count While at College No matter where you are on Election Day, your vote counts! Voting is so important that we’re giving the topic its own HaveUHeard blog to make sure you’re prepared when election day rolls around. Let’s start by making sure you know how to register. If you are not already registered, you can register to vote through this link on the UF website. Or you may have to begin by finding your own state’s requirements, if your permanent address is not in Florida. To register to vote in Florida, you must fill out a new registration form. This can be done online at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, by mail, or in person. The form is available for download or – if you prefer to fill out the form in person – there are plenty of places you can grab one. They are available at any County Supervisor […]

Food for Thought – Some Students Need Help

No Student Hungry, Food for All! Much like the young students featured in the national campaign, No Kid Hungry®, there are many students at colleges throughout the United States that are barely getting by. That’s likely a percentage that’s going to go up before it comes down. Some of these students are forced to put their daily bread in line behind paying for college and all of its expenses: tuition, books, rent, and utilities among them. The USDA average monthly cost of food for a college-age student on a recommended, moderate-cost food plan was $223.55 in 2018. According to Education Data, in 2018: Nearly 25% of high school students considered middle class indicated they were not planning to attend college because of the expense In 2018, an average of 45% of students experienced frequent food insecurity Over 50% of students from 2-year institutions and 44% of 4-year students worried about running out […]

Volunteering Turns Your Compassion into Action

Volunteering with passion is key. From personal experience, I have found that those who volunteer with passion and find purpose in their work also gain a strong personal statement that writes itself when one is next required of them. Many pre-med students who volunteer are not always doing the majority of their volunteering in the medical sector but are doing things they love. There are as many reasons for volunteering as there are people, whether it’s to give back to the community, to make a difference in the world, to gain experience, or even to change a person’s life. During your four years in college, it is incredibly important to volunteer for any or all of the above reasons, but also to add to your insight about where you really want to go and what you want to do. Academics tell you some of the stories, but you may find by actually […]

Dropping A Class

Dropping the Subject Will it be okay when you think dropping a class is the best choice? When my daughter was a junior, she decided to take a very heavy class load which included Beginning Chinese. We discussed whether she should take this class (which had nothing to do with her major) in conjunction with her other classes. However, my daughter believed it would be an enjoyable challenge. Four weeks into the class, she called me feeling extremely stressed and anxious. It was heartbreaking to see my overachiever feeling so defeated and in over her head. As much as she wanted to succeed, it was taking its toll on her and the rest of her semester’s obligations. While the ultimate decision was, of course, hers to drop the class, I believe she wanted my support and blessing on her difficult decision. For me, her mental health was more important, and worth a […]

Is an A Really an A in your GPA?

Those Pluses and Minuses Do Count! In 2020, the University of Florida continues its rise, being named to the No. 6 spot in the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings of public colleges. UF first reached the top 10 in 2017. This level of excellence is achieved through a balance of many criteria including rigorous academic courses, above-average academic expectations, and highly competitive entrance exam scores. The University of Florida strives to uphold a strong academic standard and, because of that, the GPA scale can be a tough mountain to climb. Here is the official GPA break-down: Passing Grade Points A   4.0 A-  3.67 B+ 3.33 B    3.0 B-  2.67 C+ 2.33 C    2.0 C-   1.67 D+ 1.33 D    1.0 D-    .67 This GPA scaling system is undeniably tough. However, it serves to encourage students to continually work as hard as possible for the chance of earning a better grade. […]

Want Easy? Get on the Bus!

A Guide to Gainesville’s Bus System Getting to and from campus can be stressful-worrying about arriving to class on time with Gainesville morning and evening traffic is tough. For those students who live off-campus without a vehicle or do not want to purchase a decal, the bus system is the best option. Students with a valid Gator 1 ID card receive fare-free access to RTS service.  All students may ride any RTS bus anywhere in Gainesville including campus, fare-free, by simply presenting their valid Gator 1 ID card to the driver. The Gainesville Regional Transit System is the local area transit corporation that serves the Gainesville, Alachua County, Florida area, the University of Florida and Santa Fe College campuses. Each route’s bus schedule is between 7-10 minutes during peak hours, 10-15 minutes during non-peak hours, and 20-40 minutes during late hours. RTS serves persons with disabilities, and students that find themselves in […]

Sorting Out College Life – A Guide to Laundry

Laundry, the worst chore ever! I spent my daughter’s senior year of high school teaching her how to do laundry. I even tried using enticements (aka bribes, money) for each load she completed. It was more than a bit of a battle. What should have taken maybe an hour or so — to run two loads, dry then fold them — became an all-day project. She would leave wet clothes in the washer just to avoid folding the clothes in the dryer. (Pee-yew!) But by the time she was ready to head off to college, I felt she knew enough to be able to handle her own laundry. And I just had to hope that she would wash her sheets and towels weekly on top of doing her regular laundry. A mother’s hope springs eternal… Then, the stories started. She would tell me that students were willing to pay others to do […]

Restaurants for Dinner Time

Dinner, Early or Late! Considering you will make many trips to UF to visit your student over the next four years (or more), it is well worth exploring the many great dinner restaurant options. I have my favorites, but I always aim to try a new place for dinner each time I visit. Adam’s Rib Co – Two locations in Gainesville. Consistently considered a must-visit for dinner for all of its 10 years in Gainesville. Famous for their bbq ribs, smoked beef brisket, and smoked pork, along with sides including southern collard greens and black-eyed peas. A fine taste of the south, you will want to visit at least once when visiting Gainesville. They also serve breakfast and lunch. Amelia’s – Downtown. Serving homemade pasta and other home-style Italian classics with sauces made from scratch.  A wide array of antipasti dishes, Italian soups, pasta, chicken, veal, fish. Full bar. Ballyhoo Grill – […]


Hundreds of Dining Options Like any college town,  there are literally hundreds of dining options from fast food to fast-casual, from family-style to fine dining. You can get your burgers, order pizza, go Mexican or opt for Mediterranean, choose Chinese or select sushi, binge on Barbecue or stick to salads; there is most assuredly a restaurant for every palate and every price point. When coming to Gainesville to visit your student Gator or tour the campus with a prospective student, what restaurants are must-visits? Below we give you a breakdown of some of our favorites.  During peak weekends and at some of the more popular selections, expect waits of an hour or more. HaveUHeard that depending upon the occasion, you may not even get into a specific restaurant unless you get there very early? The Swamp is an example of a restaurant where it is very difficult to get a table during […]

Finding a Roommate at The Swamp!

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

Working While in College

Working or Not Working, That is the Question. Some students have to work to pay for college. Some consider their school work their only job and are fortunate enough not to have to find work outside their studies. Others choose to work while at school to supplement their spending. Whatever the reason, it is rarely a negative when a student gets a job. Whether it is to pay tuition or housing, or plan for their spring break trip, or backpack through Europe after graduation, or even to just augment their wardrobe, working while in school is neither novel nor unusual. HaveUHeard that UF will help students find jobs both on and off-campus? Students can visit the Career Connections Center and the Jobs at UFL website for information and assistance.  There are many job fairs, also both on and off-campus, for UF students. Click here to find out about what job fair may […]

Honor Roll

My Student Made Honor Roll It’s always something of a goosebumps moment when a gold-embossed, cream-colored, linen envelope arrives in the mail. At this time of year, that envelope often contains notification from a collegiate honor society. Yowza!!…it’s a happy parent day! Take it from me, there’s nothing wrong with setting that envelope on your table next to the vase of flowers or candles and just enjoying its ornate and rewarding looks for an hour or so. What can I say? We all do eye candy differently. Then it’s time to get real. And getting real means reading the fine print carefully. When your student gets an invitation to join one of these scholarly Honor Societies, you’ll need to educate yourself as to what they provide in exchange for the proffered membership. Start by reading their annual report to see how much of their revenue goes toward administrative fees (or a profit), […]

It’s All About the Delivery, get it now!

Delivery is the way To Go! Taking time away from studying to eat a meal sometimes feels impossible. Your student’s choice can often mean the difference between a legit dinner or a bag of chips and a soda. Sometimes it pays to turn to delivery services, especially when you consider the value of brain food. HaveUHeard is here to share some of the services we’ve found, what they deliver, and how they work. They’re knocking at your door: Amazon Prime – Seriously, what can’t you get from Amazon?  When you sign up for Amazon Prime as a student, the first 6 months are free. There is then a discounted membership fee for the next 4 years until graduation. Prime membership includes free 2-day delivery, among many other perks. Bite Squad – Offering delivery service from many Gainesville restaurants. Their site has a chat option if you would like to review your order or […]

Retail Therapy

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

What Not to Bring with You to College

You really don’t need that at college! If you haven’t started shopping for your incoming college freshman yet, whether for things for their dorm or clothes; well, then, we are here to tell you that you probably shouldn’t bother. You see, our daughters have cleaned out just about every store and depleted us of our savored stack of Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons. Ok, so we are kidding… sort of. Actually what we wanted to share here was that given that we have had not only our two kids but our nieces and nephews (we are a multigenerational gator family going back to my almost 90-year-old uncle), we have learned that there are a few things you really don’t need to purchase and bring. For instance, that printer you spent hours picking out. It turns out there are quite a few places around campus to print wirelessly and then you won’t have […]

Football Time – Where to Watch the Gators

College football … Gators, It’s Time We can’t wait for it! Time to start anticipating that our football team will end up nationally ranked and headed to a bowl game. Even after graduation, alumni go to football watch parties where they can hang with other alum. Hanging with other Gator fans is way more fun than solo chomping and it could lead to a job, a rekindled friendship or just a feeling of being back at school. We’ve got the places to head to for football game madness. Be sure to dress in your school colors, here are some tips. If you are headed to Gainesville and a seat in the stadium, here is the inside skinny on the new online ticket system. Florida UF Football Watch Locations Altamonte Springs Friendly Confines – 451 E. Altamonte Dr, Suite 2378, Altamonte Springs, FL Bradenton Motorworks Brewing (1014 9th Street W, Bradenton, FL) Clearwater […]

Student Accessibility Services

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

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

Get that last spot! You sent them to college with a car and they are grateful. However, although it will make a weekly Publix run easier, no one really thought about the fact that parking at UF can be pretty inconvenient and tends to be a problem every year. There are just not enough spots for as many students who drive to campus. Unless you need your car (coming from an apartment complex), we highly suggest using the free bus service. Run by RTS, you can download the app Rider. This app allows you to track RTS bus transit providing real-time transit tracking, arrival predictions, and proximity alerts and check bus times and routes Where do they expect students to park?  Well, student parking is based on whether a student lives on or off-campus and the number of credit hours earned. Students who have completed fewer than 50 credit hours and live […]

Technology Needs for UF Students

HaveUHeard that Microsoft Office 365 technology is free? No need to clean your glasses! It says exactly what you thought it did: Free technology for all enrolled UF Students! Students also receive 50GB of storage through GatorCloud Email. And there’s more. As a UF student, you receive technical assistance with connectivity and other authentication issues. You can also receive 60-80% savings in student licenses for special software. That even includes Adobe Create Cloud Suite. The computer of choice for many college students is currently trending toward Macbooks. But, before you head out to make your computer purchase, be sure your student has checked to see if their college has specific requirements that differ from the general technology recommendations. For some individual college and degree programs, their hardware and software requirements  may be better served with a Dell, Microsoft Surface Pro or HP. A Microsoft Surface can be purchased at a very reasonable […]

Who You Going to Call?

…When You Need Answers Here is the important contact info you need to have. Over the years there have only been a few times that I, as a parent, have felt the need to call the campus to resolve an issue. Generally, I try to have my kids handle it themselves. However, knowing where to call for any one of these many issues can be daunting and Byzantine. So we’ve tried to compile as much of a one-stop shopping resource as possible. For instance, when my student accrued a certain amount of parking tickets and was having a difficult time paying them online, she called the Transportation and Parking Office to figure it out. More information and other reasons you may have to make a call and contact this office are noted below. Another example: When a friend had reason to believe her son had been hazed by his fraternity during rush, […]

Preparing for Grad School Exams

More exams, the fun keeps going! It may seem like you just finished studying for the ACTs and SATs and left for college. Time sure does fly when homework deadlines loom weekly! But before you know it, graduation will be on your radar and many students will be preparing for graduate school exams. (Yes, more exams. GAAAAHHHH…) Before you get to the exams, the first step towards graduate school is getting familiar with the vast amount of degrees and programs out there. If you are considering graduate school at The University of Florida, check to see if there is an open house. Consider visiting other colleges as well. These visits will give you the opportunity to meet professors and ask questions about the various programs. Start talking to your advisor early to be sure you have all the correct prerequisites, exams, and shadowing or research hours you will need. Whether you are […]

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

Move-In Date! Apartments and Dorms Your student has been given their move-in date and dorm/residence assignment! Now begins the process of handling what can be a stressful, labor-intensive, and often expensive, process. (Yes, you may start by taking a deep, calming breath…) Traditionally, female students tend to take a full-on decorating approach complete with wall décor, signs, picture frames, string lights, desk accessories, and more. Sometimes much more. Male students typically do not go quite that all-in. Usually, they just want a comfortable bed, a poster or two, and maybe a rug. It really is quite humorous after each drop-off, whether summer or fall, to see my friends’ postings on Facebook and Instagram. (Yes, dating ourselves we know, but those are the social media that parents are most comfortable with.) Seeing the obvious difference between completed male and female dorm rooms is always good for a LOL. This whole process may be […]

Pets in School

Take Your Dog (Or Cat) to College? We have cats who my Gator daughter misses dearly. And dogs are called “man’s best friend” for a reason.  Let’s face it — the pets are everyone’s favorite family members. Which is why I cannot begin to tell you how many times my kids have called from college saying they want to buy or foster a dog or cat. “Oh mom, you should see how cuuuute they are…” As much as they mention this regularly, they have not followed through with committing to a college pet yet. It might be because I bombard them with questions about whether they can have it in their apartment, what it will cost to have a pet added to their lease, where it will go when they leave for college breaks, and who will pay for the care of this pet??? All good questions, but they are also great […]


More than Football…Entertainment That’s entertainment! Are you looking for more than the typical?  The Hippodrome, a downtown landmark, is a must-see during your time in Gainesville. Their diverse offerings include live theater, films, gallery exhibits, classes, and special events. Monday nights feature their special Jazz Nights and a host of UF’s most talented musicians, both faculty and student. The Hippodrome also screens first-run foreign, limited-release and avant-garde films. Still downtown, check out Depot Park for everything from live music to 5K runs to drum circles. Events at Bo Diddley Plaza include free evening yoga, vintage and farmers markets, and more live music. HaveUHeard about Celebration Pointe? Along with their cinemas, you’ll find live music, good food, and fun times. Be sure to check out their event calendar.  If a movie night is what you are looking for, you can also head to the Regal Cinemas (Regal Royal Park Stadium 16) on Archer […]

Taking the Campus Tour Helps You Decide

A Tour Can Help You Make Your College Decision ‘Tis the season for campus tours. Yes, we know. Many of you have already visited a LOT of schools. But now that the verdicts are in, decisions have to be made. That alone makes this tour different as you scout for and specifically identify the things that will help your students make their final decision about which school they want to attend. Both of my daughters’ love(d) being a Gator, but neither of them started with UF as their first choice. Like mine did, your student will have specific things that will help them not only define their pros and cons for each college but will allow them to see themselves there, on the UF campus, living the Gator life. Go with a list of questions! I don’t mean the kind of questions that you can just google up an answer. Make them […]


A Nice Place to Stay Although it won’t seem like it on a busy weekend, there are definitely plenty of hotel options for your visit to Gainesville. Remembering this is a college town, you should not be expecting to see high rise, five-star hotels. Many of the hotels will be found on Archer Road right off I-75, but there are a few further away from the crowded Archer Road corridor as well as some closer to campus. If you don’t already have a hotel allegiance, it’s a good idea to pick one hotel chain for your Gainesville travels. This will allow you to accumulate points to earn free night stays or other rewards offered by that particular program. Another important point to consider is that there are peak weekends in Gainesville where it is very difficult to get a room — all football weekends and graduation being prime examples. During these high […]

U Matter We Care at UF

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

ProctorU – Online Test Taking

Online Test Taking for Today’s Students Believe it or not, online test-taking can answer as many questions as it asks! At a university the size of UF, there are often large numbers of students taking the same exam at the same time. Because of this, I have taken many an exam in test-allocated classrooms all across the university. (I’ve had 3-plus years of experience with this!) As an example, there are at least 300 students in a typical Physics class at UF. It is not only impractical but pretty much impossible to attempt to test that many students in one room. Even if every single Gator lives and tests by the honor code so there is no cheating, just think of the chaos. Chaos is never a friend to the test-taking process – or the test-taker! So, several smaller classrooms are typically reserved for each test to spread out those 300 students […]

Car Giving Them Problems?

Car Problems? Fix-It here! Many students, my daughters included, bring cars to UF.  They like the freedom of being able to go to the store, drive home, run errands and not have to rely on public transportation. Honestly, between their parking tickets, dings, scratches and dents, I am not a big fan but I do understand their perspective. But… car problems. It is why, after seeing new dents every time my daughter came home from school, that I no longer repair the dents. Oil changes, tire balance, and rotation, fixing something important that isn’t working is another story. I have bought tires for my daughter’s car at Walmart Auto Center after researching the type of tires she needed but for scheduled maintenance, I do have her take her car to the dealership. They are probably a little pricier than taking it to a specific auto shop but they do send us coupons. […]

Namast’ay with Yoga at UF Get Your Ommmm on!

Keeping Stress at Bay with Yoga I started doing yoga several years ago after being invited by friends. I never thought of myself as much of a yoga person. I’m really more of a gym and outdoor sports person, but I was feeling a little anxious and thought I would give it a try. Fast forward two-and-a-half years later and I am hooked. My daughters also love it. They beat me to the yoga mat, as a matter of fact, having caught the “namaste bug” during their dance days. My younger daughter needed an elective one semester and even took it as a class. There’s a reason the practice of yoga is over 5000 years old. It has been proven to alleviate stress. Honestly, what college student doesn’t have to manage stress at some point? Research has shown that within seven weeks of regular practice, students enjoyed significantly reduced stress levels and, […]

Lost and Found

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

Homecoming at UF

Gator Growl? Being part of a huge Gator Family (16 of us went to UF including my 90-year-old uncle when it was an all-boys school); I have been to my share of Homecoming both as a student and a parent to a student. The years I chose to not attend were because my daughters had positions working on the Gator Growl staff (see our blog on getting involved so I wouldn’t have seen them). Many of the sororities and fraternities are paired together for a week of events so my daughters wanted to spend their time at these events. As an alumnus, even if I only saw them during the parade, a few meals, and before the game, I was good with that. I would recommend experiencing Homecoming at least once during your student’s time at UF. Homecoming Weekend for 2019 is October 4th – 6th. What exactly is Gator Growl and […]

Family Weekend

Gator Time = Family Time As a Gator Alum as well as a Gator Parent, any time an opportunity rolls around to enjoy some Gator football with my daughter, I am there. This year’s Family Weekend will be October 22nd – 25th, and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is the setting for a home game against Missouri.  You might not be able to get a ticket to the game (due to restrictions on how many fans are allowed into the stadium this season), but there are plenty of places all around Gainesville to watch the game surrounded by a Gator crowd. Be sure to register for Fall Family Weekend and bookmark the page. You can then stay updated on all the events, both those held in Gainesville and those being held virtually. Follow the Gator Parent & Family Association on Facebook for more up-to-date information and scheduling. For those of you with students […]

U.F. Move.In.Day.

U.F.M.I.D. (Move-In Day) UF’s move-in day is…well…a LOT of work. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and be prepared for many trips to the car as well as one or two to a Gainesville store for the inevitable forgotten or overlooked item. (Last year, ours was not enough Command hooks. In my world, one can never have enough Command hooks.)  The heat does not help, the heat does not help, the heat does NOT help, but a hand truck and Ikea bags do. And I’m just not going to address the emotional goodbyes at the end of the day. I will merely point out that my friend said she lived behind her oversized sunglasses for a couple of hours, while I stone-faced the adieus and saved an ugly cry for the first 5 minutes of my solo ride home. We live and love, right? Move-in-Day, By Appointment: August 18-20th for Group, Freshman, and Transfers […]

The First Few Weeks at School

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 […]

Wakey Wakey- Eggs and Bakey, Breakfast Bests!

Best Breakfast Restaurants Like any city, there are literally hundreds of dining options here in Gainesville, from fast food to fast-casual, from family-style to fine dining. When hungry for breakfast, you will find bagels, omelets, pancakes and more at restaurants appealing to every palate and price point. Depending on whether you are touring with a prospective student or visiting your student in Gainesville (who will undoubtedly be clamoring for a good meal), the options are plentiful. These are our favorites: ReFresh –  Located on W. University Avenue. Serving healthy food like açaí, lettuce wraps, wraps, bagels, cold-pressed juices, and more. Vegetarian/Vegan health food restaurant. 43rd Street Deli and Breakfast House – 2 locations, Williston and NW 25th place. Open for 35 years, this is one of your more traditional deli restaurants. Afternoon – Located on NW 10th Avenue in the Grove Street neighborhood. This new breakfast/brunch place is not too pricey but […]

Having a Car at College

Can You Get By Without a Car? As a fourth-year student at the University of Florida, I have experienced college with and without a vehicle. While having a car during any stage of your student’s college career is helpful and convenient, it is not necessary. Traditionally, freshmen will live in a campus dorm their first year and the need for a car is very minimal. Parking is limited and oftentimes, they will have to park further away from their dorm. As for needing a car to shop for food and toiletries, Publix is the most popular grocery store for students living on campus. There is a location right across from campus (13th and University) as well as a Target and CVS. Products such as toiletries, basic clothing items, food, and school supplies are within half a mile from the center of campus. Getting around Gainesville via buses is very easy with the […]

The Innovation Academy Explained

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

Just Desserts! Get Yours, In a Good Way…

Just Desserts! In a good way… “Getting your just desserts.” Well, we think it’s a better saying than what may have been originally been intended, because I’m here to tell you that desserts are our favorite meal! You may have thought, at times, that the best part of the dinner was the dessert. When you see our favorites, you’ll know it’s the best part of any meal. 4 Rivers Smokehouse – Located on SW 35th Blvd. How did a smokehouse land in desserts? They have a Sweet Shop with cupcakes, cookies, specialty cakes and chocolates that you can eat on site or take with you. Can you say cake balls and Bananas Fosters?…Yummmm. Cold Stone Creamery – Hand-crafted ice cream, churned on frozen granite stone and mixed with your choice of candy, cakes, fruits or nuts. Should you be thinking birthday treats (see our Happy Birthday Care Packages), you can even order […]

Study? The Best Places to Study at UF

Best Places to Study at UF My daughter, like every other college student, has her own way of studying. She does not like to study in a group but prefers a quiet spot to read and re-read and re-re-read the material. If she comes across a concept or word she does not understand, she stops and looks it up before moving forward. Many times, she’ll don her Beats headphones to block out any background noise. Her preference is sitting either at her desk or in her bed but, while on campus at UF, she can often be found in the library. At some point, every student needs a few alternate destinations for a good but different place to study. You know that old “change of scenery” mnemonic! Fortunately, there are quite a few places to study on and off the UF campus. The most obvious place, as noted above, would be one […]

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. And — in between — I like to redecorate my room and rental living space with my roommates. Spending money at the mall, popular home décor stores, Target, or discount stores, such as Homegoods, can add up quickly. Fortunately, I have discovered thrift stores, and Gainesville has many great options for thrifty shopping for almost any type of item. From gently used kitchen appliances to 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 Gainesville are not-for-profit. For example, Outreach Thrift Store offers high-quality clothing and household […]

Nature vs Nurture Get out in nature at UF

Nature vs  Nurture Do you love nature as I do? During my older daughter’s high school graduation party, when she was excitedly celebrating her admission to the University of Florida, a relative who attended UF gave her a list of 100 things to do before leaving Gainesville. Of course, some of the items were meant for her eyes only. But what I knew of the list included watersports and sports, sporting events, bars, and restaurants, along with those student-only activities (did I already mention bars?). It was truly an all-encompassing list spanning four years full of adventure at UF. While the list itself seems to have unfortunately disappeared, I still recall many of the places they said she should visit at least once. Many of them I remember because I had been to those places first as a student at UF before I went as the parent of a Gator. When you […]


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

Graduation Photography for your Gator

Memorialize Graduation Day with Photography Photography is a daily warm hug that reminds us of the big events in our lives. That’s how I know you are going to want some great photos of this milestone occasion. So will your graduating Gator. You’ll want a balance of family photos, grad (and friends) photos, and photos that include UF’s beautiful campus…their home for the last four years. They’ll want pictures of the place and time that will remain with them wherever they go from here. Where to Start? Start by deciding if you (or they) want to book a photographer to take pictures ahead of time. Personally, I would rather invest in these photos more than just about any other graduation cost. You’ll find that many students (particularly photography enthusiasts or photojournalism majors) gladly offer their photography services at reasonable prices. Your student may know some of them from their circle of friends. […]

College Majors to Pursue at UF

Perhaps It’s Time to Consider Majors that are Sustainable in Tough Times Students usually choose a major over a period of time. I have always been a fan of taking a variety of classes until you find the ones that you enjoy most and choosing a major around that. Every school, including UF, has its more popular majors as well. However; in these unprecedented times students might want to take recent events into consideration when choosing or changing their major. As with any major event, such as a recession, war, or, in this case, a pandemic, there is a shift in what type of degree a student may want to consider pursuing. Certainly, the job market will look different in the future. Contemplating what jobs were sustainable throughout the pandemic may also help in the decision-making process. For instance, public health which can include hospital management, infectious disease, and clinical research, among […]

Computer and Phone Repair

Computer and Phone Repair My daughters have dropped their phones more times than I care to admit (or they care to share)…so much so that even the insurance for accidental damage is used up.  And, heaven help us when the phone stops working completely. The day my daughter’s phone broke, she thought the world would come to an end. But that was nothing compared to the day her computer stopped working! I have to admit that now that I’ve emerged from the Mesozoic Era and no longer have a landline, I couldn’t live too long without a cell phone either. But when a computer malfunctions and all the work you did or had stored cannot be accessed or, even worse,- may have been lost, it feels like the world is coming to an end. Oh, have I been there! But the good news is that all is NOT lost. There are plenty […]

Finding an Internship at college

Best way to prepare for a job! What better way to learn about a prospective field or career than through an internship? I am a big believer in internships, having done my first internship (yes, all those years ago) working as an intern for the Governor’s Office. And I did survive being a Gator in Tally! It was an amazing experience and I truly believe it helped me to get my first job out of college. Yes, internships allow students to learn from the business side of the aisle. But they also help them figure out, while still in school, whether the career they envisioned for themselves all along may — or may not — be just what they want. The question, then, is how to find an internship. HaveUHeard which companies were selected as the 100 best internship programs in the U.S.? WayUp presents their Top 100. Vault also has their […]

How Will Students Stay Safe, Sane and Happy this Fall

Where is a Safe Spot at College? Safe, sane, and happy…is that possible? Colleges are doing their best to come up with new norms and protocols to keep our students safe and healthy on re-opened campuses. Then, we’re left to hope that our students will continue to apply those guidelines to life after they leave their classrooms. Let’s face it — it’s not easy to enforce social distancing in a population that has both the tradition and tendency to gather. Isn’t socializing one of the best parts of college? Realizing we can’t replace a good frat party or tailgate, HaveUHeard that we have some alternatives to offer for fun near campus? Since outdoor fun appears to be the safest alternative these days, we’ll concentrate on open-air ideas in this blog. And, given these ongoing and unprecedented circumstances, we recommend double-checking with your destination about days and hours of operation, the need for […]

Safest Places to Visit Your Student This Semester

We Still Love to Visit Our Gators Let’s face it, these are odd and crazy times! Things look very different at UF this semester but one thing is still for sure; we all still love to visit our Gators and they love visits from us. There are plenty of different food options that offer outside and patio seating, are operating at 50% capacity indoors, and others provide pick up or delivery to adhere to and cater to potential COVID-19 related concerns. Check out some of these places to eat. Dining Amelia’s Chuy’s Dragonfly Sushi Harry’s La Tienda Latina Mi Apa Latin Cafe Napolatanos Satchel’s Pizza Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille The Flying Biscuit Cafe The Social at Midtown The Top Outdoor Activities There are also many outdoor activities to participate in to make memories in a safe and socially distanced manner. Watch the Gator game at a local bar (The Social at Midtown, Salty Dog, […]

Orange Crush or True-Blue …Gator!

Putting Together Great Gator Outfits I love going to Gator football games- there is nothing like game day. HaveUHeard how UF got its colors? In 1910, Orange and Blue were chosen as the official colors from the two schools that united to form a new school. The University of Florida at Lake City had school colors of blue and white and East Florida Seminary in Gainesville had orange and black. I’m all about the Orange & Blue on game days but I am also about fashion. I want to be comfortable, especially on those Florida humid days when you are packed in a stadium, it’s more than 90° out, and the humidity is stifling. There is a very good reason they call it the Swamp. For each game, UF will determine what color you should wear… sometimes it’s orange, sometimes it’s Gator blue (royal blue to most of us) and sometimes they […]

Weekend with Dad

The Best Things to Do With Your Dad at UF As a new college student at the University of Florida, leaving home was exciting. Free-dommmm!! As the months passed, however, the desire to spend time with my family increased exponentially. A weekend visit with dad, whether a Greek event or not, became something I circled on my calendar in my brightest highlighter. Even now that I am a senior, seeing my dad during the semester is just as wonderful as it was when I was a freshman. Family weekends at the University of Florida are great fun, and Father-Daughter weekends are a special favorite. Because I am not in a sorority, we’re not on a tight schedule when my dad comes to visit. If we’re planning to take in a game or sporting event that starts later in the day, we can start our day by enjoying a walk to Lake Alice […]

The Big Game -Where to Pregame at UF

All Part of the Football Game Day Tradition Football season is upon us! Other than making sure you will be properly attired in orange and blue and have your Gator chomp down, you will need to know where to go to pre-game. Pre-gaming, according to Urban Dictionary, generally means drinking before going to an event where the drinks that you will purchase are more expensive. I believe the term “crazy fun” was included in the definition as well. Pre-gaming at UF mostly occurs by Midtown, which is across the street from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. You will find yourself awash in a sea of orange and blue crowding all the restaurants and bars (most of whom take no reservations on Game Day). So you’ll want to be there early if you’re headed to JJ’s Tavern, Tatu, and Salty’s as well as The Social, Fat Daddy’s, Rowdy’s, and, well, just about any bar […]

Mother-Daughter Time

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

Safety Matters

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

UF Gator Bucket List, Be Sure You Do These!

Check out these Gator Bucket items to do! If you have committed to becoming a Gator, there are a few things that you might want to check out over your next four years at UF. Consider them part of your induction to Gator-dom. Some are unexpected fun, while others are sort of obvious. Either way, your time at UF shouldn’t only be about studying. Life is all about a healthy balance and you’ll be so happy you went looking for all there is to UF and Gainesville beyond the classroom. Check out our “bucket list.” Participate in the Dance Marathon – Dance the night away and be a fundraiser at the same time. Head to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park for a day – Florida’s first state preserve and a National Natural Landmark. Eight trails offer visitors the opportunity to hike, horseback ride, and bicycle. More than 20 distinct biological communities provide […]

Sorority Recruitment: What to Expect & What to Wear

Here Are Tips & Tricks On What to Wear It’s very exciting, what to wear for recruitment is at the top of your list. Welcome to the University of Florida recruitment! This is going to be an exciting time in your life when you get to find the chapter you will be spending your undergraduate years at. When preparing for recruitment, you’ll want to get to school prior to the Fall semester as recruitment begins before the start of classes. You are in UF Sorority Recruitment! Our interns share their overview of each round and what to wear. Check out our suggestions! Orientation Orientation usually happens the day before recruitment starts. All of the girls rushing head over to a location and get their group for recruitment. You get to meet your Pi Chi’s and get a quick overview of what the recruitment experience will be like. This is your chance to […]

Santa Fe First

Santa Fe Then Transfer to UF Some students may not be ready for a big university, but want the excitement that goes along with it. For this reason, many students choose to start their college career or even just take some of their classes at the local, Santa Fe College, which is located about 6 miles from UF. The classes are definitely smaller than those at UF and tuition is less. Taking some classes at Santa Fe State College may be part of transitioning over to UF, but if your student’s heart is set on being a Gator, it may be worth the effort. While going to Santa Fe does not guarantee you admission to UF, UF does admit more students from SF than any other state college. The majority are admitted including 88% of students in the Santa Fe honors program. They offer several other programs and perks that can help […]

UF COVID Updates

Stay Up to Date on COVID Plans I don’t think I have ever used the word “unprecedented” as much as I have since this COVID pandemic began. Actually, I don’t believe I used the word “pandemic” much either. But this is our reality as Fall semester 2020 begins at UF and, however you have safely arrived here (to your remote desk or campus abode), that’s exactly how we all want you to stay. Safe. HaveUHeard has the update on the latest plans and procedures at UF to do just that. But frankly, updates change like the hourly hurricane forecast here in Florida, so we’ll start by highlighting some important aspects. The cornerstone of the UF plan for Fall 2020 is the UF Health Screen, Test & Protect program. As notified by email from UF, all students are required to complete a mandatory COVID-19 screening questionnaire. They will also be given access to […]

Top Majors to Consider at UF

So Many Majors… So much to consider, so little to lose when choosing among majors as a new Gator! The University of Florida is not just the home of the Gators or the famous Swamp. Our flagship Florida university is now ranked No. 6 among public universities by 2021 U.S. News & World Report. UF first reached the top 10 in 2017, and is on the cusp of reaching its Top 5 goal.  What’s more, UF’s Online Undergraduate programs, which have become extremely popular in recent years, are ranked #4 in the country. UF has acquired a reputation as one of the nation’s Public Ivy institutions. An amalgamation of sixteen different colleges, the University of Florida has more than 150 research, service, and education centers, bureaus, and institutes. They offer more than 100 undergraduate majors and 200 graduate degrees. The most popular majors at the University of Florida include: Biological and Biomedical […]

How to Transition as a Transfer Student

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

Places of Worship for Students

Continuing Traditions of Worship Worship can be a fulfilling addition to your college life. For all students, being able to continue to worship, pray, and adhere to their religious beliefs is extremely important for several reasons. The most important thing is for them to be able to follow their faith. But having a place to worship on or near campus allows them to meet other students and have a Rabbi, Minister, Bishop or Priest to turn to should they need spiritual guidance. UF is a very diverse campus. At or around UF, there are places to worship, regardless of your students’ faith. A month after my daughter started college, the first of the most important Jewish holidays were coming up (think the equivalent of Good Friday and Easter Sunday).  We had always gone to services together and had huge family dinners with the entire extended family. Since the holiday fell on a […]

Campus Resources for Students of Color

Campus Guide to Resources for Multicultural Students Campus diversity among students has grown considerably over the years and most colleges and universities actively acknowledge the need to embrace and honor the many, various minority groups. These colleges have been seeking to create campuses that further an inclusive atmosphere, and UF is no exception. For example, the University of Florida hired its first-ever Chief Diversity Officer in July of 2018, with a plan of building relationships across campus and serving as a resource for everyone. The plan for the whole Gator community — to gain exposure, expand perceptions and global awareness, and encourage a willingness to collaborate peacefully and freely — starts at the top and continues through many official and student organizations. While there are quite a few national associations, universities often have localized branches that provide the student with a more personalized experience. Each group’s stated mission may differ somewhat, but […]

Care Packages for UF Students

Who doesn’t enjoy getting a care package delivered? We know you really care, you care a lot about your student and want them to be happy. Whether it is for a birthday, a little something to ease the stress of midterms or finals, a pick me up when they are feeling sick, holiday treats, or congratulations on a job well done; there are many care package options that will surely bring a smile to your student’s face. Sometimes it is nice to go with the local shops; most all deliver. Then again, there are some excellent national choices too. We have given you plenty to choose from– all of which our kids, interns, or we like. All you have to do now is decide what care package to send. There is variety there too. For instance; if you are looking for sweets (and who isn’t?) for a birthday, pick me up, Halloween, […]

Where the Wind Blows, Stormy Weather!

Florida Weather = Storm Having grown up in South Florida, I have made it through more than 45 Hurricane seasons. Yikes! But with that much hurricane preparedness under my belt, I can say with great certainty that preparation, not panic, is crucial. I will admit that some of my personal preparations included being the host of many a Hurricane Party. Family and friends who lived in evacuation zones brought food and supplies along with their evacuating selves. Hurricane parties have not been all that uncommon throughout the years, especially in South Florida. They served as a distraction for our children and, truth be told, for the adults too. The celebration of being prepared together certainly eased the concerns over why we were making those preparations. But 2020 has changed all that although, in some ways, our “hunkering down” has pre-prepped us for the storm season. (Got toilet paper?) Still, hurricanes — and […]

Rushing Her Way

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

After The Hurricane

Post-Hurricane Dorian Hurricane Dorian was the first named storm to impact the state of Florida so far this Hurricane season. While Gainesville and most inland Florida communities were largely spared, our coastline did have some damage and everyone’s school schedule was interrupted. More than that, our entire state was affected by the long and anxious wait (in a declared State of Emergency) for an unpredictable storm over a holiday weekend. “What Labor Day Holiday?” we all asked. As a Florida resident for over 45 years, the strength of Hurricanes today still makes me anxious, worried and concerned, especially when meteorologists adopt words such as catastrophic. You can see it in their facial expressions and hear it in their voices as they give the latest track updates. I, like every parent, worry about my UF student. Is her apartment safe? Will she be able to handle this with her friends instead of her […]

Sorority Girl

So They’ve Joined a Sorority Congratulations! Your daughter has found a place to call home in Gainesville besides the University itself. Being in a sorority opens the door to so many wonderful experiences. I made some of my greatest friends when I was in a sorority at UF. They continue to be a part of my life through all of my ups and downs, good times and bad. To this day, some of them are among my closest friends. With Facebook, I have been able to reconnect with so many more. We have a tradition of meeting up in Gainesville for football games and sorority reunions, and even gather locally to keep the fun and friendship alive. Shared Lives, Different Styles Each sorority is a little different. Some of the differences include whether they live together in the house, how they share their meals, or if have specific academic, philanthropic, and social […]

Rushing His Way

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

21 and Oh So Fun, Here is where to celebrate!

An official adult now! Have fun! As do many students, my daughter turned 21 in the fall of her junior year at UF. There’s a fun UF tradition where many girls, as they celebrate their 21st birthday, celebrate with what is called a Sign Night. It’s a night when their friends make a pasteboard sign – often large and glittery – that sums up their personality and jump-starts the birthday party. So, here are the favorite places that those 21 and over recommend when going out to have Happy-21st-style fun. But before we send them off to their Turn-21-on-the-Town, be sure to join in their birthday fun by sending them a few celebratory goodies, like some flowers from Bouqs, treats from Milk Bar or Dirty Cookie, or even a Fandango gift card. For more birthday ideas, be sure to visit our suggestions at our Happy Birthday Care Packages blog. 21, Here They […]

Transferring to UF

Better late than never…Transferring to the Orange and Blue Many students leave for college unsure of what they’ll find. Some ultimately realize when they get there that where they are is not the right place for them. Or perhaps they never actually went away to school, but opted to live at home for their intro to college and now they’re ready to move up and out. If transferring to UF is something your student is considering, they can start by checking out the requirements here. HaveUHeard? The first condition of a transfer is the completion of an Associate of Arts degree from a Florida public institution or a minimum of 60 transferable semester credit hours from a regionally accredited institution. There is an exception for AA applicants from Florida community/state colleges based on an articulation agreement. Undergrad, Grad or Other? If you have a student applying with less than 60 credit hours […]

Cultural Resources for Hispanic-Latino Students

Support, Empowerment, and Connection for Hispanic-Latino Students Taking giant steps of progress, campus diversity has burgeoned nationally over recent years with an expanded population of Hispanic-Latino students. Colleges and universities are working overtime to create and maintain an atmosphere of acknowledgment and inclusion. The aim is to allow all students to gain exposure, broadened perceptions, and global awareness while cultivating an openness towards friendly collaboration. Whether your student is seeking a forum for communication, looking to build a strong social network, or simply pursuing the companionship of other Hispanic or Latinx students, UF has a place where they can plug in and be connected. The first stop for your student might be the Hispanic-Latino Engagement Center, located within the Multicultural and Diversity Affairs office on the second level of the Reitz Union. The center, fondly known as La Salita, provides students with an array of programs, resources, and services right in the heart […]

Diversity and Inclusion for LGBTQ College Students

LGBTQ Campus Support and Resources College can be challenging for all students, therefore finding ways to make connections with others who identify similarly can make a big difference. The American College Health Association estimate that at least 10% of college students identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, asexual, pansexual, or questioning. Although LGBTQ PRIDE is becoming more prevalent, the LGBTQ community often face additional pressures or concerns. UF and its surrounding community offer resources and information to both help LGBTQ students navigate the college environment and make connections in a group setting. They are proud of their educational programming that incorporates the principles of social justice to reduce heterosexism, genderism, homophobia, and transphobia. UF offers various discussion groups: New to UF –closed to LGBTQ students who are new to UF or new to their identity – or both. Trans at UF – for students who identify as transgender, gender variant and/or genderqueer, […]

So your student wants to be a Gator?

So your student wants to be a Gator? That’s understandable – Time Magazine ranked UF as the best school in Florida. UF is a great university, right down to the beautiful brick buildings and deep-seated traditions. And it’s brimming with opportunity. The question is — how does your son or daughter become a Gator? Even as far back as 2008, I heard this same question asked with great concern at a Gator Alumni event titled, “How to get your child into UF.” The eye-opening answer was that most of us alumni in that room would not meet current UF admission standards. (Ouch!) At that time, they were moving from being a selective admittance school to very selective. Today, UF is extremely selective, assessing not only at grades and test scores but student involvement, leadership roles, and a personal essay that not only stands out but shows why the student stands out as […]

Trouble in Paradise

Your student got in trouble… Is your student having trouble? In trouble? Are they having problems with a roommate, an apartment lease, underage drinking, parking tickets, or academic troubles including plagiarism and more? 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. Now what? The first thing you should do is breathe and remain calm because, chances are, your student is freaking out. Remember, they are still navigating their way into adulthood and you’re the one with the map. HaveUHeard that your student can get legal advice from licensed attorneys at Student Legal Services? At the University of Florida, there is an on-campus […]

Radio and TV Stations Are you watching?

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

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 ease the feeling to know that they are celebrating the high holidays with a new community of their peers. There are welcoming options for Jewish students at UF. You may want to let your student know where they are and what they offer, then hope that they will choose to participate. Time Off Not all colleges give days off for every holiday and UF isn’t any different. Students can certainly inform their professors, in advance, of their absence for the holiday, but chances are class will go on and they will be responsible for any work. Even if they do […]

Trick or Treat The College Version

Halloween – the most fun time! Trick or Treat Then… As a kid, I would race home from school so my mom could throw together some sort of costume for me, then I’d rush to meet my friends to go freely and fearlessly trick-or-treating. Somehow, by the time I had my own kids, Halloween included so much more! We were carving pumpkins, putting up decorations, and designing or buying more elaborate costumes. The ultimate goal was a whole night spent trick-or-treating throughout the entire neighborhood, with the ever-present parent escort, of course. …And Now. Halloween traditions in college are a far cry from the pumpkin-carving, candy-apple-making gatherings we hosted in our driveway before the kids started a night of trick-or-treating. Many places, including frats, have a tradition of  hosting parties – all week. I’m not going to lie – Halloween at college definitely brings out the BOO in Booze. Keep in mind […]

Best Coffee Houses at UF

Coffee, Cup of Joe, a Cuppa, Java Caffeine is king for most college students and, while generally the most economically savvy way of getting it is making it at home, most students choose to obtain their “bean juice” via more expensive and more social ways. I, for one, am a huge coffee lover and typically have a cup in the morning from my trusty Keurig, as well as a coffee shop cup later in the afternoon. Since coffee shops are peaceful and quiet, they are my top choice of study spots in Gainesville. They are also common places for dates, meetups, and hangouts due to the ease of conversation that seems to flow while drinking a dark roast or a cappuccino. It seems there’s are many to choose from which is great because you’re bound to find at least one that matches your vibe and your scene. Check the website to see […]

Dance Marathon

You Can Dance If You Want To Perhaps you have seen the Facebook or Instagram posts from your student or friends’ kids that say #FTK or #ForTheKids. Maybe you’ve noticed fundraising pages for an event called Dance Marathon.  You might even have seen the word marathon and quickly averted your eyes to anything that might resemble having to run more miles than you walk in a week. Fear not! They are all referring to the same amazing event, and this is one marathon you’ll definitely want to join. Whether you have a student at UF or just have an affinity for the Orange and Blue, you will definitely want to share in this event, donate to this event, and encourage any UF student you know to get involved in this event. This is college philanthropy at its best. Created to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in 1991, the Marathons […]