Hunger Games Inspired Survival Tips for College Students

If you are gung-ho about attending college or just started your college journey – first off – congratulations. You have entered an enchanted forest of unknowns, excitement, and challenge. However, you will find the college learning environment different from that of high school or even the working world. College (especially online degree programs) are far less structured and will require you to use more self-monitoring skills and self motivation. There are no teachers, friends, or parents making decisions for you. Contact with the outside world may sometimes feel few and far between. You will be the person responsible for success or failure as you embark on this journey.

Though we are not in the post-apocalyptic era and fighting for our lives as a Tribute – there are still lessons to be learned through the perils of the “Hunger Games.” As a student, consider yourself a learning gladiator whose end goal is making it to graduation. Here are some killer (pun intended) survival tips for college students inspired by the Hunger Games to use in college:

Select Your Favorite Tools and Stick With Them
Katniss had her bow and arrow, Cato used his brute strength, Marvel had his speer, and Clove, her knife. Most Tributes in the Hunger Games had a weapon du jour and knew that without that specific weapon, Dooms Day may be right around the corner.

Takeaway: As a college student, you have the ability to use hundreds of different learning tools, from databases to research tools. Find specific tools that assist you with assignments, papers, or studying, and stick with them. Organize online tools in a bookmarked folder, and use them consistently throughout your studies.

Watch and Learn
Haymitch, the 50th victor of the Hunger Games, may have been an intoxicated fool at times – but there were always hints of wisdom in his drunken mentorship. He told District 12’s Tributes, Katniss and Peeta, to always be observing others’ the talents of other tributes.

Takeaway: Very few colleges and universities actually have classes on “How to Study” or “How to Succeed in College.” Instead of formal training, lean your success on watching other successful peers’ success strategies and copy them.

Be Calculated
Successful Tributes were not necessarily the fastest or strongest of competitors, they were the ones who aptly calculated their way through the course. Every action that was taken was planned and well thought through.

Takeaway: It is no secret that college is all about quizzes, tests, and exams. Whether or not your college test is timed or not – you still have enough time to carefully read. Go with your gut on answers – but before you do that make sure the question is read slowly and carefully. Rushing shouldn’t be an option in college, though your lifestyle may prompt you to do it.

Take Breaks
Protagonist, Katniss Everdeen knew that in order to be successful in the Hunger Games, she needed to periodically rest. As much as she wanted to move ahead, she knew that her mental acuity and stamina would be affected the next day if she didn’t take breaks.

Takeaway: Avoid marathon study sessions and cramming for tests. You are more likely to remember information in 15-minute intervals rather than prolonged study sessions. Your GPA will thank you later.

Hopefully this article shares survival tips for college students. Good luck, and stay alive.

About Allison Freeland

Allie Freeland is the Editor-in-Chief of She has been a professional writer for a decade and received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota. She brings a wealth of information about higher education, online degrees, college life, and career advice. Follow her on G+.