Read your syllabus. Obviously you should try to avoid missing class, but the worst time to realize you're allotted 2 absences is after your third. I personally write down my allowed absences for each class in the beginning of my planner, and I can then also mark down if I miss one of my classes. If you're sick or there's a family emergency, reach out to your professor and let them know. They're not going to have any sympathy if you just don't show up. You should also write down deadlines for assignments and quizzes, so you're not stuck writing a seven page essay you didn't know existed the night before it's due.
Similarly, be familiar with your resources. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. A professor is going to be a lot more sympathetic to a student who asks for help than one who doesn't. Office hours exist for a reason, don't be afraid to go in. There are other options as well - there's tutoring in the residence halls, as well as a variety of options in the library. Everyone here wants you to succeed. If you need extra help, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the Accessibility Resource Center. For a list of other academic resources, click here. For Mental Health Resources at UWM, click here.
Participate. It'll help your grade, and it'll most likely make you care more.
Sit in the front. I know you don't want to. But in all honesty, this is one of the best ways to make sure you're paying attention and learning - you're paying to go here after all. Also, the professor will know who you are - trust me, that helps.
Find an organization method that works for you. This goes back to the syllabus and writing things down. I personally use a planner and a huge calendar on my wall. But there are endless options - your Outlook calendar, a journal, a notepad, even post-its! Make it fun - buy colored pens and highlighters. I even knew someone who used stickers, just because it helped them stay organized! Pinterest can be your friend with this tip. If you'd prefer to use your phone, experiment with different apps until you find one you like, and the reminders could help you as well!
Find the best place for you to study. Whether it be the library, your room, outdoors, Colectivo, or one of the hidden corners of campus, find the place that makes you happiest and helps you to concentrate. Not everyone thrives in the same study environment, and that's okay. Personally, I need a quiet space that isn't where I live to be able to work well. Find what works for you and do it.
Find a way to stay motivated. Reward yourself for getting work done. Maybe you let yourself watch a Netflix episode after working for an hour. Maybe you start a daily accomplishment journal - you write down the little things you do to realize how much you are actually accomplishing. Maybe after working for 45 minutes, you get to go outside for a 5 minute walk. Or, you put a gummy bear on each new paragraph. Again, find something that works best for you. It'll help!
Try a new club. If it doesn't work out, you don't have to commit, but try to find something new and interesting to do - it can even be a job! There's a ton of clubs here at UWM! Handshake is a great resource if you're looking for a job.
Declutter - and maybe redecorate! If you're feeling bored of your room, try reorganizing or redecorating to get a fresh new start! I completely reorganized my room at the beginning of second semester, and it was a small but nice change and definitely a breath of fresh air.
Take breaks. If you're getting angry or frustrated, you're not making any progress and there's no point being stuck on something for an hour. Take a ten minute break, grab a snack. Once your head is clear, go back to your task and try again. If you're still stuck, try approaching the problem in a new way, attempting a different assignment, or asking for help.
Move. Now, I know exercise isn't everyone's thing, but it really does help with stress! Find an unorthodox way to get active - go for a walk, throw a frisbee, go rock-climbing, dance, bike, laser tag - even playing an instrument counts!
Nutrition and sleep. It's not always the easiest thing, but everyone preaches it for a reason. Even if you can't get your full eight hours every night, make sure you do before big tests and presentations. It helps with stress more than you realize. Make sure to take care of yourself - it's so important. No one will judge you for bringing an apple or granola bar to class if you forgot breakfast or need an extra snack. Water helps more than you think - and there are a ton of places you can get a free water bottle on campus, such as the LGBT Resource Center located in the Union.
Not everything works for everyone, so if you have any of your own tips, please let us know! Good luck with second semester!