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So far Michelle Balaun has created 163 blog entries.



Creating Work and Study Home Space from Etsy With quarantine being the norm these days, working or studying from home is a challenge we’re all facing du [...]

Greetabl, more than a card.


I was introduced to Greetabl when I received this adorable, small box that was personalized with HaveUHeard from one of our employees. It was their way of saying they appreciated us and included a small token gift. Since then, I have recommended this company to many friends as well as sending my own Greetabl to my daughters. Whether it is sending a little something to say thank you, or perhaps, during midterms, or when they feel sick, or for their birthday, or just because you want them to know you’re thinking of them; it doesn’t have to be big to have a cheery impact.

Professionalism in Written Communication 


As students head into summer internship/job fair season, it is important that they keep in mind the importance of what employers refer to as “soft skills.” This includes (but is not limited to): working with others, ethical judgment and decision making, analytical thinking, organizing and evaluating information, innovation and creativity, complex problem-solving, diversity awareness, and written and oral communication.

Impactful Books for Young Adults


Impactful books for mom and dads too! I am that mother, that aunt; that friend, that sister, that always sends books as gifts. I mean, books don’t go out of style, can be read and reread, and may very well be filled with anything from adventure, philosophy, emotion, and imagination. What other gifts can you give that may have all that and more? Giving books to recent graduates, or young adults that may have a little more time on their hands these days may actually impact their lives as they begin their new journey is one of my favorite gifts.

Money Money Money


If you have a student in college, we are sure that sometimes (or perhaps all the time), you feel like you are a financial institution, giving money to your students to help offset the cost of college. That would not make you alone as, according to the Pew Research Center, three in 5 parents with children between 18 and 29 have given their kids some financial help in the last year including assistance with bills and groceries, education costs, and rent or mortgage.

Celebrating Your Student’s “Quarantine” Birthday


We have addressed birthday ideas when your student was away at college. It was one of those milestones that served as another reminder that we wouldn’t be celebrating together. But today, birthday plans are changing because of the quarantine. We’re here to help you make sure your student’s birthday is still one to remember and puts a smile on their face. From friendly drive-bys and honking horns to turning your house into a night out, the creative juices are flowing from all over the world.

The Stress…Happens to All


Every college is on top of being there for students when things can get emotionally rocky. They offer various programs, resources, counseling, workshops, training; most of which are free to our students. Each school has its own counseling programs; some of which can be done online. There are often presentations that address various topics that may cause stress for college students. Often, colleges help students prepare for exams by offering relaxation techniques right when they are needed most.

Getting a Virtual Feel for Your Student’s Campus


We are living in a rapidly changing world, hoping that eventually, fall will bring move-ins, classes, college sports, and normalcy. Campus tours to help students make their college decision have been put on hold. Orientation will likely be virtual at many universities. These are unusual and unprecedented times and circumstances continue to evolve daily.

Financial Aid in Turbulent Times


Never have any of us imagined, as a country and world, that we would be going through a financial and health crisis such as Coronavirus. For most of us, the impact it has had, not only on our own personal finances but the entire change in our students' lives, are far-reaching. We all want the best for them and so many questions have arisen that HaveuHeard is going to address the most asked questions.

Complaints about a Class or Professor?


All of our kids have certain expectations before they go to college about what it will be like academically. They ask themselves if they will transition smoothly given the rigor of their high school curriculum. They wonder if they have the tools necessary to succeed in the higher ed environment. Some make assumptions that it won’t even be a transition because they feel so ready. The reality of what they encounter is seldom what they anticipated on multiple levels.

A Letter to Seniors 


I wanted to reach out to all of you seniors about how COVID-19 is specifically affecting you, the Class of 2020. I hate to use a colloquialism as an English major and teacher, but there’s no way around saying that this sucks beyond belief for you all more than most. In my many sleepless nights this past week, I have been reflecting on my own senior year at Penn State – where I was and what I was doing and who I was with. It seems insurmountable to conceive of missing out on all those moments and memories that I carry with me to this day.

Changes to Jobs or Internships?


The world is full of changes in our patterns of life. These are certainly uneasy times that will certainly be part of our world history. Each day brings more uncertainty and changes for all of us. We’ve seen the posts from family members, friends, and other parents of college students about their student losing their internship or job. Having graduation ceremonies canceled or postponed was a difficult pill to swallow but now some of our students have lost internships that were required for their degree and jobs they had lined up after graduation.

Backyard Tailgate!


As we are quarantined, many have discovered fun ways to spend our days. From family Olympics to our own obstacle courses using household items, it is reminiscent of the days when we made up our own games using only our imaginations and whatever we could rummage up in the house. Being a sports family, we truly missed spring training and opening day of baseball, spring football debut of our favorite college teams, and of course, all the sports that would normally be taking place. So why not try to bring the sports back into your own home and throw a backyard tailgate to support your favorite team? We’ve got you covered with cornhole sets, pop up table tennis sets, four-game set, hook and ring games, target practice games, tumble towers, and more. Enjoy great savings, support your favorite team, and make some family memories with your own backyard tailgate. Click by the school or see college games in general. Read more...

Fanatics NFL Face Masks for All!


We are all going to have to wear them... so you might as well make it FUN! Get your social distancing masks with your favorite NFL or MLB team so you can show your spirit! Be responsible and have some personality with your face mask showing exactly which team is yours. HaveUHeard features Fanatics! They have your favorite NFL and MLB teams on face masks.

Fanatics MLB Face Masks


Get your social distancing masks with your favorite NFL or MLB team so you can show your spirit! Be responsible and have some personality with your face mask showing exactly which team is yours. HaveUHeard features Fanatics! They have your favorite NFL and MLB teams on face masks.

Colleges Move to Virtual Classrooms 


Now that the State University System of Florida has asked all universities to switch to remote virtual instruction as soon as possible, many parents have questions about how certain classes will be able to instruct. As much as we all wish everything would go back to normal, we at HaveUHeard feel strongly that in the context of infectious disease, the use of quarantine and isolation to reduce the transmission of disease and protect the health of the public requires that we all be socially responsible.

SCORE! Team Accessories


Realizing that clear doesn’t need to be plain and ordinary, SCORE! has reinvented the approach to official game day bags. Every bag is designed with a focus on quality and fashion, meeting the evolving tastes, needs, and lifestyles of the American woman. As a certified, women-owned enterprise based in San Antonio, Texas, they embrace the passion and love women have for their favorite teams, schools and organizations as well as, their need to express them with stylish accessories.

The David Project


It’s true that Birthright is a fabulous (and free) program for Jewish individuals from 18 to 28 to visit Israel. Israel, however, is not just for Jews though. So, we did a little digging and found The David Project, a pro- Israel campus advocacy group. The program promotes building diverse pro-Israel support on campuses and is for students of all religions, having reached 10,000 Jewish and non-Jewish students this past academic year on 45 campuses, cultivating student leaders and organizations as allies for Hillel and the pro-Israel community.

Inked by Dani Temporary Tattoo


Want a tattoo but don't want to commit to a design? Hand-drawn in NYC by artist and founder Dani Egna, INKED by Dani is an elevated, sophisticated take on the temporary tattoo craze. With our signature, on-trend style, and worldwide fan base, INKED by Dani is redefining temporary tattoos into a whole new world of fashion-forward, wearable art. Their designs are unique, fashion-forward, and the perfect way to express yourself - without the commitment!

They’re Coming Home for Summer


They have been away for a year, maybe two or three, but this summer they are planning to come home. Many of you may be thinking how nice it will be to have them home; perhaps it will be even better than before they left for college because now they are more mature having lived on their own for so long. Do you sense the cynicism coming? Relax; I too got excited when each of mine came home for those ten weeks.

Join Our HUH Blogger Team!


Are you an “IRL” (in real life) mom of a college student at one of the new schools we plan to be adding? Join the HaveUHeard team. HaveUHeard is a blog written by moms of college students or college students themselves at multi-state universities. We are the only detailed resource for parents looking for information about their student’s college town.

Is Your Student Moving Back Home After Graduation?


Moving back in with your parents after college is not new. I moved back home after graduating from UF for many reasons, the main being financial. My parents even charged me rent (scroll down to see how much that was and how they handled it) So, when our daughter graduated from college without a job, she moved back home with us. We were nervous and she was nervous. Our concerns mainly centered around how her new independent self would take to living back home with rules. Should we have rules? Should we charge her? Will she go back to helping around the house?

Searching for Scholarships, here are our suggestions!


Almost as soon as the first acceptance to college came in, so did the idea of actually having to pay for their tuition and room and board. When they were small it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly. With so many scholarships available today, the trick is finding the ones that suit your student’s needs and that they will qualify for. Some scholarships are quite competitive, some last for four years, and some are downright silly, but pay for something. All make those bills for the next four (or more) years more bearable.

Destination Dorm Room Helps Students


With Thanksgiving and the holidays approaching, many of us will be celebrating the holidays over a festive meal with our college kids and family. But not everyone is so fortunate. This season, HaveUHeard is sharing the story of Destination Dorm, a scholarship program for graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence in the midst of financial hardship.

College Apartments Top Ten List


Combined, our mom bloggers have put, and are still putting, well over ten kids through college. They’ve lived in dorms, apartments, and houses. We’ve gone through the “There’s a waiting list to get in so we have to sign today” to “It’s the only place my friends want to live.” And we indulged them because we wanted them to live in an apartment that was safe and felt like home (that was probably more for us than them).

Meal Plans


One of the many decisions you and your student will make is about the meal plan. With college right around the corner, I see you fearfully envisioning your student’s diet as one of just burgers, pizza, and fries, oh my! Yes, we have been making meals for our kids for as long as we can remember. (So, quite frankly, we might welcome a break.)  And yes, some of our kids have learned how to cook and even to enjoy doing so. But most have come to rely on their meals being ready the minute you yell “Dinnertime!”  NOW what will happen?

Teaching Them to Budget during College


Three times the charm. Well, I suppose that isn’t fair; all three of my kids are charming and adorable. The difference is that not all three are very good with money and frankly I blame myself a little for that. I am not one to preach, but since you asked, the best advice I would give to a parent of a new college student is to give them a budget and make them stick to it.

Types of Student Loans


The Department of Education loans money for school and it is imperative for your student to understand that student loans should not be used for frivolous spending. Trust me, I learned the hard way. The loans and interest (depending on the type of loan you have) add up very quickly. Repayment of said loans can be a huge monthly cost; therefore, understanding all the terms of student loans is, in my opinion, essential.

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First Time Student Loan Borrower?


If you are completing entrance counseling to borrow a loan 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 a graduate or professional student, the entrance counseling will fulfill counseling requirements for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct PLUS loans.

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This is not high school where a student can often coast by; succeeding at University level requires taking classes seriously. At the same time, there are many other opportunities to get involved and enjoy these four years including football games, Greek life, and outdoor activities. A student needs to be able to balance all of this which can prove daunting to many. But since they have such a selective admissions process, the understanding is that many of these students have already been faced with balancing academics and social and civic activities. If your student mentions they are having difficulty, there are many places to turn including speaking with their professor or teacher assistant. There are also peer academic study groups. For many classes, students are turning to outside assistance. Read more...

Get Involved!


Joining a club helps your students build a community and network. Meeting people will help their transition into college go smoother and these connections and friendships can last forever. Joining clubs and organizations allows students to discover their passions and strengths, and to make connections for future resumes and employment.

Career Fairs & Internships


Fall and spring semester career and internship fairs serve as a springboard to planning for the future. Students who have not yet secured a job or internship may start considering their options. For students who are graduating in the fall or spring that have not secured a job, this is an opportunity to meet recruiters and interact in person before a full formal interview.

Sick at School


Almost as soon as the first acceptance to college came in, so did the idea of actually having to pay for their tuition and room and board. When they were small it was something we always envisioned we would do and planned accordingly.

Preparing for Grad School Exams


To apply to graduate school, students must fill out the online application for the university and submit an application fee. Once accepted, there is an orientation For many programs, this is required and you will hear from faculty, staff, and former students about graduate life.  There will be specific orientations for different colleges as well. As for the exams required for admittance to graduate school, the Graduate Studies office can also provide information on test prep, tutoring, and any programs offered to help obtain required scores.  Most universities offer graduate exam test-prep services.

Storage for Their College Stuff


I remember my daughter’s freshman year. I drove up to get her and when we finished packing the car with barely enough room for our bodies and the car feeling as though it was skimming the pavement, I wondered if her belongings seemed to multiply over the past 10 months. Then when we began unloading everything into the garage, sorting out what could stay in our hot garage for the summer and what needed to find space in the house, I became a bit flustered. Well, not panicky, but I did begin to dream of those people that come to your home and teach you to purge.

Away for the High Holidays


Generally, our kids get to come home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but for those who celebrate the upcoming Jewish High Holidays, it may be your first one without your students at your holiday table. While it may feel strange having that empty seat, it can feel better to know that they are celebrating the high holidays with a new community of their peers. You may want to let them know they exist and then hope that they will choose to participate.

Where The Wind Blows…Storms!


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.

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