Not sure I should be reigniting the discussion, but
>The type of person too stupid and lazy to do anything on their own magically gains the ability to do so when in college?
Yes, that's literally how shit works for a lot of people.
I don't come from an art background (math mainly) so maybe it's different here, but it's much easier to get yourself to read a textbook when you're grade depends on it and you can work with other people instead of you just sitting in your room. Even better if instead of reading the dense book, you use it as a reference when doing a pset or studying after listening to a teacher 's lecture where you can take notes and ask questions.
I've only ever managed to read a math book once in my life and it was after I had already taken the class and had the summer to fuck around. But I probably only got through it because I was already exposed to all the concepts there so I could actually read it and develop some sort of intuition towards what I was actually reading.
I'm not trying to say "you're not gonna make it" I wish it was "we're", but I can't say I've made a serious attempt
. Not do I want to say college is good since the whole system should probably be redone in some way. But I do think some sort of community or group helps a lot when learning something. At least this was the case for me and math. I could been more motivated, but it was a lot easier for me to study shit I struggled with with others than just sitting in my room at 4 in the morning. You have to be very disciplined to self-study (which I definitely wasn't).
Although maybe this mindset is why I can't fucking start this shit.