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University of South Florida Info

University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620, USA 813-974-2011   Congratulations! If you are on this page, you probably have a USF 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.

Bulls Care – Make it Easier on Yourself

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

Making the Most of Summer B

It Can Be the Best Season Ever! Summer is by far the best part of the year, especially as a new Bull. Freshman year Summer B is filled with so many firsts. First college lecture, first college party, the first college friend and so on. Even though going off to college for the first time is certainly a bit daunting, USF does an amazing job of keeping summers fun despite the fact that you may be in class. If you plan on spending your time at USF in Summer B classes, this part of the year can be made even better. Some people may be turned off of the idea of taking classes in the summer, however, taking summer classes is one of the best things you can do for your college career. USF does require students to have taken a minimum of 9 credit hours in order to graduate, but summer […]

Need Advice? Follow These Tips

A Guide to Getting Advice Staying in close contact with your academic advisor is the key to graduating in 4 years or less. Unfortunately, sometimes it may be hard to actually make an appointment to see them. Luckily, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure you get face-time with an advisor on a semesterly basis. The first being is to make an appointment via the USF scheduling portal. This portal can be found by visiting your college’s page on the USF website. When scheduling an appointment, it is important to schedule an appointment at least 2 weeks before you would like to have it. Also, it’s important to be aware of peak times. Peak office times are usually closer to the end of the semester when registration opens since students are trying to schedule their classes for the next semester. You should be aware of your college’s “walk-in […]

Tax Time

Tax Time April 15th is right around the corner. As you are preparing your return or having a CPA prepare your return, do not forget to take advantage of the Education Tax Credits available which can help offset the cost of your student’s education. Two Credits Available There are two tax credits available to take, The American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit. The AOTC (American Opportunity Tax Credit) was made permanent by the Protecting Americans from 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 related expenses do not include student activity fees, athletic fees, insurance, room and […]

Taking The Campus Tour USF

A Tour Can Help You Make Your College Decision It’s the season for campus tours. Many of you have already visited a multitude of schools, but now that the verdicts are in, decisions have to be made. Therefore, this tour should look different as it should point out the pertinent things that will help your students make their final decision as to which school to attend. Of course, my daughter loves being a Bull, but your student may have specific things that will help them way out the pros and cons of each college. Campus tours at the University of South Florida are run by both student guides and admissions professionals. Typically, the tour will start with a brief information session with the admissions professionals and then the student guides will show you around campus. The campus visit lasts about 2.5 hours, so wear comfortable shoes! With this in mind, go with […]

Grad School Housing is More Grown Up!

Because Grad School Housing Needs are Different For students heading to Grad School, finding an apartment if they go to a different university entails completely different criteria. Many students switch schools for their graduate studies, which means new housing options. Grad School housing comes with its own unique challenges. With expensive tuition and long study sessions, the last thing they must worry about is finding an apartment near USF. If you will be attending USF for graduate school, you probably want to know your options regarding living arrangements. Graduate school consumes a lot of time and money, so you want to ensure you live in the right place. If you’re looking for a place that’s right on campus, USF Housing offers options specifically for grad students. There are traditional, suite-style, and apartment-style options. Apartment-style housing can be found in Cypress, Holly, Kosove, and Magnolia dorms. These offer the most independent style of […]

Weekend with Dad

The Best Things to Do With Dad at USF on the Weekend As a girl, I know how hard it can be to find something to do that will entertain both you and your dad when he comes to visit at school. Besides going to a university-sponsored sporting event, Tampa has countless attractions, see a complete list of weekend activities Tampa has to offer. The most popular place to go with your parents when they come to town is Busch Gardens. Busch Gardens is an African themed amusement park located about 2 miles away from campus. They not only have the best roller coasters in Florida, but they also have a large variety of animals native to Africa, safari expeditions, and seasonal festivals. They also offer ticket discounts for Florida residents. Dinosaur World is another popular amusement park close to campus. Although Dinosaur World doesn’t have many rides, there are a number of […]

Proctorio – Online Test Taking

Online Test Taking for Today’s Students Technology has changed the way students take tests. My daughter was able to extend one of her holiday breaks by scheduling her exam at home. This latest test-taking at USF is known as Proctorio. Students don’t have to reserve a space or anything like that since Proctorio is built into the class platform on Canvas. The use of proctoring is determined by the professor of the class, as not all online classes use it. The student must have a working camera and microphone either built-in or hooked up to their computer in order to use Proctorio, all of the directions are pretty straight forward after that. Students will know if their class is using online proctoring by reading through their syllabus. They will also be provided with instructions and a confirmation that the online exam will be proctored prior to the exam. The possibility of technical […]

Wake Up Bulls, It’s Game Day!

Get ready for the big game with these attire tips! The best feeling for any college student, particularly if you’re a Bull, 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 is 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 place in first! It is important that whenever you are shopping for game day attire, you strictly look for your school colors. You don’t want to stick out like a sore thumb wearing the one color that doesn’t match with everyone else. As Game Day gets closer, USF will announce what colors students are expected […]

Football Time: Where to Watch the Bulls

Watch College Football … Bulls, It’s Time We can’t wait for it! 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 Bulls fans is way more fun 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. USF Football Watch Locations Florida Broward county Buffalo Wild Wings – 8000 W Broward Blvd #1602, Plantation, FL 33388 usfbrowardalumni@gmail.com Hillsborough County Irish 31 – 214 Westshore Plaza, Tampa, FL 33609 slusserkristen@gmail.com Jacksonville Sneakers Sports Grille – 111 Beach Blvd. Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250 Culhanes Irish Pub Southside for Navy & UCF game, 9720 Deer Lake Ct. Jacksonville, FL […]

It’s Major at USF!

USF’s Majors Make USF a Major University If you weren’t already aware, USF is designated as a Preeminent State Research University. This means that USF meets a higher standard of benchmarks in areas like graduation rates, student retention rates, research expenditures, and the number of patents awarded, to name a few. USF’s Preeminence, national rankings in many competitive areas, and the types of majors offered, make USF a top college choice for many applicants. Thus, the competition for acceptance to USF grows with each year. Before I get into our Majors topic, let’s look at some of the points that make USF the great university that it is: #1 in Florida for Nursing for National Institutes of Health Research Funding #1 in Florida and 7th in the nation for U.S. patents granted to Public universities #1 in the nation for top producer of Fulbright scholars, with 12 faculty scholars #4 in student […]

Football Seats at Raymond James Stadium

A Guide to Ray Jay Stadium Everyone should attend at least one USF Football game! There are only 5 colleges in the US that play their home games in an NFL stadium, and USF is one of them. HaveUHeard what that means? It means comfort and all the bells and whistles that NFL stadiums offer. Everyone gets their own seat without having to squeeze into an imaginary space. That alone is awesome since no one wants to be a leg on a leg with someone when it’s 90 degrees and 80% humidity. Cup holders are on almost every seat, and yes, they serve alcohol. One of the keys to making your visit to Ray Jay even better is to know 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. Raymond […]

Finding an Internship

Finding an Internship One of the best ways to learn about a prospective career is to do an internship. Most colleges will require at least one, paid, or unpaid. Regardless, it looks great on a resume. I had multiple internships being an education major, and they were essential to my maturing skills as a teacher. My internships also led the way to my first job teaching. Internships allow a student to decide if that is the actual career for them, as well as to make connections that are beyond valuable. So, how do you get an internship? I’m not going to lie. If you know someone, now might be the time to put a word out, that your student is looking for. We tell our girls over and over: “It’s who you know.” My daughter is currently waiting on a confirmation for a position with a major sports team because a friend […]

The ABC’s of 529 Savings Plans USF

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

Bucket List

Check out these Bull things to do! If you have committed to becoming a Bull, there are a few things that you might want to check out over your next for years at USF. Consider them part of your induction to Bull-dom. Some are just plain fun and others sort of obvious. Either way, your time at USF shouldn’t only be about studying. There is so much more to USF and Tampa. Though my time in college is coming to an end next spring, there is still time for me to cross some things off my bucket list. Tampa has so many fun things to do, it’s hard to get everything done in four years. Here are a few things that are still on my bucket list to do before I graduate: My Bucket List Ginnie Springs: Located on the Santa Fe River in High Springs, FL, Ginnie Springs is one of […]

Career Showcase – A Student Perspective

How To Align Your Studies With Your Future Career Plans. When I attended USF, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to study.  I was so excited to start learning about something that I really didn’t know anything about.  As the classes started, I realized that maybe I wasn’t so sure. After my first year, I wondered if I should be looking into other options.  It’s a scary thought, but in reality, about 80% of college students change their major while in college. And that’s ok! Most kids graduating high school aren’t sure about “what they want to be when they grow up”. USF provides so many wonderful colleges and majors.  With 14 colleges offering over 180 majors, sometimes it’s hard to commit.  USF’s Career Services is a wonderful place to get advice and help in planning a future career path.  They have tools to help narrow down searches and offer […]

Planning to Sublease an Apartment at USF

The Supply is Greater Than the Demand. Here’s How to Sublease Have U Heard that when a student moves into an off-campus apartment, they generally sign a lease for twelve months? So looking to sublease can be a challenge. (It is a 10-month lease that prorates apartments, so it gets paid over 12 months). Most leases run mid to late August through – July 31/Aug 1. 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 it happen. To find a sublessor for the summer, it is best to start looking at the semester before (in the fall). It may seem a bit early, but there are usually more available apartments looking for sublessors than there are people […]

Spring Break

Spring Break The words ‘Spring Break’ brings up visions of beaches, partying, and sunburn to many of us. Why? Because we were once teenagers and we looked forward to letting loose with our friends as much as our kids do today. I grew up in Miami, FL, so most of my Spring Breaks growing up were spent at many of the Miami area beaches or in the Keys. With my own kids, we spent those breaks together on a trip or on a “staycation” at home. Your Bull’s first college Spring Break may be a little different.  This year, it is March 16th-22nd. I know you have been dying to see your student, but get ready to hear about their plans, as they have been probably working on them for a while. Now that they are adults, they may want to travel with a friend or a group. Some parents won’t allow […]

Lunch Bunch

Mid-Day Munchies- what’s for lunch? Students are lucky to have so many great dining options at USF, but sometimes the mid-day hunger requires a venture out for a great lunch. Whether you are a student looking for something other than the campus options, or you are a family looking for something yummy after that campus visit, lunch can be the best meal of the day. Here are just a few of the many great places that the USF/Tampa area offer: Chicken Salad Chick – located on Fowler, their comforting chicken salad menu is a popular choice. Ciccio Cali – located in Tampa Palms, their menu is healthy but delicious. Fresh Kitchen – A farther drive to South Tampa, Fresh Kitchen offers unique, healthy combinations that people line up for. Keke’s – We have mentioned Keke’s before in our breakfast and brunch blogs, and we have to include them in lunch as well. […]

Study Abroad

Study Abroad **Due to unprecedented events in the spring of 2020, many education abroad programs were canceled. Please check with UNF in regard to any programs you may be interested in attending.** The world is your classroom. I am a big believer in this adage. Apparently, many students agree as Study Abroad programs have become increasingly popular. When researching this topic, I was amused to read not only a plethora of information about the various things to look for in a program but also some amusing blogs written by students about how to convince one’s parents to allow them to study abroad. Well, this parent is sold. I never studied abroad but had friends that did, or who did a semester at sea program.  Their stories and pictures always fascinated me. My daughter has yet to study abroad but is in the process of researching trips that work with her major.  It […]

Register to Vote USF

How to Have Your Vote Count While At College When it comes to voting, your vote counts! Voting is important so we want you to be prepared when election day rolls around, here is how to register. Absentee ballots are easy, any Florida resident has the ability to apply for one and vote by mail. This is conducted before election day, and you may return the ballot either by mail or in person. This way of voting should be used when you are unable to be present at the polls. Find your state’s requirements. To register to vote in Florida, you must fill out a new registration form online at RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov, by mail or in person. If you prefer to fill out the form in person, there are more places than you think to grab one. It’s available for download or available at any County Supervisor of Elections (Palm Beach County for […]

First Time Student Loan Borrower?

You’ll Need to Do This. What is an Entrance Counseling? In July of 2016, the U.S. Department of Education made it a requirement that, in order to have student loans disbursed, all students must complete Direct Loan Entrance Counseling. This counseling includes information needed to successfully repay the federal student loans they will be receiving to help pay for college costs. 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 borrow a loan as […]

Brunch is Breakfast plus Lunch plus Fun

“Brunch is breakfast without an alarm.” — Unknown Most college kids sleep late. It’s a well-known fact. So, going out for breakfast on weekends, in particular, may not be an option. Brunch, however, is generally a good option on weekends and there are quite a few choices not far from USF’s campus. However, if you can get your student out of bed early and breakfast is what you want; check out our blog Wakey, Wakey Eggs & Bakey.  Some things to consider beforehand are price and time. It is not unusual for there to be a considerable wait, even with a reservation, on a game weekend or graduation, at some of the more popular selections. Brunch… Bearss Tavern + Tap – This is a fun brunch spot that offers bottomless Mimosas for $10! They like to say that they are the “Home of the 3-day weekend” with a special brunch menu on Friday, […]


Tutoring Students who attend USF face the same challenging classes and professors that any other competitive school has. Most are already used to balancing their academics with their social and civic lives. Others will find that the rigor of classes, along with time-management issues have caused them to either fall behind in class, or simply get lost.  Coasting along in high school does not work in college, so sometimes getting a little help can keep your student on the right path. If your student mentions that he/she is having difficulty, there are many places that he/she can turn; including speaking with his/her professor and/or teaching assistant. There are peer academic study groups as well. But, if a tutor is needed, there are many options. The USF Academic Success Center offers to tutor on many subjects. You can make an appointment or drop-in. Personally, making an appointment is better because they can get […]

The Benefits of Joining the USF Alumni Association

Alumni Networking, Perks, and More… Before you know it, you are walking across the stage at graduation, and with that last step, you are officially a Bull alumnus. You may be super excited and a little sad that your “Bull’s” life has ended. But it hasn’t! The first thing that you should do is to join the Alumni Association. By doing that, you have the chance to continue your Bull pride through contacts, fun events, and networking. And it always provides opportunities for you to show off your new alumni swag. Like all alumni associations, they help keep the spirit of the school going, and the benefits are too good to pass up. My husband and I are both USF alumni and Life members of the association. Not only do we get access to incredible networking in the field that we studied, but we have also enjoyed the access to private events, […]

Graduation at USF

Where Did the Time Go? I know what you are thinking.  Didn’t we just go through the angst of high school graduation, waiting for acceptance, moving out of the family home, and letting go even more?  It sure is crazy how fast four (or more) college years go by. And now your student is living in the adult world, about to receive their college diploma.  I’m not trying to scare you, and it sure is a time for celebration, but there is some planning involved if you are going to attend the Commencement ceremonies. **Due to unusual and unprecedented times, situations and circumstances for 2020 continue to evolve daily. Please start all your planning for any event by first checking for Covid updates directly from USF. Summer Commencement ceremonies, like the spring 2020 commencement, will be done virtually. All graduates that intended to walk in the spring 2020 and summer 2020 are […]

Sending A Package?

Make Sure Your Package Gets There Whether it’s an Amazon Prime delivery or a care package from a loved one, there are many reasons students receive packages while living on campus. Priority Mail Express that is received on Saturday morning will be made available to the residents between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and noon at the Forest Hills Station. Residents may call 813-935-3375 prior to driving to the Forest Hills Station to retrieve the Priority Mail Express. Forest Hills Station is located at 11800 North Florida Ave, Tampa Florida 33612. Priority Mail Express that is not retrieved during this time frame will be delivered on Monday to the USF Post Office. Priority Mail Express will not be available on holidays. If your student lives on campus, they have the option of renting a mailbox, which they may do when filling out their resident information via the housing portal. If your student is […]

Graduation Reservations

Graduation Reservations Four years just flew by, your student who seemed to be a freshman yesterday has completed all those courses, gotten through all the tests, and is now ready for the cap and gown. It’s hard to believe that graduation is just around the corner, but it is, and it’s time to make reservations for your victory celebration. After you’ve booked your hotel rooms (for suggestions, check out our Hotels blog), you’ll need to make restaurant reservations and plans ahead of time. You know that USF holds Commencement three times per year, with May being the largest and busiest. So you’ll want to reserve a place for your graduate and family as soon as you can, as all restaurants will get extremely busy. Get this done soon and the rest will be easy. You’ll have plenty more to organize with moving out, dealing with travel requests, and tears, etc… so be […]

Off-Campus Living and How to Manage

The Next Step to Off-Campus Living! Prepare yourself as you read this: breathe. Just when you think your student has figured out how to navigate the campus, be successful in their classes, and do their laundry, they will start talking about where they want to live off-campus in the next year. Believe it or not, this will start in about October or November of your student’s freshman year. This is no joke, and unfortunately, good apartments go fast, so they will be talking and planning early. If your child decides to go this route, remember that leases are signed as early as February, and some places can be sold out by the end of March. They will probably have roommates in mind and will also have places that they already know about or are interested in. So, at least, they will have done most of the legwork. Prices can be a little […]

So, your student wants to be a BULL?

So, your student wants to be a BULL? Of course, they do!  USF is a great university and a beautiful campus with award-winning architecture.  The traditions and opportunities that USF offers, makes it a very competitive school in the south.  So how does your son or daughter get to be a bull? The Truth Each Florida university seems to raise their admission requirements yearly, adding to the growing competition to get in.  USF’s popularity shows in its high standards for admissions and the number of applicants. The truth is that for every 1000 applicants, only 45 are admitted.  With over 30,000 applicants each year, that competition grows. The average high school GPA of applicants is 3.8.  Students accepted have an average of 1300 on the SAT and a 29 on the ACT. USF super scores both tests. Your student should take the essay portion of all tests.  They will be read and […]

Controversial Speakers

Free Expression, Controversial? USF is a melting pot with a variety of people from different backgrounds and beliefs. No matter who you are, USF 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. USF, like all Florida public universities, applies something called the Campus Free Expression Act. This act is a law for public universities and colleges in Florida that allows these universities to allow visitors to freely speak in outside areas around campus. USF 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 […]

Having A Car At College

Can You Get by Without a Car? Navigating your way through college can already be tough, and you may think it’s tougher if you don’t have a car! Not to worry, your life at USF will not skip a beat if you don’t have a car of your own. USF has set up several resources for students to get around easily without a car. The Bull Runner is a USF owned bus service that not only services students on campus but also services a small radius around campus including off-campus student housing and popular businesses surrounding the campus. This allows students who don’t have cars to work at businesses close to their home and classes. USF students also have the option of taking the city bus at a reduced price when they show their student ID. Uber is also a popular service used by students on campus. Uber drivers are plentiful due […]

What You Should Do Before Heading to USF

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

The Best Places to Study at USF

The Best Places to Study at USF Just when we get our high schoolers into a routine of studying, they now have to learn to adjust their habits to fit college life.  Finding the best places to study that fit the student is a challenge. Strange class times, social activities, and sports are just a few of the things that need to be worked around when finding the time and a place to study.  An obvious place would be their dorm rooms or bedrooms, but sometimes roommates, TVs, and friends can be distracting. Each dorm has a study room. But some students need background noise, while others need peace and quiet.  Depending on the time of day, my daughter used her room mostly. But when she needed an alternative place, she usually went somewhere close to her last class of the day. There are tons of on-campus spots that are great for […]

They’ve Been Accepted, WooHoo, Now What.

They’ve Been Accepted Congratulations on Becoming a Bull! Congratulations to the Class of 2024! Accepted! I mean, they made it, but it sure feels like we, as parents did a lot of work to get our kids to college.  Becoming a USF Bull is very exciting, and now that decisions are over, there is still important work to be done. First, it may sound silly, but check your admissions letter for accuracy regarding their name, entrance term, residency status, address and major.  If any changes need to be made, it needs to be done as soon as possible. Activate your NETID and obtain your USF email address. Then, you can log in to OASIS and verify/change any contact information. You will also need to complete any forms that USF requires of you and pay the $200 non-refundable deposit.  Deadlines for deposits are December 1 for students starting in the Spring, and May […]

How Will Students Stay Safe, Sane and Happy this Fall

Where is a Safe Spot at College? Safe, Sane, and happy, is that possible? As colleges are doing their best to come up with ideas as to how to keep our students safe and healthy as they reopen campuses, we can only hope that our students will adhere to those rules when they leave their classrooms. Let’s face it; it is not easy to enforce social distancing among a population that has a tendency to want to gather. Isn’t one of the best parts of college, socializing? We realize we can’t replace a good frat party or tailgate, but there are alternatives to fun near campus and since outdoor fun appears to be the safest alternative these days, we have come up with open-air ideas. Given that we are living under such unprecedented circumstances; we always recommend double-checking on hours, etc. before heading out as activities may be modified or limit the […]

Who You Going To Call?

…When You Need Answers Over the years there have been only a few times that I, as a parent, have felt the need to call the campus to resolve an issue. Generally, I try to get my kids to handle it themselves. However, knowing where to call for whatever the issue can be daunting. Making the call to find out the correct details or accurate information can make all the difference. For instance, when said 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 contact this office are below. The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.  850-644-9574. The director can be emailed at ccgraham@fsu.edu Fortunately, that situation was managed, but her next step was to call the President’s office. Dr. Steven Currall is the President […]

Pets in School

Pets! Take Your Dog (or Cat) to College Every time I headed up to USF to see my kids, they asked that I bring our dog. Let’s face it; the pup is everyone’s favorite family member. Personally, I would rather travel with pets than have our daughter adopt one of her own that may eventually become mine too, so I often obliged. The good news is that is becoming rather common for people to travel with their pets. Dog-friendly Restaurants: Armature Works Ciccio Cali Datz Michael’s Grill Sparkman Wharf Starbucks (outside) World of Beer Pet-friendly Apartments: The Retreat, Halo 46, The Standard, The Union on Fletcher, and many more are pet-friendly and typically charge an upfront or monthly pet fee. Pet-friendly Hotels: La Quinta Inn Busch Gardens La Quinta Inn & Suites USF Busch Gardens Hyatt Place Busch Gardens Holiday Inn Express USF- Busch Gardens Embassy Suites by Hilton USF Holiday Inn & […]

Dance Marathon aka Bulls For Kids

Dance Marathon aka Bulls For Kids One of the most popular fundraising events in colleges across the country is a dance marathon.  Dance marathons are student-run philanthropies benefiting children’s hospitals all over the country.  You may have even seen posts on Facebook or received emails asking you to check out a college student’s page. A popular tag is #FTK or #ForTheKids.  Children’s hospitals all over the country benefit from college kids getting involved, raising money, and volunteering their time to help children. USF has a program called Bulls For Kids and it’s the largest student-run philanthropy on campus, spanning over an entire school year.  All proceeds from #BFK benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children – Tampa, which is located right on the USF campus. This Shriners hospital has serviced pediatric orthopedic conditions, as well as diseases and syndromes, since 1985 to kids from all over the world.  Services are completely free to […]

Where Will They Live – Managing the Gap

Managing the Gap Remember friends told you that the first year goes by fast?  Well, by now, you know that to be true. Prepping to move your kid out of a dorm, sorority house, or apartment may seem strange because it feels like you just dropped them off!  The worst part of moving out is always the heat, but your student may turn around in just a few weeks to move back somewhere. Instead of worrying about how you will get all their stuff back, start planning now and get some tips on managing the gap. One of the best things you can do is have your student start bringing things home over Spring Break or if you visit.  On one of my visits in the spring, I had my daughter pack up her “winter” clothes/boots (yes, they do wear them in FL), and some other clothes that she knew she could […]

Dress for Success

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

Retail Therapy

Retail Therapy Retail shopping, one of my favorite things to do.  And in Tampa, there are plenty of great places to get your retail therapy in.  Yes, your student is at USF for school, but there will always be something they need, particularly at the start of the semester. It is a good idea to order some things online and have them waiting for you at a store in Tampa, especially larger items that won’t travel well on an airplane or in a car. Lots of stores offer this service these days, and it can be very helpful in the crazy world of college retail shopping. A few are Target, Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Best Buy. Let’s not forget Amazon. Last-minute items can be ordered and delivered directly to your student’s dorm (and students get a FREE Amazon Prime account with their college email address). Like most other large cities, […]

Is an A really a grade A at USF?

Get the Grade You Want College grading systems can be especially confusing when coming straight from high school. The biggest difference between the public school and college grading scale is the +/- addition to the traditional As and Bs. At USF, the plus/minus grading scale adds weight to the letter grade. For example, the difference between an A- and an A is 0.33 points (see USF grading scale here). You may be wondering how professors differentiate between a grade within the same range. Though every professor is different, the most traditional way they denote grades is as follows: 98% to 100% = A+ 93% to 97% = A 92% to 90% = A- 89% to 87% = B+ 86% to 83% = B 82% to 80% = B- 79% to 77% = C+ 76% to 73% = C 72% to 70% = C- 69% to 67% = D+ 66% to 63% = […]

Sports at USF and All the Sports Stuff!

Sports It’s undeniable that most students consider a college’s sports program, celebrations, and fan experience as a non-academic factor when choosing where to spend their next four years.  Watching the Bulls in action is exciting… you don’t have to know much about the sport, but you WILL get caught up in cheering them on. Take football for example; how many universities play in an NFL stadium? Only a handful and the perks are amazing! The Bulls call Raymond James their home field and you better know the Bull’s hand sign when cheering, or you’ll feel left out. (Think the “love” sign, but with your thumb tucked in.) Knowing when to cheer, chant, and stand is just as important as knowing when to go get hydrated (with water, of course. Game days can be extremely hot depending on game time.) Tickets Free??? Yes, please! Students get a free ticket to all USF games, […]

Storage at USF and the best way to use it!

Where Will They Put All Their Stuff, Storage? Now that the craze of prepping, shopping, and organizing the carloads of stuff that you send your college kid to school with are over, you’ll suddenly be needed to either bring everything back home or store it.  Yes, the year goes by super-fast and you will be thinking, “I just moved them in”, and “how will we get all of that back home?” With the thought of packing cars to the gills again, you may wonder why you just can’t bring home the essentials and store all of the rest.  If you are like me, I was not looking forward to cramming our guest room and garage with all of my daughter’s stuff and also deciding on what could be kept in the heat, and what really needed to come inside. So here are our suggestions about storage. We bared through all of this […]

What is – FAFSA?

What is – FAFSA? First Applicants Find Substantial Assets, FAFSA 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. USF’s school code is 001537. USF’s priority deadlines are January 1st each year. After January 1, 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 […]

Budget 101

Budget 101 I’m going to start with the dreaded comment starting “when I was in college, we didn’t have…” (insert teenager eye-roll here). But, all of us at Have U Heard can say that we did not have computers, iPads, or cell phones to help us bank, and somehow, we managed to survive. I did have a checking account where I had to actually write checks, and a credit card for emergencies. Everything regarding money took longer, and I know I did not budget correctly. I made financial mistakes for sure, but when I got a part-time job, I seemed to manage it better. I guess if it was MY money, then I took better care of it, sadly. So, when we attended orientation with our daughter, we were inundated with information from FAFSA to meal plans, but no one addressed the best way to handle finances, or how to learn to […]

Rushing Her Way at USF, Here’s How to do it!

Rushing Her Way Sorority Low-Down Why Rush?  For parents of incoming freshmen, you have probably started to hear whispers about rushing or sorority recruitment. The way recruitment is handled for sororities is somewhat different than fraternities, but I am glad to give you the parent perspective on both (check out our blog on USF’s fraternities). Either way, you will not find too many who love the rushing process.  But like it or not, Greek life does have its advantages, especially at a large college; and kids are probably not going to forgo the rumors about rush if it means not joining. So, buckle up; the ride can get a bit bumpy. Let’s start rushing! My daughter decided to go through rushing recruitment for a couple of reasons. She wanted a way to make friends quickly and to find her “tribe”. Also, we as her parents encouraged her to at least go through […]

Fix it!

Fix it! You know you are having a cruddy day when your car, bike or motor scooter breaks down or gets a flat tire. Talk about being late for class, how will you get to class now? There is nothing worse than having your form of transportation break down on you. And a college student may not even know where to start to get help to get it fixed. Whether it is a car or bike, your student is bound to need fix-it repair at some time. Here is how to set them up for success by having this info handy. Bike Shops Throughout campus, there are bicycle repair stations and air pumps for a handy way to keep it rollin’. These are free and provide heavy-duty air pumps and tools for making small adjustments, list of locations. University Bicycle Center (UBC), 1220 E. Fletcher Ave., 813- 971-2277 Oliver’s Cycle Sports, (The […]

Banks & Credit Unions

Places that Handle Money We all know that banks are where we store the cash. Leaving for college comes with so many new things, but handling their own money can be one of the scariest. We have all kinds of suggestions regarding Working While in College, Teaching Them to Budget; even the Best Credit Cards for College Students, but this blog is all about banking. I, personally, find it best to have an account for my daughter at the same bank as mine. It makes it easy to slide money over whenever I need to. Students only need to sign up for E-Deposit by logging into their OASIS account to have financial aid balances/awards deposited into their personal bank account. USF’s financial partner is the USF Federal Credit Union. Not only do they have ATMs across campus but they also have a student-run branch at the Marshall Student Center. The following banks […]

Computer and Phone Repair

Computer and Phone Repair One of my pet peeves with my kids is how frivolously they take care of their electronics, especially their phones. As teenagers, they throw their phones in their backpacks, misplace them, or drop them. We have gone through a ton of cracked phone screens, and it is frustrating. In college, a broken phone or computer can bring on a wealth of anxiety and panic. Plus, college students actually use their phones, tablets, or laptops to check-in to a class, take notes, and even take tests and quizzes. Since mom and dad are not there to rescue them, they must navigate the tech repair world alone, but be ready for the panicked call telling you they don’t know what to do. Firstly, I highly recommend that they have a habit of backing up all of their electronics. I personally use a Passport for my mac, but some of our […]

Care Packages

Care Packages So, your college student has been away and you and your family are getting used to your new normal.  Even though your student is busy with notes, lectures, getting enough sleep, finding their “tribe”, doing their own laundry (hopefully), and figuring out how to be an adult, they may still be missing home.  They quickly realize that they are on their own to be successful in college, and that can bring on the feeling of homesickness. I found that a great way to interrupt the stress of college is to send my daughter a care package.  And let’s face it, sending something to our kids helps us to still feel connected to them. Now, please know that I am no Martha Stewart, so I was not looking to spend a small fortune or to get the “best package” award, but I wanted to send something. Where to start? A great […]


A Nice Place to Stay Tampa is a big tourist destination, but it is also a college city. There are all different things to take into consideration when booking. Some may want a suite type of room, free breakfast, a gym, or a Starbucks in the lobby. Some families look for pet-friendly hotels (because what college kids doesn’t want a visit from their pet?), hotels where they can earn points or even hotels on the beach. That being said, you need to know that Busch Gardens is just 2 miles south of campus, so many hotels that advertise for their close proximity to the park, are also close to the school. Many of the hotels listed below offer a special USF rate. If you choose one of these hotels, state that you are visiting the University of South Florida. Some offer free shuttle service to the campus. Pet-friendly For those traveling with […]

Wakey, Wakey Eggs & Bakey, the Best Meal!

Our Favorite Meal of the Day! Tampa is a great city for eating, and “the most important meal of the day” can be had at a variety of great restaurants.  There is no shortage of fast food options and styles of breakfast, so take advantage of all our city has to offer. Your students will undoubtedly have their favorite, but I’m going to fill you in on great places for a great meal at places found all over the Tampa area. Some things to consider are price and time.  Some simple bagel shops can be fast and cheap, but a trendy, popular restaurant could have a long wait, or even suggest a reservation.  Keep that in mind especially around parents’ weekends, graduations, and holidays when you’re looking for your first meal. Armature Works – A market-style, mixed-use venue in downtown Tampa with a bunch of different dining concepts. A very popular spot […]

Graduation Photography for USF Seniors

Memorialize Graduation Day with Photography The last four years (or so) probably flew by and commencement is around the corner. There is no doubt that graduation is a big deal and one you will definitely want to memorialize. It should be celebrated and remembered; therefore; graduation photos are a big deal too, far bigger than the simple cap and gown pic I remember taking….well, a few years back. Students today often hire photographers to guide them around campus and get all sorts of pictures of them in their green and gold to commemorate the event. Some students will go to the usual spots for their photos. Others may choose to have some of their senior pictures captured someplace that is specifically special to them. Some want a few of their photos to be with their friends or sorority sisters or brothers too.  One of my favorites is of my daughter and her […]

College Majors to Pursue at USF

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 USF, 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 […]

Volunteering Turns Your Compassion into Action

Volunteering with passion is key. When you first go off to college, you will find that there is no shortage of opportunities to participate in social activities, sports, the arts, and recreation.  It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where you fit as a Bull but have no fear; you will find your place and meet amazing people. That being said, please be sure to take advantage of the many volunteering possibilities that USF offers.  Volunteering truly changes a person. There is so much to gain from helping others and it speaks to your character as well. Giving back to the community is important!  Let’s face it, we all have had some form of help along the way in our journeys in life.  So, why not give back your time, effort, money, or just your listening ears to those who need a little help.  Plus, volunteering looks great when applying to […]

Spring (FOOTBALL) is Here!

Spring (FOOTBALL) is Here! Yes, it’s spring, and yes we mean football. It’s crazy I know. But it is springtime Bulls football practice.  The fifth annual Spring Football Game will be on Saturday, April 18th.  This at-capacity event is a great way to spend a beautiful Spring day.  It is held at the Corbett Stadium on the USF campus and is free to the public.  Bring your chairs, blankets, and sunscreen and set up camp on the grass berms surrounding the playing surface. It is free to the public and will cap off a day of entertainment on campus that begins with a street festival starting at 11 a.m. outside the stadium. Normal pregame tailgating activities will be allowed in campus lots. Fans are also encouraged to bring blankets and utilize seating areas on the grass berms surrounding the playing surface as a large crowd is expected. Fans will get their first […]

Thousands of Dining Options

Thousands of Dining Options Like any big city, there are literally thousands of dining options from fast food to fast-casual, from family-style to fine dining. You will find your burgers, pizza, Cuban, Mexican, Chinese, barbecue, sushi, salads, Mediterranean, Indian, Caribbean, basically a restaurant from every continent, for every palate and every price point. Just like with hotels, Tampa has many local and national chains that are super easy to find and are of great comfort when you do not know where to eat. I’m letting you know about the cool spots, the places the locals go to get their fix. Try a new restaurant! Tampa has many talented chefs!  Trust, me, if you enjoy dining out, you are going to eat some great meals while you are visiting here over the next four years! When coming to Tampa to visit your student or tour the campus with a prospective student, what restaurants […]

Rushing His Way

Rushing His Way Going back to 1978 with the release of “Animal House”, which became one of the most successful comedies of all time, to 2014 with the release of “Neighbors”, fraternities have been portrayed as groups of Neanderthals that do nothing but party, drink alcohol and abuse drugs. Fraternities have been called out on national television for purported participation in horrific activities. Certainly, if a fraternity house is engaging in behavior that crosses the line, they should, and will, end up either on suspension or maybe even kicked off-campus. You will find that several colleges across the country have suspended all Greek life due to hazing and the death of several fraternity members. It is horrifying as a parent to lose a child under these circumstances and colleges are taking a strong stance, as they should on rushing and frats. But talk with many of the young men in fraternities at […]

Home Sweet Dorm Make it Sweet at USF

Home Sweet Dorm You may be surprised at how one can transition a mass-produced, industrial-looking dorm room into a warm and inviting room or suite. And there is plenty of help out there to spur ideas and help you organize. Organization is the primary concern, because after all if your kids are like mine, they will feel the need to take almost all their stuff from home to settle them in as though there are no laundry facilities or stores nearby. Pinterest seems to be the holy grail for dorm ideas. There are so many there, that you will feel pressured and anxious to make your students’ room look award-winning.  But fear not! Stick to the important subject of organization first. Of course, decorating a girl’s room can be very different from a boy, but the basics remain the same.  Either way, check the bed size of the dorm your child will […]

Entertainment Options for You at USF

Entertainment What kind of entertainment are you looking for? It seems a little silly writing about things to do when visiting your student at USF.  It doesn’t always have to be about amusement parks; although Busch Gardens and Adventure Island are a great time. If it’s football season, then, of course, you should plan on attending a Bulls game, or a Buccaneers football game, or even a Lightning hockey game.  There is no shortage of sports in Tampa. But if you’re looking for something easy around campus, why not take in the latest movie?  AMC Highwoods 20 is just a couple of miles from campus, on Highwood Preserve Pkwy, and has lots of options for dining near it as well. For a family bowling match, try AMF University Lanes on N 56 St, or head downtown to the Channelside District for Splitsville. Why not take a walk in the park or canoe […]

Get on the Bus

A Guide to USF’s Bus System Getting to and from campus can be stressful-worrying about arriving to class on time with 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 USF 1 ID card receive fare-free access to bus service.  All students may ride any bus anywhere in Tampa including campus, fare-free, by simply presenting their valid USF ID card to the driver. As a fourth-year student, I know how difficult it can be to find parking on campus as well as get around in general. Luckily, USF makes it easy for students to get around with their BullRunner bus program. USF students and faculty with a valid USF ID card are afforded free fare access and visitors must be accompanied by someone with a valid USF […]

Flu Season Ahead

The Flu ends with “U” It’s that season again – and I don’t mean hurricanes. Flu season is generally from October through May; peaking in December. Given that the flu is easily spread by coughing, sneezing, and close contact – and what gets closer than dorm life and classrooms – your student may want to consider getting vaccinated. USF makes it incredibly easy and it is free too. The flu shot is included in your child’s tuition! Starting on October 3, USF Student Health Services will be administering free flu shots by appointment Monday through Friday, 8 am to 12 pm and 2 pm to 3 pm. Call 813-974-2331 to schedule. Another option to get a flu shot is at: CVS Minute Clinic – if you go on the CVS Minute Clinic website you can find the one closest to you as well as the wait time so you don’t have to sit […]

Sorority Recruitment: What to Expect & What to Wear

USF Sorority Recruitment: What to Expect & What to Wear Tips & Tricks You want to know what to expect and what to wear for the best recruitment result, we have suggestions. The great thing about recruitment at USF is that it does not overlap with your first week of classes. Once you are settled and know where your classes are, you’ll spend your first weekend at school going through Panhellenic recruitment. USF Panhellenic is made up of ten different chapters which you will visit over the next week. Girls going through Recruitment are referred to as PNM’s (Potential New Members). At the end of each day of recruitment, PNM’s and the sororities will rank each other making it a mutual selection. The sororities you rank at the bottom could potentially be dropped if the sorority also ranked you at the bottom. Pre-Recruitment Orientation Orientation night will be August 27th at 6 […]

Safest Places to Visit Your Student This Semester

We Still Love to Visit Our Bulls Let’s face it, these are odd and crazy times! Things look very different at USF this semester but one thing is still for sure; we all still love to visit our Bulls and they love to have a visit 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 Armature Works Bartaco Bearss Besito Columbia Restaurant Miller’s Ale House North 30th Sports Pub & Grille On Swann Rooster & The Till Ulele World of Beer Outdoor Activities There are also many outdoor activities to participate in to make memories in a safe and socially distanced manner. Manatee Viewing Center – I’m a Florida native, but it is always […]

What Classes Students Wish They Took

You can still have some fun! Today, universities have students declare a major almost immediately. That is not to say they cannot change their major but once they are following their course track, it can become difficult to switch especially if you are too far into your major. For those students that love their major, they do not always look to explore all the different electives that are available by opting to take other classes within their college major.  But, sometimes students’ schedules are just so jam-packed that an easy, fun, and exciting elective is the perfect way to round out a schedule. If you’re looking for something to break up your mundane class schedule, USF has just the class for you! USF offers many classes that are out of the ordinary and guaranteed to add some fun to your week. You may even find a new passion or unknown talent along the way! […]

Hillsborough College First, Then Transfer

Then Transfer to USF For many different reasons, some students prefer to start their college career at a local community college and then transfer to USF.  Smaller environments, smaller class sizes, lower costs, and a more relaxed atmosphere can be beneficial to a student’s successful transition from high school to college. If you are set on becoming a Bull, taking classes at Hillsborough College can help to make that a reality.  HCC’s 2 + 2 Program lets you take two years of classes and then finish your degree at a four-year university.  In the 2 + 2 program, you will meet with advisors that will help you plan and complete any and all courses required to transfer to USF.  They also work to help you meet with USF advisors to ensure that you are on the right path to enter USF successfully. HCC has articulation agreements with many institutions.  Click here to […]

Money, Money, Money

When Will Financial Aid Disburse? The time has come to pay for your college costs and money panic sets in.  I remember receiving my tuition statement for my son when he attended USF and yet his student account showed no Prepaid Florida (which I was fortunate enough to have 4-year college and 1-year dorm). Where is the money? In addition, his bank account did not reflect his Bright Futures Scholarship funds. So when does this money get disbursed? Can you get a deferral for books, living accommodations, and student fees? For your student’s specific account details you should log into their OASIS account. Here are some specifics: Florida Prepaid For any enrolled student who has an active Florida Prepaid College Plan, the University of South Florida will post payment 3-4 weeks after the start of classes. The tuition differentials exemptions and expected tuition payment amounts should start showing in your student’s OASIS […]

Namast’ay with Yoga at USF

Breathe…..yoga in, breathe out. Very few things have been continuously practiced for over 5000 years with continued success. Yoga proves the mind, body, and spirit are healthier with good practices. Group classes wouldn’t be constantly full if it wasn’t as popular as it is, and there is no shortage of experiences at USF and Tampa, in general. The USF student Rec Center offers group yoga classes. There is something for everyone so check out the Rec Center schedule for classes and times. Power Yoga: This class involves short bursts of cardio and muscle conditioning along with Vinyasa style. It is great for strength training and you will sweat! Sports Yoga:  If you want to improve things like strength, balance, and flexibility, then this class will be great. Different poses help with stretching, breathing, and relaxation. Vinyasa Yoga: This class involves different postures in different orders to help you to master the moves. […]

Sorority Girl

Sorority Girl Not being in a sorority myself, although I was a Little Sister for a fraternity at USF, having my daughter become a sorority girl was a new experience for me. I was so excited for her to have a place to “call home.” We have found that being in a sorority has given her the opportunity to wonderful things at USF. Every sorority is a little different, with their own rules, expectations, academic requirements, and so on. The next information session for Spring recruitment will be on January 16th and 17th. Here you will find out which sororities are participating. Girls are expected to attend chapter meetings (hers are once a week), attend and participate in events on campus, attend socials, and have study and volunteer hours. Again, each sorority has its own requirements. Socials are where a sorority is paired up with a fraternity for an activity. It could […]

Nature vs Nurture – What’s around USF

Nature vs Nurture Now that you have a USF Bull, I’m sure your recent trips to Tampa have been all about seeing the school, orientation, and move-in. You already know that USF is a beautiful campus and the weather year-round in Tampa is amazing (minus the ridiculous summer humidity, but that is a great time to check out a water park or local lake). The winters are wonderful and provide clear blue skies and welcomed chilly nights. One of the best things about Central Florida is that there is plenty to do outside to keep you enjoying nature and the outdoors. Yes, there are sporting events and theme parks (see our Entertainment blog) to keep you busy, but make sure you find the time to check out some of these places too; you have four years to experience all of them, and more. I have been to these places myself as a […]

Moving In, It Just Got Real

Moving In Once your student has been given their move-in date and dorm or residence assignment, the process of handling what can be a stressful, labor-intensive and often expensive process begins. The actual moving in! Traditionally, female students tend to take a full-on decorating approach complete with wall décor, signs, picture frames, string lights, desk accessories, and many other decorative items. Male students do not quite go that full in and often just want a comfortable bed, maybe a poster or two and perhaps a rug. It is quite humorous after each drop-off, whether it is for summer or fall, to see my friend’s postings on Facebook and Instagram, (because that is the social media that parents are most comfortable with), and see the obvious difference between a completed dorm room. This may a sticker price shock moment. According to the National Retail Federation, back to college spending averaged $976.78 in 2019. […]

Move-In Day

Move-In Day Means – M.I.D USF’s move-in day is…well…a lot of work.  Be prepared for many trips to the car and possibly one or two to the store for the inevitable forgotten or overlooked item (ours was not enough Command hooks and power strips).  The heat does not help, but a hand truck and Ikea bags do. I will not get into the emotional goodbyes at the end of the day, as I could not properly put that into words, but sunglasses to cover my watery, red eyes helped.  All of us at HaveUHeard have had different experiences at move-in, so take advice, prepare, and have patience. M.I.D Summer B is June 21st and Fall is August 18th If you have a student starting Fall 2019, move-in is on Sunday, August 18th at 10 am.  For the fall move-in, USF holds a Grand Opening to mark the opening of the residence halls for the […]

Eating Healthy at USF, It Can Be Done!

Eating Healthy For most, eating healthy is a challenge in college. With priorities on being social, going out late, and needing quick meals, nutritious eating is sometimes the last thing on a student’s mind. There will always be the easy-to-get burger or pizza, but today’s students are becoming more focused and demanding higher quality foods. Today, many prefer protein bowls or sushi to fried foods. There are several apps that students can download for the latest promotions and deals at some of their favorite spots. These include Hooked and Pocket Points. USF’s favorite healthy eating locations. Acropolis Greek Taverna – on Bruce B Downs has some nice healthy choices for both lunch and dinner. They specialize in Greek sandwiches and entrees and even have dancing waiters during dinner. Ciccio Cali (Tampa Palms) – is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. We love their egg bowls and whole wheat pancakes for brunch. They […]

Are U Ready For Some Football?

Are U Ready For Some Football? With most large universities, planning on attending the school’s football games starts in the summer. The big rivalry games cause hotel rooms to be booked months in advance. Well, at USF that is not as much of a problem because “their” stadium is actually the Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It is about 20 minutes from campus and where the Bulls call their field “home”. The 2020 season starts in Texas on September 5, 2020. As a USF grad myself, I have been attending Bulls football games from the very first season (1997). Because they are played in an NFL stadium, fans benefit from comfortable seating, great food options, and yes, beer. Since the stadium is off-campus, they do sell alcohol at games. Another plus is the areas to escape the sometimes, severe heat and even rain.  Speaking of weather, USF’s football […]

Supervise an Easy Budget for Your College Student

This is a budget lesson that will serve you in the future! When we attended orientation with our daughter, we were inundated with information from FAFSA to meal plans, but no one addressed the best way to handle finances, or how to learn to budget for our student. We did what a lot of parents do, and that is, asked around. I talked to some friends with college kids and got their ideas, and I also went to a couple of parenting Facebook pages that I belong to and looked up the subject of budgeting. There is so much information out there, that it can be overwhelming. Firstly, have a conversation with your family and decide: will they need to work while in school, can they prioritize and keep their grades up while managing their time efficiently, will they be on the meal plan or will they need to do weekly shopping? […]

Auxiliary Fees for Online Classes

Who Pays for This? **Due to the unprecedented Spring 2020, situations and circumstances continue to evolve daily. Please start all your planning for any event this spring and summer by first checking here for the updates directly from UNF. Most recently, USF canceled some fees for summer courses but now have added other fees. Each course per credit is now $27. Most classes at USF are 3 credits, so the minimum charge would be $81. However, USF has stated that the total cost of tuition will not increase since other fees have been removed.** There is no denying that college tuition, itself, is a huge expense; however, on top of the cost, HaveUHeard that some classes have extra fees that may or may not be covered by some scholarships or prepaid programs? At USF, there are several fees associated with various programs that are not fully covered by prepaid scholarships such as […]

Dinner, Early or Late

Well, what are you hungry for, it’s dinner time!? Like any college town, there are literally hundreds of dining options from fast food to fast-casual, from family-style to fine dining. Whether you are eating dinner early or late, you will find your burgers, pizza, Mexican, Chinese, barbecue, sushi, salads, Mediterranean; a restaurant for every palate and every price point. Depending on whether you are touring with a prospective student or visiting your student in Tampa, who will undoubtedly be clamoring for a good meal, the options are plentiful. Some things to consider beforehand are price and time. It is not unusual for there to be a considerable wait, even with a reservation, on a game weekend or graduation, at some of the more popular selections. So, because the Tampa Bay area is so large, I will share with you some great dining options all over the area. Armature Works – Found on […]

Advice to My Freshman Self

What Every Freshman Should Know, Real Advice Being the oldest sibling in my family, going into college I had no idea what to expect. Of course, my parents had their own advice to give, but as we all know, the time has changed abundantly since our parents were in college. Now, almost halfway done with being an undergraduate student, there are many things I wish I could go back and tell my freshman-self before becoming a proud Bull. Through my trials and tribulations, I have made some unforgettable memories and I hope to save some freshmen from the not-so-fun lessons I had to learn along the way. Here is the advice I would have given to myself: Your first choice may not always be the best choice: since USF was not originally my first-choice school, I had a tough time having a good mindset on my next four years in the beginning. […]

21 and Oh So Fun Here is What USF Students Like

Becoming an official adult. How Fun! It seems to be another rite of passage; turning 21. And if you are turning 21 during your college year, then you are probably going to want to celebrate. College students choose so many different ways to celebrate these days, from taking a trip with friends to a night out in town. But it usually involves your friends donning you with “21 and legal” party garb to announce to the world that you are finally legal. It also means that you can finally get into places that you were not allowed into before. So, here are some of the ways 21 & over students are celebrating. In Tampa, a popular place to have some 21-fun is Ybor City. This historic area is home to cigar factories, nightclubs, and restaurants. It is adjacent to downtown and about a 13-minute drive. There are clubs that are more for […]

Student Accessibility Services

Consideration for Providing Accessibility for Everyone For students with a disability, the Students with Disability Services Office can help.  Whether it’s ADHD or physical impairment, USF provides great care and consideration for providing accessibility to all. Once accepted to USF, students may apply for accommodations online.  Supporting medical documentation is needed and can be turned into the office via email, fax, in person, or by mail.  The SDS office is located in Student Services 1133. They can be reached at 813-974-4309 and their fax is 813-974-7337.  They are open in fall/spring/summer from 8 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday. For the staff contact information. Meeting with the SDS office can help to eliminate fears and unanswered questions pertaining to everything from safety to specific accommodations.  At USF, accommodations are available for classrooms, course loads, exams, as well as hearing impaired accommodations. Assistive technology services offered include: Alternative Text Assistive Technology Campus […]

More Veggies Please – Vegan/Vegetarian Dining

Eating Healthy is Possible at College. We LOVE Veggies! With our country’s focus on health and healthy eating, college students are growing up used to “making better choices” and being aware of responsible farming and food preparations. It’s not surprising that colleges are having to provide choices for all types of eaters on their campuses, so more veggies, please!. My oldest daughter decided to be a vegetarian for a year in high school and, although she has reentered the meat-eating society, she still looks for healthy alternatives when she can. That being said, there will never be a shortage of late-night pizza eaters on campuses. But for those sticking to a vegetarian or vegan diet, there are some choices for you to check out. The Loving Hut on Fowler Ave. offers vegan counter service. It’s a popular place with easy choices and a nice atmosphere. Some of their locations offer Asian-accented menus […]

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 fear not. Finding scholarships can help with the cost of college. If you live in Florida and have purchased a Florida Prepaid plan, then that will start working for you immediately.  Bright Futures Scholarships have also been a goal while in high school, and if earned, they will apply once your student has started. Every year, I hear stories about thousands of dollars in scholarship money that are never applied for.  It does take a lot of work and time to research scholarships, apply for them, and to validate the authenticity of them.  But, that work can pay off at a reduced cost to you. Some are quite competitive, some last for four years, and some are downright silly, but pay for something.  Some scholarships require […]

Safety Matters

Safety Matters At this time in our world, we all worry about the safety of our new adults. For me, a self-proclaimed worrier, I wanted to know everything about the safety of my child’s new home, as well as them learning the ins and outs of campus safety.  Knowing they are safe is a forever thing. Therefore, it may be helpful to know that USF has a few very supportive resources available. The University of South Florida takes safety very seriously.  Technology has changed the landscape of how they impart information to students through texts and emails, and social media platforms. **Due to these unprecedented times we also wanted to make available to you the following: Parents/students can now email  COVIDquestions@usf.edu for questions USF is offering emergency aid to those who have been impacted by COVID19 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: in order to apply you have to […]

Bright Futures – Shining Bright

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

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. USF and its surrounding community offer resources and information to both help LGBTQ students navigate the college environment and make connections in a group setting. Bulls can find support through the following organizations and groups at USF. They can be accessed on BullSync. The P.R.I.D.E. Alliance Trans+ Student Union QTPOCC – Queer and Trans People of Color Collective No (LGBTQ+) Child Left Behind The Haven Clinic  Safe Zone Ally Program  USF also makes available LGBT Support Groups and a Lending Library with self-help and top […]

The Next Four Years

The Next Four Years So you have a student ready to spend the next four years as a USF Bull? That means that you will be spending some time in the Tampa Bay area, one of Florida’s favorite vacation spots. In the heart of central Florida, the Tampa Bay area is home to nationally awarded sports teams, theme parks, pristine nature preserves, award-winning beaches, and first-class arts. Tampa is a big city offering much to do with its own traditions. Ever heard of Gasparilla? Get ready for a season of parades, races, art shows, concerts, and a pirate invasion! You can enjoy just about every outdoor sport all year round, swim with manatees, experience world-class fishing, as well as take in a Broadway show. Going to school in Tampa offers experiences, unlike other cities. Your student will get a cultural education as well as an academic one. The University of South Florida […]

Radio & TV

USF Radio & TV Yes, your student is at USF to learn, but they will also need some downtime.  My daughter watched her favorite shows on her laptop, but most will also have a TV in their rooms. And while many students tend to watch tv or listen to the radio a little differently than we did what with Netflix, Streaming on Demand, Satellite, when visiting, sometimes it is nice to know where to find a radio station that plays the music you like or watch a show when back at the hotel. Here is some information on TV and Radio at USF. TV Every student resident has unlimited access to HBO and Cinemax for free.  HBO GO is also accessible anytime, anywhere. Any device connected to the campus network has access to watchESPN.com as well.  The mobile app is also available. Philo allows resident students to watch and record their favorite […]

Thrift Shops for the Thrifty Near USF!

When You Need to Be Thrifty and Stay on Budget Thrifting isn’t just a hot trend right now, it’s an amazing way to stay in style while saving money. Being thrifty early in your life will help your financial views all through life. In college, it seems like there’s always something to do, and of course, we don’t want to repeat outfits. Thrifting takes the stress out of spending the extra money to look your best. I first started thrifting to find pieces that would set my style apart while staying within my college budget, and since I’ve started, I never looked back. Tampa has a wide variety of thrift stores that serve many different purposes. Whether you’re looking for furniture, vintage pieces, flannels, or western wear, Tampa thrift stores have it all. Many of the thrift stores around USF are not for profit and support a good cause so not only […]

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

Laundry Never Ends! Every mom has thought or said this a million times, and now our college kids are (hopefully) learning the tedious task of doing their own laundry.  I taught my daughters how to do theirs during their senior years of high school and then helped to refine their skills during the summer before they left for college.  I’m not going to lie and say that they have perfected the skill of taking care of themselves, but at least they can run a load of dirty clothes if needed. I think a parents’ biggest wish is that they just wash their sheets and towels weekly, but then pray for at least a few times a semester. Luckily my oldest daughter found that a little peer pressure in the “doing laundry” department helped keep her on her toes.  The kids are so busy that they sometimes forget that they have two pairs […]

Food for Thought

No Student Hungry Much like the national campaign No Kid Hungry®, there are many students at colleges throughout the United States that are barely getting by, some putting their nourishment behind paying for college and all of the expenses that go along with college; tuition, books, rent, utilities, to name a few. The USDA average monthly cost of food for a college-age student for a moderate-cost food plan, following the recommended Food plans, is $223.55. 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 of food Nearly 50% of students could not afford balanced meals Many students who are struggling just to keep up with the […]

Parking at USF

Get ready, get set, GO! I have yet to hear about a university in the state of Florida where parking is easy-peasy.  There are just never enough spaces for the number of students on campus every day. There are always “tricks” to finding a convenient space, but really, it’s all about planning.  And if you are someone who has a hard time getting up in the morning, you will learn that finding a space at the last minute may cause you to miss your class completely. If you do have a car with you on campus, you will find that you really won’t move it much, unless venturing off-campus.  On-campus, you should take advantage of the shuttles that can take you almost anywhere on campus, and even off-campus to some locations.  The Bull Runner shuttle system is free to anyone with a USFCard. The type of permit you will need depends on […]

What NOT to Bring to College

Do You Really Need It? Ok, I have only sent one child to college, but it really only takes one send off to learn the ins and outs of what a freshman college student really needs. What to bring and what not to bring.  I spent months searching for packing lists, shopping, organizing, and running myself ragged to find the “perfect” items that would make my daughter feel great in her new home away from home.  I will admit: I was a little obsessed. Now that my daughter is entering her third year, I can provide sound advice on what to leave at home. For girls rushing a sorority, leave your t-shirts at home.  Ok, so bring a couple maybe. Trust me when I say that you will get so many t-shirts from your sorority, events, free Bulls shirts from around campus, and many more, that your drawer or storage bin won’t […]

Technology Needs for USF Students

Check Out The Freebies First! HaveUHeard that Microsoft Office 365 is free for all enrolled USF students? And it’s free for up to five devices. That is a huge cost saving for a college student.  Information about downloading this great technology. Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of tools from Microsoft. With it, you also have Microsoft OneDrive which provides cloud storage and sharing files. It can also be accessed from your mobile device. Other information on Class Prep technology. While the computer of choice for many students is trending toward Macbooks, before you head out to get a computer for your student, some of the colleges have specific requirements that differ from general recommendations. Individual college and degree program hardware and software requirements may differ, as you may find that a Dell, Microsoft Surface Pro or HP may better serve your student’s needs. Microsoft Surface has a great price, any hp is great. If you want to make […]

Spring Sports playtime in the sunshine!

Sports, Let’s Face It! Fall is about football.  At least, at most schools, and USF is no different.  But when the season is over, and students are back from winter break, Spring sports kick in.  And the best part? Tickets are free for students, and who doesn’t like free? Students need to register on their mobile devices so that they can have access to all sporting events. A calendar of sporting events. At USF, it’s not only students that enjoy going to the games or meets.  You will see the general public at events like basketball, baseball, softball games, and even at track meets.  Let’s start with basketball. Games are played in the Sun Dome, which is a state of the art multipurpose arena that sits 10,000.  Basketball actually starts in November and runs into March. These games are fun and between the band, students, cheerleaders, and dancers, you are bound to […]

Working While in College at USF, Here’s How to Cope

Working While in College To Work or Not to Work? Working while in college is a very personal decision. Each family will decide on the needs of their students, but about half of all college students have at least a part-time job.  Most freshmen start without a job but then acquire one in later years, once they know how to manage their time. Some students must work to pay for their college, while others know that their school work is their only job.  And some, work to supplement their spending, housing, or even their Spring Break trip (see our Spring Break blog for more information on that). USF has resources to help their Bulls find jobs both on and off-campus.  The Career Services department has a great system called Handshake.  It helps to power the Employ-A-Bull program and is an online career management system for all registered USF students. Accounts are created […]

Sick at School While at USF

Sick at School Get ready…it’s bound to happen. At some point, the phone will buzz and your independent college student with a cry, “I don’t feel well, I’m sick.” Hopefully, their illness will be a result of their new-found independence that includes lack of sleep, exercise, stress, an unhealthy diet, and hygiene habits that don’t embrace enough hand-washing and can be cured quickly and easily. When packing my daughter for college, I added a shoe-sized box that I filled with “just in case you get sick and don’t know what to do” things.  Inside was a thermometer, vitamins, cough syrup, headache medicine, sinus/cold medicine, and first aid items. In my experience, my kids and I have had great results taking Source Naturals Wellness Formula. It has been a strong herbal defense supplement in fighting an illness that was recommended to me by a local natural health food store. Two a day for prevention […]


Homecoming Plans If this is your first college Homecoming as a parent, get ready for your Bull to be super busy. USF’s Homecoming is packed with fun events for both students, and parents, and alumni. Homecoming also coincides with Friends & Family Weekend (see our blog about Friends & Family Weekend here). USF’s special week has become an event not to be missed. There are so many activities scheduled, that you are bound to find something to do almost every day. It happens every Fall and this year’s theme was SuperBull! USF’s Homecoming site. I am listing some of the bigger, more popular events to attend. Kickoff: This is at the Marshall Center Stage Fountain and Rocky the Bull will be there, along with the HOT band, cheerleaders, free food, and spirit items. Stampede Comedy Show: IN the past, featured comedians were Nicole Byer and Alex Moffat and it is held in […]

Bulls Green with Envy With A Heart of Gold

Putting Together Great Bulls Gameday Outfits I love going to college football games- there is nothing like game days. HaveUHeard how USF got its colors? I’d like to say there was something unique or that is based on a tradition but the green and gold simply were selected because Mrs. Grace Allen, wife of the late founding president, said green and gold were selected as the school colors because they were “workable” and no other university in Florida had adopted them as official colors. I’m all about the Green & Gold on game days and I am somewhat about the fashion. But I also want to be comfortable especially on those Florida humid days when you are packed in a stadium and it is more than 90° out and the humidity is stifling. Parents, you can wear officially licensed Bulls to wear or just dress in Green, White, and Gold. USF will […]

Grocery Stores

Grocery Stores A Kids Gotta Eat On-campus or off, meal plan or not, your child will need to get groceries at some point and time.  USF has many shopping options right around campus. Our first choice would be Publix. There are two nearby.  One on N 53 St at the Terrace Ridge Plaza, and one on 16041 Terrace Palms Blvd in the City Plaza of Tampa Palms.  If you are new to Florida, Publix is a Florida-based supermarket with every department found in most grocery stores including produce, deli, meats, canned goods, seafood, frozen foods, flowers, bread, soda, and stationery, candy, dairy and so on.  It is undoubtedly the most popular grocer in Florida. Make sure your student downloads their app, as it is wonderful for digital coupons and recipe ideas. The extra minute it takes to check off items in the app can save you some money. My friend gave my […]

Get Involved

Get Involved USF is huge! With over 37,000 undergraduates across over 1500 acres, it can sometimes be hard to not feel overwhelmed by the size of the school. To make it feel a bit smaller and more personal, one must get involved. Some students will choose to rush a sorority or fraternity (see sorority blog here and fraternity blog here), but others will not find Greek life is their cup of tea. No worries, there are many other possible ways to get involved on campus. School comes first, obviously, but we at HaveUHeard feel that being involved in some way is equally as important. Remember that your child is still a teenager and will want to find people with the same interests as them. Leaving home, family, and friends can be hard, but feeling a part of a community can make their transition easier. Joining clubs and organizations allows students to discover […]

Books, Books, Books

Books, Books, Books Now that our sons and daughters have moved in, begun exploring, meeting friends, the reality begins.  This means that they are now students again and the real reason they have been sent off to college surfaces.  Get your wallets ready, because now they need books. HaveUHeard that USF participates in the Textbook Affordability Project (TAP)? This program promotes awareness of textbook affordability issues and creates solutions so students have access to course materials that are affordable, up-to-date, and satisfy academic needs. Books today come in many different forms and likewise can be purchased in a variety of ways – including rentals. Deciding which is the most cost-efficient and the easiest way for your students to use it are important factors. Textbooks can cost as much as a few hundred dollars each. (Please note that some professors will insist on the newest edition of a textbook simply because it is […]

Preparing for Grad School Exams

Just keep going! Whenever you hear someone say, “four years fly by” believe it!  Preparing for graduation comes as a shock to some, but then there is the decision of continuing on to Grad school.  Most people today feel that Grad school is necessary. It seems that in a lot of professions, a Master’s Degree is the standard. If you are going for it, then you need to start researching all of the degrees and programs out there, as they can be different from undergraduate programs.  Contact the Office of Graduate Studies to see if any informational events are scheduled.  Meeting with the office can help you see the paths offered and clarify your prerequisites and other required things needed.  It can feel overwhelming, but this office can help to prepare you for the required tests and application items needed. To apply to graduate school, you must fill out the online application, […]

The Best Apps for USF Students

The Best Apps for USF Students I always feel old when I say, ‘back in my day’, but the truth is that back in my day, we lived in a world without apps, cell phones, tablets, and computers.  To get information at school, you had to visit the information boards, get printed schedules, and visit office after office just to get school business done.  Today, our kids have everything at their fingertips. Information is instant, convenient, and plentiful. Apps provide no need to walk miles around campus to set up tutoring appointments, pay bills, or even to eat.  There are a lot of useful apps that USF students use, and here are a few of them: USF and College Studying Apps apps.usf.edu Application Gateway – This provides over 40 software applications for personal use.  Log in with a USF NetID and they can be accessed from any computer anywhere. Archivum – Allows […]

Favorite Apartment Rentals

Favorite Apartment Rentals Not Your Momma’s Apartment Just when you think you have your student all settled in the dorms, chances are you will be hit with the “wanting to move to an apartment” talk. Students quickly learn that the hunt and race to get a good apartment are fierce, and one must start early. They are not kidding. I hadn’t even memorized my daughter’s dorm address when she told me she and some friends would start looking for apartments for the NEXT school year! Yes, dorms are convenient, but when you see what apartments offer today, you won’t be shocked at the yearning to live off-campus.  They are nothing like when I lived in an apartment one mile from campus. My roommate and I scoured the Salvation Army for cheap but clean furniture and split everything down the middle.  Today, some apartments come furnished, and the amenities resemble popular hotels. Some […]

Mother-Daughter Time

Mother-Daughter Time Although I had visited my daughter a couple of times at school, my first weekend alone with her was in the Spring for her sorority Mother-Daughter Weekend.  It was different to have her alone. Conversations were different, and it was so nice to spend time one on one. To see your child as the true, independent adult that they are becoming is inspiring. Spending time with my daughter at school always involves a few things.  A trip to the bookstore, so I can buy that wanted school shirt or a sweatshirt that she has been eyeing; as well as picking up something for myself.  A nice lunch or dinner out, just the two of us. I especially like this as we get to just chat and catch up over a meal she usually doesn’t get.  And, there’s always a trip to Target to resupply and stock up on needed things. […]

Health Insurance

Health Insurance Students at many colleges today must have a health insurance plan that meets their university’s minimum requirement. The University of South Florida does not sponsor a voluntary health insurance plan for the general student body. However, every fall Student Health partners with the USF Health Care Navigators to offer enrollment assistance in the Federal Marketplace. That being said, it is wise that your student is covered.  Deciding on which health insurance plan your student should be on may require a degree in economics. There are many variables to consider when choosing: Does your current health insurance cover your student? If so, consider what your cost is to keep them on your plan. Is the monthly premium you pay for your child pre-tax or after-tax? Will you save money by purchasing a separate plan for perhaps the USF health fee is as much coverage as you feel your student will need? […]

Campus Resources for Students of Color

Campus Guide to Resources for Multicultural Students Campus diversity amongst students has grown considerably over the years and USF vies to maintain an inclusive atmosphere; allowing all students to gain exposure, perceptions, global awareness, and a willingness to collaborate peacefully and freely. Whether serving as a forum for communication, helping minority students build strong social networks, or simply in pursuit of a welcoming space amongst other students of color; USF undoubtedly has a place where you will find your connections. Firstly, the Black Student Union promotes cultural awareness and pride and plans community activities. It is located at 4202 E Fowler Ave Tampa, Florida 33620. The African Student Association proposes to serve as the official voice and meeting place for the black community at USF. Among the organizations, clubs, and groups on campus; students may also be interested in joining one of the sororities or fraternities. These nine are part of the […]

Eating on a Budget at USF, Ways To Make It Fun.

Eating on a Budget One of the not-so-fun things parents do is to teach their children to budget, about money and how to handle it.  We’ve all heard it; teach them about money young, and they will be more responsible as adults. For me, I can say that I tried, but we truly started when my children were in high school.  They each had their own bank accounts with their own debit cards. They did their best, but if there was money in their account, they spent it. Turning 18 does not mean that they don’t need guidance in this area because they do.  So, the summer before my oldest went to college, we had a “meeting” explaining how her money situation was going to be handled. We explained the amount per month she would have, what we were willing to pay for, and that if she was running low, then she […]

Birthright Israel – Hillel

Birthright Israel – Hillel What exactly is Birthright? Birthright began in 1999 with a bold idea—offering a free, life-changing trip to Israel to young Jewish adults between the ages of 18 and 26 and, in doing so, transforming the Jewish future. Their mission is to give every Jewish young adult around the world, especially the less connected, the opportunity to visit Israel on an educational trip. Today, Birthright is the largest educational tourism organization in the world and it aims to strengthen Jewish identity, communities, and connection with Israel. Each 10 trip is 100% funded by 30,000+ donors each year. Tour highlights: Some of the tour highlights: camel rides, rafting down the Jordan River, visit the Western Wall, float in the Dead Sea, waterfalls of the Golan Heights, taste Mediterranean food, and connect with Israelis your own age. Going to Israel allows one to really connect with the country and its Jewish […]

Care Packages for USF 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 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 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, Valentine’s Day, religious holidays, […]

It’s All About the Delivery at USF

Delivery, It Is So Easy! When I was in college, the only delivery available was pizza delivery. Getting a five-dollar pizza delivered right to my dorm was so satisfying and easy.  Today, you really don’t even have to leave your dorm or apartment to get a good meal. Food delivery has become a huge business and for college students, it couldn’t be easier. Here are some of the delivery services that we have found and what they deliver and how they work. Bite Squad – With Bite Squad, you put in where you are, what you are interested in, and the local options with come up. Booking fees are listed with each restaurant and you can schedule your delivery for any time of day. DoorDash – This is the same concept as UberEats and Postmates. They have an easy app that guides you through your order. They have also launched Project Dash. […]

How to Transition as A Transfer Student

Becoming a BULL We all know that there are many ways for a student to end up at their final college institution.  Maybe you have attended the college of your dreams and have realized that it is not the place for you.  Or maybe you decided to attend your local community college with the intention of transferring to a university later.  Then there are those that have completed so many college courses successfully while in high school, that they are actually considered a transfer student when they actually arrive at their university. Either way, USF is a very popular school to transfer to.  Let’s face it, everyone wants to be a Bull! Their process is pretty easy to follow, so make sure that you get all of your documentation ready. Admissions to transfer students varies depending on the successful credits that you currently have.  If you have 12-59 credits, then you are […]

Make the Call to Admissions if you have Questions

Should I, or Shouldn’t I? Call admissions or not? After the excitement of finally deciding on what colleges to apply to, there comes the time-consuming process of filling out applications, writing essays, getting school records together, and paying the application fees.  I clearly remember when my daughter hit her last keystroke on her last application. She was so relieved, but that soon turned into anxious waiting. For someone who rarely checked her email, she became obsessed with checking it every day, as well as checking the house mail, “just in case.” USF has rolling admissions, which means that acceptances are posted multiple times, usually depending on the time that your application was received.  There are three types of Admission Decision Letters that you could get. You may receive a Deferred Admission Letter which means that they haven’t quite decided on you yet and are waiting for more information.  A Denied Admission Letter […]

An Insider’s Guide to Living on Campus

Learn the Best Way to Manage Your Housing. Housing is one of the first decisions you must make after being accepted into USF. The housing you select will become your home for the next year and it is important to pick the housing best suited for you. At USF, there are many options for housing. From traditional, suite, and apartment-style to the Living Learning Communities, there is definitely a place you will be able to call home. We even have some tips on how to decorate your dorm. The first step is to submit your housing application as soon as possible. This is important because housing fills up fast! The next step is to find housing that suits your needs. From the price, living style to floor plans, USF provides many options. You can find out all the specifics, including floor plans on the Housing & Residential Education page, but here is […]

Finding a Roommate

What To Look For In An Ideal Roommate. One of the biggest fears of any new college student is “the roommate”.   Finding the ideal roommate can be stressful but thinking about a few important things can help make it easier.  Whether you will be sharing a room, or have your own room but sharing a suite, living with someone brings new challenges of personal space, respect, and flexibility. Being an only child, going to college was the first time that I had to share a room with someone.  I was actually excited about it but had to get used to a lot of things. At orientation, I met a girl and we got along great.  We decided to request each other as a roommate so that we didn’t have to get a complete stranger. That was well and good until we really lived day to day with each other.  It wasn’t horrible, […]

Dropping A Class

Dropping The Subject I clearly remember my days at USF and having to make a hard decision about dropping a class. Back then, it seemed as if the world was crashing in, to admit that I was not going to be successful in a class. In reality, it is a great learning experience in self-evaluation. For me, it was a science class that was filled with chemistry and math that I had never seen before.  The teacher went fast, and after a couple of failed quizzes, I knew that I was either going to fail the class or have to withdraw. Students today are coming to college after immense pressures to score as high as they can, complete as much as they can, and with lots of help from home and teachers. Once in a college class, sometimes things can get overwhelming, you can lag behind, and even become completely lost. Some […]

Roommates and Residential Life

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

Meal Plans for USF Students

Meal Plans Note: Dining Services have been operating according to modified protocol throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the fall semester, additional modifications will be made for sanitation and to promote physical distancing. This includes enhanced cleaning and sanitation procedures, physical barriers at registers, capacity limitations, directional arrows/stickers on the floor for entry, service and exit queues, and floor markings to remind students to remain socially distant. To Buy or Not To Buy One of the biggest worries parents have when sending their child off to college, is how will they eat? Let’s face it, we have been buying, prepping, and cooking for our “babies” since they were actually babies! Here’s where meal plans come in. Yes, some of our kids have learned to cook and prepare their own meals, but it’s nice to know that there is a good option for no worry eating. When I was a student, the […]

Family Weekend

Family Weekend Every school has Parents Weekend, and for USF the tradition continues.  This is a great time to see your students in their “natural habitat” on campus.  You will see them in their new independent role and have the chance to meet some of their friends.  There is some debate on whether Parents Weekend is worth the travel and expenses vs. coming on another, less-crowded weekend.  But, I can tell you that we have done both. Parents Weekend is geared towards families and there are some fun things to do. The weekend is set for October 9 -11, 2020 with registration open on July 6th.  As soon as they do announce it, I advise you to make your hotel reservations immediately, as they book up fast.  Some will offer a slight discount if you reserve far in advance and tell them why you are coming. Our blog on hotels will help […]

The First Few Weeks

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

I’m Not Your Maid: Cleaning Services

Maybe It’s Not A Luxury, But A Necessity? Does everyone need a maid? Ok, let me start by saying that yes, my children know how to clean their rooms and bathrooms. Do they like to? No. But, boy did my oldest learn quickly that there really is no other way to be when living in a tiny dorm room and sharing a bathroom. It was actually a great life lesson because when she moved into an apartment, she kept up her clean ways. That being said, there are actually times where hiring a cleaning service may not be such a bad idea. First off, if your child is in an apartment and a roommate comes down with the flu or something else contagious, having a one-time cleaning to disinfect everything is not a bad idea. For some reason, germs spread like wildfire around college kids. This could help keep everything from spreading. […]

The Stress of College

The Stress of College It happens to all of us, even our kids.  You probably saw this when they were studying for their AP exams or writing the dreaded college application essays.  Well, balancing a full college schedule, football season, sorority, or fraternity rush, trying to maintain a social life, and learning to adult can bring on the stress that your student may not have experienced before. And as if all of that is not enough, 2018 brought Florida schools, hurricanes, and school shootings. Learning how to cope and handle lots of independent work, as well as dealing with natural disasters and violence made it hard for many students to know how to deal with that stress. More students than ever are coming forward in need of help. In today’s world, the stigma of mental health help is nearly gone, as our country has placed a huge emphasis on identifying and implementing […]

Trouble in Paradise

Trouble in Paradise Your student got in trouble. Or they are having trouble. Now what? It’s not uncommon.  Sometimes even “the best kids” end up getting in trouble in some fashion in college. It could be as simple as a parking ticket, or as big as a charge of plagiarism.  Problems with a roommate, an apartment lease, getting caught underage drinking, are just a few of the issues that can play havoc with a college student and their parents.  No matter how well we’ve warned them to be safe, and follow school rules, it is important to also know what to do if trouble arises. Firstly, breathe.  Your student is probably freaking out and is terrified to talk to you.  Remain calm and get all of the facts. Remind your child to obtain and keep all paperwork and information.  Go over the dates and processes that they have been given. HaveUHeard about […]

Transportation -Getting There

Getting There – Transportation To and From Tampa The first time you drop your student off at college can be both stressful and exciting.  Planning is the key. You will probably go the first time to move them in and get them settled.  Many of you will drive and some will fly into town. There are many transportation options when it comes to getting to Tampa.  Since you probably won’t be delivering and picking your student up very often, here are some ways to get them to and from USF. Air Transportation Tampa International Airport is just 25 minutes from USF. This is the closest airport and the best option. One of the cheapest options to fly into but more expensive to fly out of. Some students fly to and from campus using the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport which is about 35 minutes away. All the major airlines frequent these airports, along […]

Orient Yourself

Orient Yourself Your child has been accepted to USF!  Congrats! The dates of Summer/Fall Orientation may be found here. The first thing you need to do is to sign up for Orientation. Both you and your student will have two days of taking notes, filling out paperwork, and getting yourselves familiar with the campus. Orientation can be an overwhelming event because lots of information is being thrown at you in a short amount of time. So, remember to breathe. Don’t panic, like I did, about remembering every phone number, code, and the piece of advice that the school gives you. It will all be there on their website if you need them. I did make notes and highlighted things that I especially wanted to go over with my child in detail (like health care, tutoring, safety…) It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the many slides you will be shown. […]

Moving Out

Moving Out There is so much anticipation and prep involved with moving our kids INTO college, but not as much thought about moving them OUT. Moving them in has a feeling of excitement, but no one wants to get excited about packing all of that stuff up and moving it again. I know for me, when it was time to move our daughter out of the dorms for the summer, we dreaded it.  Plus, where was all of that dorm stuff going to go? So, I definitely recommend a thought-out plan. Ask yourself: do we have somewhere to put everything? Do we want to move it all again in a couple of months? Is there a place in our budget for storing it all somewhere? Some parents don’t mind that round trip, packing up the car, or cars, and bringing it all home to store for the summer. An unused bedroom, or […]

Cultural Resources for Hispanic-Latino Students

Support, Empowerment, and Connection for Hispanic-Latino Students Campus diversity amongst students has grown considerably over the years and colleges vie to maintain an inclusive atmosphere; allowing all students to gain exposure, perceptions, global awareness, and a willingness to collaborate peacefully and freely. Whether serving as a forum for communication, helping students build strong social networks, or simply in pursuit of a welcoming space amongst other Hispanic or Latino students; USF undoubtedly has a place where you will find your connections. As in years past, USF is gearing up to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 – October 15, 2020. There are many ways to get involved, including helping to plan both virtual and in-person events to commemorate the histories, cultures, and contributions of the Hispanic and Latinx communities. USF has various organizations for Hispanic and Latinx students that are sponsored by professional societies, while others focus on diversity, mentoring, networking, college achievement, […]

Just Desserts

Just Desserts Did you know that that the word desserts is stressed spelled backward?  Well, there will come a time when all a college kid wants is something sweet.  Whether it’s a late-night run or celebrating a test or a project getting done, the need for satisfying ice cream, cupcakes, or yogurt is real.  Let’s face it, there really doesn’t have to be a specific reason for dessert, right? Here are some of our favorites: BOBACUP – on Fowler Ave.  They have authentic bubble teas, slushes, and snows. Brusters Ice Cream – on Bruce B Downs.  Their many flavors of ice creams are made fresh daily on-site. Cold Stone Creamery – on Fowler Ave. Here you can design your own creation of hand-mixed toppings and add-ins. Cookie Munchers: 11842 Bruce B Downs Blvd., because who doesn’t like cookies? And they deliver. Felicitous (on 51st) – This is a dog-friendly coffeehouse offering drinks, […]

Places of Worship

Places of Worship – Continuing Traditions Religion and worship are a big part of many of our lives, and college students and families may wonder how that will continue at school. It is important you all know that there are always options for continuing their faith at USF. Having a place to worship on or near campus allows students to meet others of their faith, as well as to have a Rabbi, Minister, or Priest to turn to should they need that guidance. USF is a very diverse school and also offers many religious/spiritual organizations. Baptist Collegiate Ministries meets weekly and also has intramurals groups and travel experiences offered to students. Catholic Student Center offers education, sacramental life, and is home in the Catholic Student Union. Chabad on Campus Jewish Student Center Located at 4506 Sweetwater Lake Dr., this home away from home for Jewish students offers free Shabbat meals, social events, holiday […]

Lost and Found

Lost and Found Oh, No….It Happened! We’ve all done it, lost something.  It’s not surprising that a college student may lose their keys, book, wallet, phone, etc.  They have so many things occupying their minds and are learning to “adult” for the first time.  As parents, the frustration is usually about the security of things (i.e. losing a debit card).  Things can be replaced, but with so many cases of identity theft, your student is just as vulnerable.  And with students being far from home, fixing the problem can be challenging. It’s gone… My daughter lost her beloved debit card in her freshman year.  She swears she put it on her desk and it just disappeared. Since her banking was tied with ours, she could not just go to the credit union on campus and get a new one.  We decided to track all activity on the card and not to cancel […]

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but sometimes it is in the eyes staring back at you in the mirror. Being the mother of two girls, haircuts and coloring, nails being done, and eyebrows needing waxing is nothing new to me. At home, we have our tried and true places to go, but when your girl or boy is needing some touching up while away at school, it is nice to know where to go. I know, I know, beauty isn’t everything, but the reality is that most want/need hair trims or some services to help them get ready for Greek formals, banquets, or even job interviews. There are places mentioned a lot on some of the parent Facebook pages, but students will find their favorites. Here are some of the recommended places: Hair Salons If your daughter is getting a haircut, you may want […]

Are Your Student’s Valuables Protected and Safe?

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

The Loss of a Pet

The Loss of a Pet More than half of our population owns at least one pet.  For many college students, the family pet was acquired when they were a child, and it has grown along with them. Unfortunately, that means an aging pet sometimes passes away while the student is in college. This can be devastating, and there are many emotions a student goes through when finding out the bad news. Some students feel shocked, because, like us, it’s hard to imagine life without our beloved pet.  It doesn’t matter if the pet was a 15-year-old dog or a hamster; the loss a kid feels is real. Then, so many students will want to drop everything and come home. Obviously, that’s not rational, especially if they live far from the school. So, how do we help our students get through the loss of their pet?  I believe in the power of Facetime. […]

Staying Fit in College

Staying Fit There is so much to gain in college; new friends, experiences, knowledge, and yes, sometimes even weight. I remember hearing about the “Freshman 15” when I was in college, and I thought, surely that would never happen to me. Well, after eating horribly and very late at night, not getting enough sleep, and wanting to sleep more than I wanted to exercise, I managed to put on about 10 pounds in my first year. We did not have a student gym on campus and I truly believe that eating right and exercise was not at the forefront of most people’s minds “back in the day.” Fast forward to today, and students are still facing the same challenges that we did. On top of poor choices, the stress and expectations of today can make students gain unhealthy weight. But, I do see more students taking advantage of all that colleges offer […]

After the Hurricane

After the Hurricane – Getting Back to “Normal” Prior to Hurricane Irma, our blog talked about hurricanes that had impacted Florida.  It had been twelve years since a major hurricane in the state. Hurricane Irma will be remembered not only for its strength but for its impact on the entire state of Florida, causing damage and destruction on both the east and west coasts. Just last week Dorian posed a huge threat to Florida.  Being a Florida native, I am very used to the threats of bad storms. But when forecasters throw out words like “catastrophic”, and you see that their expressions have changed, it is easy to feel panic and anxious. The best part of a hurricane is that there is plenty of warning.  And with Dorian, USF had time to prepare their students and families to keep everyone safe.  A lot of students decided to leave their dorms or apartments, and […]

Honor Roll

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

Choosing or Changing Your Major

Choosing or Changing Your Major You’ve graduated from high school and have chosen to go to USF. The most popular question asked to you will be, “what are planning on studying?” or “what are you going to major in?” This can be very intimidating to some because not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up. And that is ok! If you know you want to be a nurse/doctor, a teacher, or a business person, you will start taking some of your first major-related classes along with those required ones. If you are not exactly sure what you want to study, USF will help you to plan. My daughter started college wanting to major in Psychology.  Although she still likes it, she decided to change her major to Marketing with a concentration in Sports and Entertainment Management. It is a much better fit for her, and with 180 majors […]

Where the Wind Blows

Where the Wind Blows As a Florida Native: Been there, done that. Wind blowing, we get that a lot. I was born in Florida and have never lived outside of Florida. I know all about sunny days, tourists, love bug season, humidity, and yes, hurricanes. I know nothing about preparing for snow, but I have had my fair share of hurricane preparations and parties. The quote, “it’s all in the preparations” is true when it comes to Florida storms.  It is so easy to become complacent when you’ve been through so many storms, preparing for the worst, and then having a storm turn the other way at the last minute. You’ll hear, “it won’t hit here” a lot. 24-hour broadcasts and weather forecasters getting excited can create a sense of panic and second-guessing. And if your student is from another state, panic can become elevated, especially for the parents at home. The […]

Transferring to USF

Transferring to USF Some students leave for college unsure of what to find and realize when they get there it is not the place for them. Perhaps too they never actually went away, but had been living at home for college and are now ready to go away. If transferring to USF is something your student is considering, they can start by checking out the requirements. For those with less than 60 credit (college) hours, you must turn in your high school diploma and transcripts, have a minimum GPA of 2.5, turn in SAT/ACT scores, and turn in any AP/IB classes and scores. There may be additional requirements based on the major/program they are applying to. The application deadline to start for the Fall 2018 semester is June 1, 2018. For those with more than 60 credit hours, a minimum GPA of 2.3 is required. (It is a 2.0 if transferring from […]


Gasparilla Aaargh! It’s An Invasion! Being that we live in the same city as our college kid, there is one part of Tampa’s life that I must tell you about. Since 1904, Tampa’s annual Gasparilla celebration is a time just as exciting as any other holiday. As soon as holiday decorations are taken down, Gasparilla decorations go up. It all starts in January and events run through March. It is likely that your USF student will take part in at least one event, so I will fill you in on the main ones. It all started when Jose Gaspar and his crew of pirates terrorized the coastal waters of West Florida. There is great debate as to whether he was even real or a made-up character in historical writings. A “krewe” of men dressed as pirates staged a mock invasion of the city in the early 1930s, based on the lore and […]

Where to Pregame at USF

Get Ready For A Fun Day! I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of the term, pregame until I heard my daughter mention it before attending her first college game. Now, it’s become a part of the game experience along with tailgating and celebrating the win (hopefully). Assuming that you are of the drinking age, there are some fun places that offer great deals for college students on game days. Near USF, World of Beer on Fowler Ave. has great happy hour specials as well as daily specials for USF students. The Local Draught House on University Square Dr. has a chill atmosphere and lots of great choices. Since USF plays their home games in Raymond James Stadium, you do have the opportunity to buy alcoholic drinks right in the stadium. Being an NFL stadium, be prepared to use your weekly allowance for one drink. So, many students like to go […]

Away for the High Holidays

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

Best Coffee Houses at USF

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 Tampa. 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 […]

Trick or Treat The College Version

Trick or Treat Halloween is the first holiday that your student will encounter since leaving home. With their new status as adults, the holiday takes on a different meaning. When I was at USF, it meant a night to go to a party and dress up. So many organizations, fraternities, and sororities hold parties and, as you can imagine, some are just good old fun, and others are pretty outrageous. Many of us grew up in a household where Halloween was observed by carving pumpkins, putting up some decorations, making our own costumes, and trick or treating throughout our neighborhood. We ran in packs, sometimes without parents, and came back when we were done. With our own children, we never left them alone, watched for cars, and checked their candy (and even snuck some too).  Now, they are on their own to have fun and start their own Halloween traditions. Send a […]