Fall semester is overwhelming. You're jumping right into school and work with absolutely no time to prepare. There are a million different things being thrown at you right from the beginning - football, join this club or that club, by this access code, go to this introduction meeting, and there's so much more. From the start fall semester is just a bad semester and if you start off low it is so much harder to bring it up.
If the bond is already broken don't try to super glue it back together.
1. Know that syllabus week you have to work.
Fall semester is a little different, even professors start off slow but be sure that you are ready to go your first day of classes. Have all of your notebooks, pencils, and extra supplies before school starts, or at least by the third day of classes.
2. Meet with your professors.
Get to know them from the start that way when you're halfway through the semester and drowning they aren't trying to get to know you, they can just help you.
Three hours is not enough. Start getting your 6-8 hours early and make it a habit to rest.
4. Don't overwhelm yourself with anything new.
From working out to joining a new club, if it isn't already something you're used to doing then you probably shouldn't add it to your plate unless you know for sure you can handle it.
5. Be prepared.
The thing about fall semester is that a lot of times we go into the semester just not at all prepared. We're coming back from a summer of working, interning, or literally just sleeping and we aren't ready at all for school to start. Come into spring semester ready to work and make this semester better than your last.