You Have Control Over Your Courses
You do not have to confine yourself to the standard program. As you select your courses, be sure that each one is on the right level for you. Once you have picked your program, you should attend each of the classes and decide whether the professor is someone from whom you can really learn. By using the drop/add process, you may be able to get a much better teacher. Every class counts, so devote yourself to them.
You Are Expected to Do a Lot of the Work on Your Own
You need to be your own boss. Figure out when things need to be done and do them, week by week. No one will contact you when you have missed the test or have not handed in the paper.
You will also need to get yourself to study — even when there is no graded work that week.
You Don’t Have to Pick a Major in Your First Year
Many colleges now encourage students to declare a major at orientation. This actually forces students to get started on some directed course of study, and it helps colleges manage course offerings. In some cases it may be a good idea to declare your major right away, especially if yours is a four-year program like pre-med, or music, however, it is better to wait until you’ve taken a few courses — especially upper-division or advanced courses in a given field — before you commit to a major.
And keep in mind that even if you do declare a major at the outset, it is very easy to change your major if you find you don’t like the courses or you aren’t doing well in them. It is much better to get out of something you don’t like than to go through 10 or 12 required courses.