1. Be nice to everyone—your peers, your professors, the office assistants. Everyone. You have NO IDEA who will make it. And it won't be who you expect.

2. Eat at campus events. On your graduate stipend, you can't afford not to. 

3. Same thing goes with drinking. Hit all lectures/readings/talks where they serve booze. 

4. Brown-nose from time to time. You are not above this. You want to survive, and the survivors always brown-nose to some degree. Just don't overdo it. Reading your professor's work—and complimenting it—is appropriate. Taking a bottle of your professor's favorite wine to his or her house is not.

5. Be a squeaky wheel. Not so squeaky that people start to hate the sound of your voice, but squeaky enough they don't forget you're there.

6. In the same vein, don't be afraid to ask for things. For example, if you can't afford to pay for your summer class or conference registration fee, ask your department chair to pay for it. You never know if he or she will say yes. 

7. Ditto for tooting your own horn—do it enough that people know what you've accomplished but not so much that they want to walk away every time you enter the room. 

8. It sounds obvious, but dress for the job you want. Just because you have to shop at Goodwill doesn't mean you can't look good. If you want to be a college professor, dress like one. (And I don't mean the professors who wear jeans and t-shirts. If you want to work at the Gap when you graduate, wear jeans and t-shirts.) 

9. This also means you should wear glasses. You'll never be a serious intellectual if you don't wear glasses. 

10. Especially dress well for meetings with your dissertation/thesis director and your department chair—maybe even try to look a little bit hot. 

11. But not so hot that they hit on you

12. If your professors DO hit on you—despite your attempts to keep that from happening—excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. That's what my mother taught me, and sometimes it actually works.

13. Seriously. . .when it comes to selling out, be like Lee Ann Womack and reconsider.

14. However, you can still play to the perverts. There are lots of them. In academia and elsewhere. You can't beat them, but you don't have to join them either. Simply limit your flirtations to public settings—in the classroom and at department events. 

15. On a related note, if one of your professors impregnates another student, play along and go to the baby shower. Baby shower attendance is not an endorsement of their behavior, but skipping the shower sends the message you are not a team player. 

16. Go to every single class session. You're not in college anymore. You're a grown up. Skipping class is the equivalent of calling in sick after your boss sees pictures of you on Facebook doing shots at the 9:30 Club the night before.

17. Read everything you are supposed to read for your exams/comprehensives. No cutting corners or trying to get out of the work. Just do it. (You know who you are, A--- F------.) 

18. Many grad students also get a teaching assistantship. If you are lucky enough to get one, take your teaching seriously. It's your job, and it's unethical to treat it as anything less. 

19. But don't spend ALL of your time on teaching either. Leave some time for your own work since that's probably why you came to grad school in the first place. 

20. On a related noted, don't be afraid to fail students who deserve to fail. You're cheating them out of an education if you don't. 

21. Make friends with your peers. They will be the only reason you survive, and you will cherish them the rest of your life. (Also, you have no idea which one of them you will need to ask for a favor later.)

22. But trust no one. 

23. Have fun at least once a week if you can. Hit a dive bar with your peers and get high on cheap beer and messy burritos. You won't make it through grad school if you don't blow off steam on a regular basis.

24. At the same time, don't be the person who is a fixture at the local watering hole. More than one graduate career has ended inside a pitcher of stale beer. 

25. And while I'm on that subject, don't fall for the myth that drinking helps you do better work. It doesn't.

26. Go to the university gym at least three times a week. It's free, and it will never again be that cheap. These visits will be the only thing—besides your peers and the burritos—keeping you sane. 

27. Do not go to the same grad school where you did your undergrad. It looks like you weren't smart enough to get in somewhere else.

28. Do not go to a grad school where you hope to some day teach either. They won't hire their own.

29. When you apply for an assistantship/fellowship/award/grant, find out who's in charge of the selection process and cater your application to those powerbrokers. (For example, if the chair of the fellowship committee is a theory head, load your application with theory.) 

30. But don't sweat it either if you are not the winner of a special assistantship/fellowship/award/grant or if you are not voted grad student of the year. In the long run, these things mean nothing as long as you never give up. 

31. Never give up. Edison was right—it's all about the perspiration. Inspiration counts for next to nothing. 

32. Though you should sometimes cater your work to those in charge (as mentioned in number 29 above), you should also have your own ideas. No one likes a regurgitator. And this is the time to develop your own opinions.

33. Be nice to the office workers. They have more influence than you think. And they have the ear of many people in power. 

34. Know your department's power structure and use it to your advantage. 

35. Be aware that some of your professors will say things to undermine your self-confidence and make you feel stupid. Don't let the nastiness get to you. It doesn't make you special. They do it to everyone. 

36. In the same way, don't sweat if one of your professor gives you an A- or even, God forbid, a B+. You have bigger things to worry about than the difference between an A and a B, and this is often just another way for professors to assert their dominance over you. Just make sure you NEVER get a C. Most grad programs kick out grad students who get more than one C. 

37. If your department conducts interviews for new hires, go to these interviews. This is the best way to learn how to interview well. (And since some day you will most likely finish grad school and need to get a job, that's something you'll need to be able to do. Unless you want to work at The Gap.) 

38. On the other hand, do not make the false assumption that getting a graduate degree will help you get a job because it is possible that it won't. This is especially true for Master's degrees, which are all but worthless. 

39. Same thing with thesis/dissertation defenses—go to any defenses that are open to the public, so you can see how to do it . . . or how not to do it.

40. Get to know every visiting scholar. Drive them to the airport or offer to get them bottled water if you have to, but make sure you do something you can remind them about when you see/email them again years later.

41. Do not take out a student loan. Let me repeat: DO NOT TAKE OUT A STUDENT LOAN. Do whatever you have to do to keep that from happening: have a roommate (have ten if need be), live at home with your parents, give up your car, cable, the internet, and Netflix. Avoid expensive trips and restaurants and concerts (which will still be there when you graduate). Even if you do graduate and get a job (which you probably won't), you will not make enough money to pay back a student loan, and it will haunt you the rest of your life. (Please note that this does not apply to those in med school, law school, or business school who will become obscenely rich.) 

42. Unless your parents are willing to pay, do not go to a grad school that doesn't offer to pay your tuition and give you a stipend. Instead keep looking for one that will. They do exist. If you can't get into one of those, consider working for a few years to get more experience and improve your application. (Again this does not apply to the lucky bastards who want to study medicine, law, or business.)

43. That reminds me . . . do not go to grad school immediately after college. Work for AT LEAST a year or two, if not more, to get some real-world experience and to get rid of your new college grad smell. This is important for two reasons . . . a) Twenty-two-year olds are usually not as disciplined or experienced as their older grad school peers and will have trouble competing with them for grades/awards/fellowships/funding . . . and . . . b) after working full-time a few years, grad school will seem like a dream come true, and, therefore, you'll be more successful. 

44. Live close enough to campus that you can walk (unless you live at home with your parents in which case you can use the money you save on rent for on-campus parking, which usually costs one-quarter of your graduate stipend). 

45. Apply for grants/assistantships/fellowships outside your department. (How to do this: if your department doesn't award you an assistantship, call the Office of Graduate Studies and ask for a list of grants/assistantships/fellowships outside your department. Residence Life is almost always hiring.)

46. Present at conferences in your discipline. And if you can't present, then just go.

47. Network as much as you can at conferences. Take notes at presentations. Take the presenter's business cards, brochures, handouts, etc., so you can contact them later and mention their work if need be. 

48. But don't take presenters back to your hotel room. If they hit on you, see number 13 above. 

49. Stay in grad school as long as possible. The longer you stay, the more networking you can do and the more experience and/or publications you will have when you are ready to graduate and go on the job market.

50. But don't stay too long. No one likes a grad student in his/her ninth year.