First of all, be patient with yourself. It will come. Take a look at different ways things are taught - your books, the videos here, and maybe a live person at a yarn store near you. Or maybe one of the people in your residence hall knows how to knit and can help you. Try different ways of learning until you find the one that works the best with your learning differences.
Yarn comes in hanks (big huge circles of yarn twisted so they're in a neat little package) and skeins (sometimes they're flat like flying saucers and sometimes they're long and skinny cylinders). You usually don't have to rewind the skeins into balls, but it can be helpful to wind the hanks into balls. Remember not to wind too tightly - your ball should be squishy. (Winding tightly isn't terrible, but it can stretch out your yarn.)
How to make a slip knot - I'll try to put it into words, but check the videos, too:
1) holding the tail of the yarn in your left hand, make a small circle in the yarn. It will look something like this
(end of yarn is here) _O-- (ball is over here)
The ball end of the yarn should be the top layer of your circle.
2) Take the ball end of the yarn and wrap it under the O you just made so it looks like you're dividing the O in half. The ball end of your yarn should be at the bottom of your O now.
3) With your knitting needle, pick up the bit of yarn that is dividing your O in half and, holding onto both the end of the yarn and the ball, pull it into a loop on your needle. Tighten it so it's snug, but not so snug you can't move it up and down the needle.
The videos here teach this a little bit differently, but this is the way my mom taught me a million years ago. So there are at least 2 ways to do this right!