I'm going into my 2nd year of a fantastic ADN program, just went through summer school for my LPN.
My school uses angel, which is basically an online classroom, which helps supplement and communicate out of school - our lectures and lab and clinicals and the like. Before school started, I had my calendar for the quarter *for you it may be semester, but nursing school is basically the same - the first day is orientation, though you may start content. We just got adjusted to angel and the lab and got lab bags and told what was expected of us* The calendar was CRAZY detailed. It told of clinicals, when and where, lab times, groups, class times, the lecture for that class, tests, the class ID - everything. I got out five-six different highlighters *THEY WILL BE YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND! lol* and assigned a highlighter color to each thing: lecture, test, lab for my group, clinical for my group, book day *which wasn't all that useful. This is all I remember from my first quarter, lol.*, and important days - which were basically tests, days off, days on my calendar that were important, and skills test.
Your first semester will probably be fundamentals. You gotta start somewhere. You might be terrified. I was so excited and mixed up I entered the wrong classroom, lol. Oops. But I got there in time. Surrounded by 72 other new nursing students, who are now some of my amazing classmates as we head toward the NCLEX-RN together. We have lost some, gained some. All experience.
ORGANIZE YOURSELF. Period. Figure out what works for you and stick to it. Edit if you have to. I have edited over time how I organize myself, to better fit myself, but stick to something. Know what you need to read for the next day, and skim it. After a topic, find what studying helps you. I LOVED to answer questions. I used google. (this site is amazing: LearningNurse.com - Learning Nurse Tests and Quizzes ) Questions. Sometimes flash cards or your books or apps on a phone help. Find your hole.
If you get the chance, make friends, have fun. Introduce yourself. Be awesome. lol. Be prepared for clinical and take EVERY opportunity in clinical. You may start out in a hospital, or a nursing home - skilled nursing facility. My school did. It was amazing, even after nursing assistant clinicals that summer before.
Have a study group, unless working alone works for you. I work alone because I do best that way - sometimes. Identify what you need early for the best success. Ask questions. All the time. No question is stupid. Ask your teachers anything and everything - when it is appropriate.
Your books are there for a reason. Use them. I have a TON of nursing books. But they are there for your use. You bought them - use them. They will become your second best friend after highlighters lol.
I wish you BEST of luck! Always have a snack with you. Stay hydrated all the time. Dumb calculator *one that can add, subtract, multiple, and divide*, black pens, a notebook/paper of some kind, highlighters, and a smile. Take your learning in school seriously. You got there, make the best of it. And be proud of yourself. You got in. :) Don't forget to treat yourself. You will work hard.
I live a mile off campus, because of going to a community college. No dorms. I try to exercise, but I'm lazy... especially after a 12 hour clinical shift, where I was on my feet the whole time. BTW: be open to ALL areas. My mom is an ICU/open-heart surgery nurse. I don't want to do either - peri-op is not for me *I missed that rotation because of snow and ice. Clinical was cancelled lol*. But be open to even the stuff you DON'T want to do. OB, peds, oncology, surgery, ICU, med-surg *you really learn a lot there*, ER, same-day surgery... mental health, community... everything.