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Survival of the Fittest: Ten College Survival Tips

By Meredee Switzer, Richard Battle Baxter, Tina Dressel on July 31st, 2004 •
1. Don't take 8 AM classes.

It's real simple; just don't do it. You'll oversleep, your grades will slip, and you'll have wasted time and money. And you'll probably have to take the class over to boot.

2. Don't skip classes.

We all skip; just don't do it often. If you get in the habit, you'll miss all the important stuff that will be on the final.

3. Pick Good Professors

Keep an ear out for red flags about professors from your classmates. Haven't heard whether a professor is chill? Check out ratemyprofessors.com, where students have rated more than 300,000 professors at nearly 4,000 schools.

4. Get To Know Your Professors.

Professors like to see motivated students. Getting to know the professors can mean they may cut you a little more slack. Who said the system was fair?

5. Get Involved.

Get a part-time job, join a club, or play intramural sports. The first term, everyone is looking for a friend. These are all good ways to meet new friends.

6. Stay Healthy: Avoid the Freshman 15

Don't be the person who comes back 15 pounds heavier. Diet changes and lack of exercise all contribute. Find your way to the fitness center. Might as well; you're paying for it.

7. Don't Stress.

Suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. A mid-term, final, or paper isn't worth it. Put things into perspective and set aside some time to do things you enjoy.

8. Make New Friends.

Force yourself to meet and hang out with new people. Expand your horizons; don't just hang out with all your friends from high school.

9. Nurture a Good Relationship with Your Roommate.

Whether it's a ride home at 3 a.m., scrubbing the bathroom, or alone time with your significant other, your roommate can make your life a lot better - or a lot worse. Return the favors.

10. Beware of Free Promotions.

You are now the most sought-after demographic on the face of the earth. Companies will do nearly anything to get into your pockets, including offering gimmicks for shady products, programs and services. Know what you're getting into before you sign on any dotted line.