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10 Tips To Survive Your First Year Of College

Your first year of college is a rite of passage. It's an incredible journey, but one filled with potential pitfalls. Here are 10 tips that will help you along the way, brought to you by State Farm®.

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1. Avoid Morning Classes

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Problem: Taking classes at 8am is a recipe for rushed papers and falling asleep in the middle of a lecture.

Solution: Unless you're forced to take an early class, don't register for anything prior to 10am.

2. Get Off The Internet

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Problem: It's tempting to cope with the newness of college by spending your free time chatting online with your high school friends and family.

Solution: Embrace the first few weeks of school as a chance to meet new people in real life. Your true friends from home will always be there and they won't be offended if you're off the radar for awhile.

3. Coffee Will Stop Working

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Problem: College is busy. There won't be enough hours in the day.

Solution: Caffeine operates under the law of diminishing returns: your body will get used to higher doses and it will stop being as potent. Limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee a day and save the third and fourth cups for when you really need a boost, like during finals.

4. Back Up Your Electronics

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Problem: Being without a computer or phone during your first year of college would be a living nightmare.

Solution: If you're living off campus, protect your home electronics with renters insurance. You'll be eternally grateful if you ever need a quick replacement.

5. Explore The World Off Campus

mattymatt / Via Flickr: mattymatt

Problem: The college bubble can be claustrophobic.

Solution: Most colleges organize trips into big cities. Get out of the bubble with your new friends and go check out live music, theater, and other cultural events.

6. Set Ground Rules With Your Roommates

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Problem: Your freshman year roommate is definitely going to do a few things that will drive you insane. It's guaranteed.

Solution: The only way to deal with awkward roommate situations is to speak up and be clear about what you want. The alternative is being angry and passive aggressive, and nobody wants that.

7. Get To Know Your Professors

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Problem: College professors can be challenging and intimidating.

Solution: Make a point of visiting them during office hours. This will serve three purposes: 1. You'll realize that most are normal (and/or weird) just like you; 2. They'll be able to better meet your individual needs; and 3. They'll be more understanding if you ever need to ask for an extension.

8. Find Opportunities To Blow Off Steam

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Problem: Stress in college can build up without you even realizing it.

Solution: Take some time to be yourself, act crazy, and release some nervous energy.

9. Attend A Lot Of Club Meetings

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Problem: You're poor and you don't know many people.

Solution: Kill two birds with one stone by dropping in on recruitment meetings for groups and clubs on campus. You'll broaden your social circle and eat tons of free pizza.

10. The Freshman 15 Is Real

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Problem: If you're on the student meal plan, eating garbage, and stressed out, it's super easy to gain weight.

Solution: It takes a little effort to fit exercise into a busy schedule, but the benefits are huge. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day will help you manage stress, stay trim, and feel great.

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