The first night in your survival or hardcore world in Minecraft is always the hardest. Faced with no resources to build with, no food to eat, and hostile mobs knocking at your door, it can be downright terrifying when you hear a zombie groan in your little safety dirt box you created in hopes of surviving the night.
So, what SHOULD you do to survive?
If you're a first time player, the first thing to do is create a new world. When doing so, if you're not so sure of your in-game resourcefulness, make sure you turn on the bonus chest. If you're a seasoned minecraft player, then make your world as normal.
When your world is generated, if you checked the bonus chest, it should be nearby, surrounded by 4 torches. Inside this chest are goodies you can use to your advantage, such as torches and wooden planks. You can use these to build a shelter, and to start out your life as a succesful miner.
If you think you're too good for the bonus chest, fear not, for there always has to be wood nearby. To fulfill the famous saying, "Punching some wood", do just that; punch some wood. Pick a fairly small tree to begin with, as you can only do so much with your hands.
Once you have collected a nice number of wood blocks, you can use your crafting box in your inventory to turn them into wood planks, and then, into crafting tables. Once this is done, you can start crafting wooden tools. For starters, craft an axe and a sword.
Though your first thought might be to find food; don't. You need to build a shelter first. Even if it is just a few blocks to keep the mobs out, don't worry, you can build a nice home later. After building it, leave room for a door, and using six wood planks, craft a nice little door for your home.
Now that you have a shelter you can return to, it may be nighttime, or it may still be the middle of the day. If the latter is correct, then it is time to search for food.
Pigs, cows, and chickens are all good sources of meat. If there are none in sight, turn your gaze to the ground for possible mushrooms. If you can find one of each, and craft a bowl, you can have mushroom stew.
After you end your search for food, by then, the sun will most likely be setting. If you can, find three sheep to kill, and use their wool and wooden planks to create a bed to put in your shelter. If not, DO NOT go outside on your first night. This could have disastrous consequences, due to 1.6.2. Zombies will now gang up on you and follow you around.
If done correctly, you will survive your first night in Minecraft! Now is the time to build, explore, and rule the land.