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Top 10 Ways to Survive College

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Nick Spake You survived high school and now it's time for the big leagues. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Ways to Survive College. For this list, we'll be sharing insightful advice on how to make college the best four years of your life…or five if you go for super senior status. Special thanks to our user christo for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 Ways To Survive College

You survived high school and now it's time for the big leagues. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Ways to Survive College.

For this list, we’ll be sharing insightful advice on how to make college the best four years of your life…or five if you go for super senior status.

#10: Keep in Touch with Family

College provides a golden opportunity to branch out, meet new people, and grow up. Just because you’re in the adult world doesn’t mean you should cut ties with your parents, though. Chances are you’re still going to need them for emotional support, the occasional home cooked meal, and free laundry services. Sure, they may be overbearing and annoying. When college life is getting you down, however, a phone call or Skype session with the family can make things all better. Visiting your dysfunctional family over Thanksgiving can also make you appreciate your neurotic dorm mate.

#9: Get Pre-Owned Books

Once you get to college, you’ll quickly find that everything has an outrageous price tag, particularly textbooks. The average college student can spend roughly $1,000 on books per year. That’s insane! What makes this even more unreasonable is that sometimes you’ll never even open that expensive book… unless you’ve taken up pressing wildflowers. If a textbook is 100% required for a course, though, get a pre-owned copy, off campus if you can. You might be able to save a few hundred bucks. And be sure to trade it back in once the semester is over to get a fraction of your money back.

#8: Caffeine!

In college, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and maybe the occasional catnap. When presented with a full plate, however, sometimes you’ll have to cut your eight hours of rest short. This is where caffeine enters into the mix. Whether you’re staying up late tocomplete a term paper or waking up early for a class, a nice cup of Joe is guaranteed to keep you alert and energized. Granted, Starbucks and other coffee chains are bound to charge you a bundle for that measly espresso. If it keeps you awake throughout your pretentious professor’s boring lecture, though, it’s worth every penny.

#7: Skipping Class? Cover Your Ass

You’ll be happy to know that college doesn’t have as many regulations as high school. For example, if you decide to skip class, you’re not going to get in trouble with your parents or principal. When you’re overworked and overstressed, ditching a certain class can be completely acceptable. Just be sure to plan ahead. After all, you wouldn’t want to be absent the day of a final exam or the day when your 50-page thesis is due. In case you happen to miss an important lecture, ask somebody from class if you can copy their notes. College students gotta stick together.

#6: Cook Simple Meals

When you’re living on campus, the dining hall will likely be your primary source of something resembling food. Eating pizza and burgers every day is tempting, but that’s the fast track to the dreaded and all too real Freshman Fifteen. Besides, you’re going to be in too much of a rush to eat a big feast. Rather than gorging on fries and the bowl of French dressing and carrots you jokingly call a salad, fix yourself up a quick, simple meal. And be sure to add cereal, Pop Tarts, and granola bars to your grocery list. Oh, and you can’t forget the microwave noodles! They’re basically required.

#5: Make Friends in Your Field of Study

By befriending others in your field of study, you can gain numerous professional contacts that will help you achieve career goals. Networking aside, making contacts is also important for social purposes. If you felt like an outsider in high school, don’t worry. College is a very different place that brings together all sorts of diverse people that share aspirations similar to your own. You’ll likely meet some of your best friends in a study group or doing an extracurricular activity. Once the work session is over, head out for some drinks with the gang and maybe a road trip depending on how the night goes.

#4: Class Selection

Getting to choose your own classes sounds really awesome and in many respects it is. However, class selection can backfire big time if you don’t know the ropes. First and foremost, never sign up for classes before 9:00 A.M. unless you’re a morning person. Also, try to only sign up for classes on Monday through Thursday. That way you can just unwind on Friday and take a three-day weekend. If the planets perfectly align, it’s even possible to schedule all of your classes on one day. There’s nothing better than a six-day weekend, aside from just taking the whole week off.

#3: Study What You Like

While you’ll likely have to take at least a few boring courses to get all your required credits, college also allows students an opportunity tohone in on their interests. Select your major based on what you’re passionate about, whether it’s engineering, history, basket weaving, or the history of basket weaving. If you start to lose interest down the line, there’s no shame in changing your major. You can even transfer schools if you feel another environment would be more beneficial. Just don’t study something you don’t like or understand. That’s the first step towards a miserable future.

#2: Budget Your Money

You thought books were expensive? Just wait until you see the bill for your tuition. Here’s a tip: try to apply for any scholarships and financial aid you could be eligible for. You can also take out a student loan. Just be prepared to spend the rest of your life paying it off. Even if your parents put aside a nice college fund for you, you’ll still need enough cash leftover for food and housing. Budget your money well and don’t overspend on luxuries, even if it means shopping at a 99-cents store and having your anniversary dinner at Burger King.

Before we impart our top piece of wisdom, here are a few honorable mentions:
Study Abroad
Participate in Class Discussions
Take Advantage of Free Facilities

#1: Manage Your Time

Now that Mom and Dad are no longer around to constantly monitor your activities, you’re free to abide by your own schedule. If you want toskip a study session to go out and party, that’s entirely up to you. With that said, slacking off too much can result in a 0.0 GPA. Unless you’re planning to be a Christmas grad, we highly suggest you stay on top of your readings. Of course, you don’t need to dedicate all of your time to studying either. Part of the college experience is having fun too. It’s all about finding the perfect balance between work time and playtime.

Do you agree with our list? What advice would you give to somebody going to college? For more educational Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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