Hi Ginna121! I'm an older student also, just starting my second semester of school. I don't mind admitting I was terrified
when I started my first semester! I took College Algebra, Intro to Psychology, English 1101 (Composition and Rhetoric), and Intro to Microcomputers, and finished my semester with all A's. I'll be glad to share what worked for me; just keep in mind that you need to find what works best for you, as everybody isn't the same.
The first and most obvious thing I suggest is studying! I've got two kids (one in high school and one in middle school) with many after school activities. I scheduled my classes so I got home before them, and that way I had quiet time in the house for studying before the bus pulled up and brought my distracting noisemakers home for the day. Once the kids got home, I was off and running, so I took every opportunity I had for studying and doing homework. During my son's wrestling practices, I sat in the corner of the gym and studied (still do). During both kids' Tae Kwon Do lessons, I was in the "parents' area" with my books in my lap. I'd study when waiting to pick my daughter up from marching band practice. If I was sitting still, I was studying or doing homework.
Something I learned in Intro to Psych -- the more frequently you access information, the more likely you are to remember it. I didn't bother cramming for tests. Instead, I would take a few minutes every day and read over my notes. Sometimes I would even rewrite them to help commit them to memory. I would discuss with my daughter concepts I had learned during that day's lecture.
With all that said, don't forget that your brain does need some down time. I remember right before my Algebra mid-terms and finals I feared my brain would actually explode. I over-studied and had a moment of panic when I remembered absolutely nothing. I knew at that point it was time to put the books away and do something relaxing.
Find the study/homework methods and scheduling that works for you. When I chose my classes, I scheduled in time to go to the tutors available free at my school. It turned out I didn't need those tutors, but I took that time to go to the Open Student Lab and use the schools
computers to organize my notes or do my algebra work or work on an English essay. I found that doing as much of my work at school worked better for me because I wasn't distracted by a carpet that needed vacuuming, or a dishwasher that needed unloading, or laundry that needed washing.
This semester I'm taking Anatomy & Physiology I & Lab and Literature and Composition. I'm employing the same methods as last semester. I've also started making flash cards that I take with me everywhere -- they're so easy to pull out and go over on the fly! I've put A&P lectures onto CD and listen to them while driving to school. I've also got study materials on my iPod.
That first semester is daunting -- especially the first couple of weeks. You will settle in, though, and you'll figure out what works best for you. Good luck!