One of the top study tips many of us try to impart to our students is how mathematics (to a degree greater than any other discipline) builds on itself, with every day being an absolute requirement for what comes next. Much like a metal chain (I will say), if you break any single link, then the whole structure falls apart.
Several weeks ago, I met a visitor at an open-house for my girlfriend's art studio. We get to chatting, and I say that I teach college math; it's a good place to work, my boss treats me great, and there's an enormous need for help on the part of community-college students trying to pass remedial courses. He agrees, saying he was one of those students, and fortunately he did get the help he needed. I say: “For any of us, including myself, the limit on our careers and our aspirations is almost always how much math we were able to master in school.” He says: “I think possibly, maybe three or four days in elementary school, I either zoned out or something wasn't explained clearly... and directly because of that, twenty years later, I almost became homeless.”
Sometimes I use that anecdote on the first day of my remedial classes now, and it does make quite an impact.