We’re almost to the tail end of the fall semester, and what college student wouldn’t love to commence winter break with some great music and movies? Sure, college kids sometimes have to scrounge for meals and live paycheck to paycheck, but Black Friday is a Thanksgiving event that appeals to people on tight budgets.

Start saving, and prepare for madness, because starting as early as midnight on Thanksgiving, stores all over the nation will be working overtime, presenting crazy deals and great chances to get a head start on Christmas shopping for family, friends and maybe even a little for you too!

As a seasoned Black Friday participant, I have been able to score seasons of television shows and new releases of movies and music for more than half their normal sale price. This is a college student’s dream! Leading up to Black Friday, it can be helpful to make a game plan. Here are some pointers to keep you from losing your head in the retail mania:

Look Up Deals Beforehand – Stores will be packed, crazy people will be blocking aisles trying to buy five LCD TVs at once, so it is important to have an idea of what you’re looking for. Pretty much all stores that participate in Black Friday release special ads of what will be on sale during the event, so plan ahead!

Team Up – Lines tend to be long during Black Friday, and chances of hot sale items selling out are high. If you have a lot of things to get, and a lot of stores to hit, it may be a good idea to get your family and friends to join forces to score the deals.

Get Rest Beforehand – Take a big after-meal Thanksgiving nap, because you’re going to need it! Black Friday will be much more tolerable if you are well rested, otherwise you’ll gradually become crankier and crankier as you stand in lines.

Have fun, and here’s a taste of what to expect…

Lily Angelle is a Radio-Television-Film major at The University of Texas in Austin, TX. She hopes to one day be a cinematographer or screenwriter. In her spare time she enjoys going to concerts, and often writes music reviews for the blog “30 Days Out.” Lily’s favorite bands are Weezer, The Beatles, and The Velvet Underground. You can often find her studying on campus in the Cactus Cafe, or around Austin at Home Slice, her favorite pizza place.