New semesters mean all of those articles telling you to have fun and tips for you to survive your first week, but this will set you up to survive in the long run.
1. Develop SMART goals.
Don't push yourself to set goals that are unattainable. Even if it's a goal as simple as studying for 15 minutes. That is manageable. Studying for 15 hours is unattainable.
2. Be-friend professors.
They are there to help you. Go to their office hours. If you don't have the time, email them questions.
It doesn't hurt to be a teacher's pet, it only hurts your GPA if you aren't a teacher's pet.
3. Your health comes first.
Staying in a dorm room, it's easy to get sick. Especially if you're sharing a bathroom with your whole floor. Germs travel fast. So, drink some water, get a lot of sleep, wash your hands, and make sure your mental health is hanging in there.
4. Use your resources.
Your school most likely has a tutoring center. Go to it! It's easy to get help early on instead of waiting until the last minute when you're cramming for an exam. They probably have counseling, so if you need it, get it. Go to the university gym. You pay SO much money to go to school, so get your money's worth.
5. Make sure you have "me" time.
Do your work, but relax too. Take a 20-minute nap if you have to. Get yourself a venti of your favorite Starbucks drink. But only do these things when you need to.
6. Don't cram!!!
Do yourself a favor and don't cram. Or you'll end up looking like this baby. Except you're an adult, and you'll be in the library with your $200 textbook in your hands, not a kids book. Study as soon as you know the material, not the day before the test.
7. Get organized and STAY organized.
Buy a planner. Use the planner. Color code folders and notebooks. Hole punch papers and put it in a binder. Keep the syllabus. If you write everything, you can't forget it.
8. Please, make sure you go to class.
For most classes, they're going to take attendance. Even if they don't take attendance, don't think it means you can skip class. If you do, you're only going to miss materials learned that day and you'll have to play catch up. If you miss more than one day, you're going to be playing extra catch up. So just do yourself a favor and show up.