First, a couple disagreements...
Do not drink good beer. You _will_ go broke. And some of them give a wicked headache in the morning.
Do drink cheap local beer. Something like an icehouse will give you the extra alcohol content for the same price. Enough light beer can give you a great buzz, while letting you get up the next day back to studio in time to get some real work done.
Follow the opposite advice with hard alcohol. Spend a little more for a glass bottle, and you won't wake up with your face lying on the linoleum floor of your bathroom.
Do not enter school competitions. You will have sooooo many chances to do this after school. Your school is (or should be) operating at such a different level then being concerned with a f-in competition that it should be basically beneath you. Competitions are for marketing yourself. If you found yourself saying "hey, that's a great idea" then you should go to b-school or social psychology degree.
As for getting portfolio pieces: wah!?!? The best places will hire you if you have a napkin sketch of a brilliant, creative, self-directed design. Not a "portfolio" piece that has been slicked up to enter into a design competition. Be aware that design critique is NOT established - many competitions are sponsored by design magazines that, today, are not anywhere near a critical gold standard: most being influenced by large studios/corporations with deep pockets.
And some agreements...
Sketch! yes, do not sit in front of your laptop.
Spend time outside your major. It will pay back in spades later when you realize that your major didn't prepare you for 20% of what you encounter.
and finally, my main 20/20 points are...
Do be critical. With yourself and with your classmates. Screw niceties: you do not pay $20k+ a year to learn social etiquette. You are there to learn how to give valuable, timely, incisive, inquisitive, critique.
Do iterate, rinse and repeat. Your designs are crap. And they will be no matter hard or long you work on them. Design it, step back, redesign it. I don't know how much time I wasted thinking about a concept, making it perfect, then either barely finishing the first version, or not even getting it done. Design is an activity: 5 parts doing, 1 part thinking.
Do understand respect. Respect yourself, your work, and other's. Design is not light stuff. It is life and world changing.
Do be creative. School is only about learning how to be creative. If school gives one thing: it is the teaching and path to creativeness.