Yes! I have lots of ideas for you. Paying your credit cards off is a great goal: To improve your score do not pay them off one at a time. Bring each to an outstanding balance of only 10% of the limit.
Run a credit report (You get one free per year from each of the three agencies no matter what state you live in. Check it for things that are not yours, or are older than they should be. You can now dispute items right on-line.
If you have collections, it is best to pay them all at once then in payments because they will not fall off of your report until your activity stops.
Keep your 3 oldest cards open and close the rest.
Pay all of your bills on time, every time. If you have never had a car loan, get one.
You can also go to school part-time and get a student loan. Start making payments on the student loan while you are still in school. Every payment is recorded.
The biggest thing that helps your score is time. A record of on-time payments, and aged accounts.
More information can be found at creditkarma.com