I gave it a bit of thought, and I decided I could be a little more helpful than what I said.
So I asked myself, "Karen? If you could do it all over again, how would you do it?"
1. I would manage my time more carefully.
Now this means, that I would schedule my classes earlier, tolerating the mad rush that pre-registration entails, so that I could have my choice of when, who, and where my classes would be and avoid the "gap" scheduling that enabled my educational demise.
Now a gap in classes can be good--studies show that people, especially teens, learn better after a break. "Cramming" is not effective. With that in mind, I think I would spend more spare time sitting in on classes if that is still allowed. (It's been a long time, lovie, so I don't know.) But as you are probably already aware, there are some instructors more popular than others. An interesting instructor can make a world of difference for you. So familiarize yourself with who teaches what, and talk to people who have already taken the course if possible. I already know you are friendly so that shouldn't be a problem. *wink* That leads me to number two.
2. I would choose my friends more wisely.
(Keep in mind that I am the person I'm warning you against.) But yet another part of my downfall was suddenly finding myself in the "IN" crowd, after my shy-but-studious friend transferred and left me to my own devices. I am dangerous when left to my own devices. HUGE mistake. I make friends rather quickly, but it should have been a clue to me when I met another friend--we're still friends--but she "disappeared" one semester. To my dismay, she was avoiding me, because I was a bad influence. (I sometimes accuse her of still avoiding me, too.) tsk..once you have a bad reputation, the only way to live it down is by making a new history, one day at a time.
3. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Take advantage of the counselors, and any student advocate programs there might be available. Being "broke" in college is pretty much the norm. So watch and learn--you'll see who seems to know the ropes.
4. Avoid funnels.
That's a joke but it's not. There will be lots of fun student activities, and there will be lots of "entertainment" offered to you. Use that good head of yours, and don't allow anyone to put a funnel in it. (Um, a personal explanation is that there was once a bar on campus at the University of New Orleans. I have no idea if it is still there. But..tsk...end of Karen's story, now isn't it?)
5. Utilize your campus library, and don't throw books.
I was banned for that, and that turned out to be a costly fit of temper on my part. Nodding, I was not only left to find my own devices again, but I also had to find other sources of reading material. (There was...gasp..no internet.)
I can probably think of a lot more, but I'll let others play the "if-I-could-do-it-over-again" game.
So...anybody else want to help our prodigy here? She's a doll.
and oh, an addendum to number 1---if you already know you are not a morning person, schedule your tougher classes for the part of the day when you are at your best. That may not be possible all the time, but it is enormously helpful.
And just one more--
6. Beware of bad advice.
Just because it happened to me doesn't mean it will happen to you. That goes for advice you might get from tall, good-looking guys, with pepsodent-bright smiles who always seems to know what you're thinking...
OH. Sorry. I drifted off again...
Much love and luck to you again!