The Getting Started trail is great, but consider following the instructions for command-line use of Java, unless your college is also using NetBeans. In fact, ask your college what environment you'll be using for learning Java and try to replicate that as closely as you can.
If you do use some flavour of 'Linux' (I use nothing but), ignore Oracle's suggestion that you should be using pico, vi or emacs
there are lots of great windows-based editors you can use to edit Java code with which are not fully-fledged Development Environments like NetBeans. The same is true for Windows / Notepad. While you can edit code with Notepad there's lots of free editors which are just as easy to use as Notepad, but will also help you write nice code.
Remember not to boil your head too long before you post your code and error messages for help.