The best thing I have found is to make the most of my study time (no distractions, no games on yahoo, etc.), and to make sure my resources were the best.
My first three semesters (first year of the program) I attended a traditional school. I took notes like there was no tomorrow. I usually read the material, which was dry already and more so because it was what the instructor had just lectured about.
My second year I enrolled in a nontraditional school. There were no lectures, no classes. That sounds great, but it means you have to go out and get your own information. Oddly enough, I found that I got more out of ferretting out information I didn't know, than trying to learn material that might be on the test, if that makes any sense.
My suggestion--read the book assignments, pay good attention to the lectures. Since you obviously can do the internet, use google to look up stuff that seems hazy or you don't understand. You may find that just looking for it in that manner makes it more interesting to you, which will naturally result in your learning and retaining more.
Good luck--oh, and get enough to eat, plenty of sleep (schedule it! it's a necessity!!), and learn some de-stress techniques before school starts, or you will gain weight from the stress.