1) Academics are important, but their importance is determined by you.
We all put such emphasis in high school on academics in order to get into college and take part in extracurriculars. This emphasis needs to continue in college in order for success. Unlike in high school, success in college is largely depended on your own discipline and effort which tends to trip people up from time to time. One thing I noticed (and was very disturbed by) was the number of my classmates who skipped class on a frequent basis. Many of whom talked about turning off their alarms because they were "wayy too tired" or just "couldn't be bothered coming to class". This may seem trivial but it is important to realize that college professors will not insist you come to class and/or put in the effort needed to do well in their classes. That responsibility is yours alone; so make wise choices and figure out your priorities early on!
2) Get in touch (and stay in touch!) with your advisor/s
Getting to know your counselor early on and establishing a relationship with them is important as they are there to guide you through college academics and offer help/suggestions/advices in order for you to make the best decisions to suit your college and career goals. This relationship has to be initiated by you; advisors need to see your investment in yourself and your future in order to help you.
3) Take fun/unusual classes
Almost all degree programs have so many requirements (general and major-specific) that is often hard to think of taking a class just for the fun or because it interests you. But if you can manage to put at least one in a year, I fully recommend it! I think it is especially helpful to do this your first semester/quarter in college; then you have one class where you can (sort of!) relax and just enjoy learning. Ideally, you can take a fun class that fulfills a general education requirement so you can enjoy the benefits of both having a fun class and fulfilling a graduation requirement. It really helps to break up the intense exam/paper cycle that college students often find themselves in.
4) Be prepared to be overwhelmed at times
Being overwhelmed freshman year is not only normal but expected. College no matter how prepared you are (academically, socially, and mentally) is a huge transition that requires a great deal of time and patience. The important thing to remember is your reason for being there and what you hope to achieve/gain. It also helps take time for yourself and do things you enjoy to de-stress and relax.
5) College is ultimately what you make of it
We all have our reasons for going to college and reasons for selecting the college we attend. But there are definitely societal and peer pressures that lead you to believe that the ideal college experience has to go a certain way. Socializing must be done a certain way, otherwise you are considered anti-social. You have to be seen at certain gatherings and in the inner circles to know "what's up". While this may be the way for some or most of us, it is not the way for everyone. I have a few people who come to mind when it comes to the latter. They prefer to make friends outside the usual social scenes and dislike the constant insistence from those around them to go to every event and gathering on campus. If that sounds like you, know that while you may be be told otherwise, college will not be a less rewarding experience if you choose to do it your own way. If you put in wholehearted effort and stay committed to doing your personal best, it will be a wonderful experience with many great memories and lessons (academic and nonacademic) learned. College like life, is ultimately what you make of it.