There is a difference between surviving in college and thriving in college, especially when considering the change in environment for first-year students. They are expected to take on new roles and responsibilities such as speaking up in class, approaching instructors, making new friends, performing under pressure, dealing with financial struggles, and making healthy lifestyle choices on their own. With so many changes and challenges to deal with at once, it often results in a stressed-out student. In fact, persuasive evidence shows stress is the single most reported obstacle to academic success in college (CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, 2009). This is especially true of first-year students. In surveys conducted by the American College Health Association (2009) and the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (2009), half of all students reported feeling plagued by stress in the previous year. One-third found that there were times they were so overwhelmed that they could barely function on a daily basis. EXCELLING IN COLLEGE encourages students to perform their best using critical-thinking skills and stress management. By using exercises, in-class activities, and videos, readers learn how to manage these challenges in order to better maintain relationships with family and friends. These skills are not only helpful during college but also carry through the post-academic career.