Knowledge, hardworking, sincerity, and humility
The basis of education is certainly knowledge, but knowledge is by far not the only thing one needs to succeed in academia.
In addition to knowledge, it is necessary to employ hardworking. Hardworking is the thing which keeps getting us forward when we are on a plateau of learning. Knowledge is also something which comes with hard work.
Sincerity is another ingredient which is required to succeed. When there is a temptation to cheat, it is necessary to remember that cheating may get one expelled from a university. At the same time after spending some period at the university and even before this, you acquire critical thinking skills. This means that even without having enough knowledge to answer a question at an exam, you may still be able to give the right answer. Moreover, even if you provide a wrong answer, but show critical thinking on the question, your Professor may still mark your answer highly precisely because you are thinking critically and this is one of the major objectives of education – to teach people to think critically.
Finally, humility is a key to success in academia. While studying, one may find him/herself in a situation, where a topic in a course is extremely hard. Does it mean that we are supposed to keep silence “humbly” and to hope that we will pass the exam somehow? No, it means that we should humbly acknowledge that the topic is hard and (humbly) ask questions to the Professor and his Teaching Assistants, to go and see the Professor/TA during their office hours (best with questions prepared in advance), and to work with our fellow students taking the same class (or who have already taken the class) and are knowledgeable in the topic. Another or rather an additional option is to find a good tutor. Yes, this will cost additional money, but it is worth it.
I remember once, I had a similar experience. I was learning a new language and grammar was not coming along very well. So, I invited a friend of mine to work a couple of hours together. The result was more than I could expect. Eventually, I became one of the brightest students in the class with regards to the language. I also worked with a tutor and was never sorry about it. Moreover, the methods I learned from my tutor, I then employed working as a tutor myself.
Finally, when you are working hard, you are sincere and humble and if somebody does not believe in your success, they are wrong. Continue in the same spirit and good luck!!!