If you ask any current student they would have an everlasting list of tips to surviving your first year of college. I saw this video while perusing StumbleUpon one day and figured it’d serve as a great jumping point for my own list for you soon-to-be or prospective students.

Tip 1: Collect as much free things that you can in the first weeks of the semester

Campus organizations and local businesses flood campus during the first few weeks of the semester handing out t-shirts, cups, and coupons books to any and all students who walk by. Take advantage of this! Even if what they’re handing out doens’t seem useful at first, trust me, they will come in handy.

Tip 2: Stock up on solo cups and ramen

A little known fact, solo cups can be washed after they’re used. They also serve as fantastic containers for unfinished food, pen/pencils, and, obviously, unfinished drinks. Now I know what you, and your parents, are thinking: ramen is one of the most unhealthy foods, why on earth would someone recommend it? Well, when its 4 a.m. and you’ve been studying all night hunger always strikes—and if you eat the noodles raw (just like chips) or without the flavored-sodium packet then it’s just like portion-controlled pasta.

Tip 3: Use your meals wisely

Take note of the times when breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours are. If you are allotted three meals per day then make sure you utilize them—even if you go in for a glass of orange juice or coffee, make your meal plan worth the money! Also remember that your meal plan works at the on-campus coffee shops, stores, and the atrium.

Tip 4: Make friends with upperclassmen

Not only is this good simply for networking purposes, but if you ever need a ride somewhere or help in a class, chances are there’s someone around you that can lend a hand. College is a scary place, but when you’re a part of the Wolfpack, you’re never alone.

Tip 5: When you go shopping, keep the bags

Grocery plastic bags are one of the most useful tools for any young professional: need to carry something? now you have a bag; is it raining outside? you now have a laptop/book/paperwork protector OR can make any normal shoe into a not-destroyed-by-the-rain shoe; ran out of garbage bags? no you didn’t; run out of toilet paper? <—totally kidding about this one.

Tip 6: When you finish that loaf of bread, keep the twist-tie

Cord management is always a hassle whether its for an entertainment center or for a dorm-room desk. Twist-ties work great for grouping cables together, hiding them, or taking them out of tripping reach. And, you never know when you’ll want to close a bag of chips.

Tip 7: Chinese food comes with a double bonus

Not only is the food delicious, but always get it to-go. Bring the container back to your room, now you not only have something to store your leftover Chinese in, but any leftovers to come.

Tip 8: Enjoy it.

It might sound cheesy, but it’s true. Enjoy the on-campus life while you can. Yes, the RAs may get on your nerves, and your roommate may do something that annoys the crap out of you, but you only get one chance to live on a college campus. Moving off campus is wonderful…until you get your first power and water bill. So take advantage: get the temperature where you like it, take a long hot shower, go walk around campus and explore after dinner—do it while you can.

@ncsu_taylor