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A Big Sister's Guide to Surviving College

Big sisters- you love us, you hate us. You go to steal our clothes only to find some of your own clothes already in our closets. But no matter how much we may bicker just know that we are your number one fan, your best friend, your shoulder to cry on, your partner in crime, and we will always be there when you need us. Whether that means handing you toilet paper while you're stranded on the pot or driving 100 miles in a Blizzard to pick you up from a party you don't want to be at anymore, you can always count on us to be there. Ya know, I always thought that little sisters were supposed to look up to their big sisters... It's funny how it ends up the other way around. 

Dear baby sister, 

Remember that time we brought a snake in the house and left it in Mom's room?  Remember the echoing screech as she yelled our names when she found it? Right now, heading to college may seem even scarier than that! But i'm your big sister and I promise I will tie you together with bailing twine before I let you crack under the pressure. 

 I know that i'm not the only big sister that would fight a 1500 pound grizzly bear for someone who they share most of their DNA with, so know this: No matter what time it is, how far away we are, or what sort of sticky situation you've gotten into-always call. That being said, hopefully this handy list of tips and tricks might save you the dial. 

Here are 50 of the best Need-To-Know College survival tips from Big Sisters everywhere that will get you through anything that your friends, professors, advisers, roommates, boys, parents and life could possibly throw at you. 

Nuuuuuumber 1. Get a planner and use it! This is first on the list for a reason- a planner can and will save your soul. 

2. Get up, make your bed, and drink a cup of coffee. It's the perfect set up for a motivated and productive day.
3. Do not leave the house with out your chapstick, water bottle, and a pair of headphones. 

4. Fuzzy socks make any bad day better.

5. Never walk home alone. 

6. Go to class and sit in the front half of the room. 

7. Also go to office hours. (most) of your professors wont bite. They're there to teach you and they want to answer your questions. 

8. Drink at least 2 water bottles per day, you will feel and think 1000X better. 

9. Write EVERYTHING down. Organization = Sanity. 

10. Have confidence in yourself. You can do this. 

11. Always have a stack of Thank You cards in your desk drawer. A simple gesture can make a huge impression. 

12. Invest in a really good strapless bra. You'll thank yourself later. 

13. Don't be afraid to ask for help. 

14. Make goals, short and long term. I write down specific, measurable, weekly goals as well as goals for the semester, year etc. 

15. Have a bed that is comfy AND you're proud to show off. 

16. Make working out a priority- even if it's only for 15 minutes. 

17. Build your wardrobe. You should always have an outfit at the ready for the following: an impromptu night out, a Job interview, a dream date, and a funeral. 

18. Work towards a bank account with a few months living expenses in it. Just in case. 

19. Never buy cheap jeans. 

20. Buy cheap sunglasses instead. 

21. Get involved with mentoring programs. It's a great way to build your network. 

22. Make yourself network and ALWAYS follow up. 

23. Download a banking app, a calendar app, and a music app. 

24. Boxed wine is severely under rated. 

25. Get a passport. 

26. You can never have too many chapsticks. 

27. Make guys take you on dates that don't involve $2 slices of shitty pizza and a dirty basement. 

28. Never neglect to paint your toenails. 

29. Don't blow off the nice guy. 

30. Don't say mean things about other girls. We have it hard enough as it is. 

31. Take bubble baths. 

32. Always always always trust your gut. If it feels creepy it is creepy. 

33. If you are ever in a fight; Hit first. Hit hard. 

34. The Dollar Tree will save you a fortune, but NEVER buy makeup from there unless you want to look like the Grudge after it was ran through a washing machine. 

35. Don't chase boys. 

36. Choose comfy bras over sexy ones. (Most days;) ). 

37. "No." is a complete sentence. You don't owe anyone an explanation. 

38. Know your limits. No one likes to party with the girl that throws up every time they go out. 

39. Make your own coffee and tea, you'll save A LOT of money. 

40. TREAT YO' SELF. Sometimes you just have to go get your nails done or buy a new comfy sweater. Or both.  

41. Do not take your sexual health lightly. Use protection. Get tested. Period. 

42. Step on all the crunchy leaves. 

43. Never spend too much time crying over a boy. 

44. Travel. Whenever you have the chance, see the world, eat new food, experience new cultures. 

45. You don't have to travel all the time and jump off waterfalls and kiss strangers to feel like you're embracing life. Your 20's are just about growing and learning to love yourself. 

46. Give out compliments. Thank a veteran. Buy a meal for someone who needs it. 

47. Buy your books online, on craigslist, borrow from a friend, rent them..Just do everything in your power to avoid buying from the book store because SCREW YOU MCGRAW HILL AND YOUR EVIL TEXTBOOK MONOPOLY. 

48. Learn how to make a budget and stick to it! 

49. Back up your files onto a cloud storage system or an external hard drive often. 

annnnd finally..

50. Growing up is really hard and scary. You're going to feel like a complete hot mess sometimes and that's OK! Take everything one step at a time and live every day with the goal of improving yourself. Nothing will ruin your 20's like feeling you have to have life figured out. I believe in you. 

Do you feel enlightened with Sisterly wisdom yet? If so, Vote for this page. If not, maybe I did a better job taking credit for raising you than I thought. *Tips Top Hat and gives a regal round of applause*