Hi -- I just went through this with Debian at home. I wrote a long post about it.
As a newbie -- I expect the above will terrify you. I've been doing this for 5-years
and it was a 5-day head-scratcher to figure out how to compile the driver correctly.
I have used Ubuntu, and it is good for newbs because most stuff just works. It's when
it doesn't work that you get into what I've described above. Let's hope your problem is
simple. I'd recommend the following steps.
1) Your request to "just tell you what to do" is unfortunately not one that can be serviced. You have to think it through.
2) You need to debug it one step at a time. Can your computer see your card?
Open a terminal window and type /sbin/ifconfig. Paste that stuff in here.
3) If it works -- also try iwconfig, and paste that in here. Then someone can tell
you if it's your card/drivers, or if there's something about the campus network you need to know.