As a recent grad, here's my advice-
1. Clean house, ruthlessly purge and organize NOW. Then when in the middle of your 2nd semester, and your house is an absolute wreck, there's less to deal with. Seriously.
2. Do every single tiny little thing you need to handle before starting school- make your mammoth appt or get your dog's rabies shot. You won't have much time to call your own once you begin.
3. Buy UWorld before Christmas break. It is never too early to prep for NCLEX, but even m ok the, doing the questions and READING THE RATION AS LS help you get the material of nursing school done. I used to do a couple questions standing in line at Starbucks, waiting in line as anywhere, and during all breaks, I'd try to do 75 questions a day. Yeah I'm an overachiever, but I think that's true of a lot of nurses.
4. If you're not an older student, you might not have a lot of experience/comfort talking to the elderly. And those are going to be the primary population you deal with, especially in school. Start learning now. This was huge for many of my fellow students! Wherever you go, try starting conversations with the elderly. It's not hard, most don't bite. A compliment on a shirt, asking how to cook a vegetable in their shopping cart, etc. will all give you more confidence.
5. If you are super motivated, buy your pathophysiology book now, an older version, used is ok too- or rent from Amazon
, and start reading, doing all the quiz questions, and look up all the phrases or words you don't know.
6. Plan and book a vacation for your summer break-in you need something to look forward to.
7. Join your school's nursing club, you are probably eligible just by virtue of being a student. You'll learn a lot about how your program works, what different instructors are like, nursing school hacks, don't speak.
8. Start volunteering now. If you know what hospital your school does most of its med dig clinicals at, volunteer on the med-surh floor now. You'll get comfortable with that environment, if you are a known and liked volunteer, the nurses might hate you less as a student, and you'll know where things are, which will save you a LOT of time as a student- and make you very popular with other students!
9. Buy an awesome planner, with LOTS of room, erasable colored pens (they're AMAZING!), enter in every personal thing in pink. Then save your other colors for your schedule. I always did green for tests (green means going forward!), red for due dates for assignments, etc. You need to be super organized!
10. Pat yourself on the back- you got into nursing school- hooray! Oh crap! Lol!