I consider much of your post drivel. This,
This starts from a young age, I would say, for the first X years of school, you don't have to study for anything and then suddenly they make it so you can't succeed anymore without studying. Well, what do you know, the one damn thing I don't know how to do is to study.
however, hits home. Hard.
I never cracked a book when I was a kid. I listened in class, did what homework was required in a mad dash at the last minute, and graduated as valedictorian of my high school class.
Then I went off on a full-ride scholarship to a prestigous university where professors actually expected me to read stuff they didn't touch on in class and even (as I found out after I failed my first test) to seek out and read the books they had written on the same subjects, completely without any official guide.
Seriously, my college provided no faculty advisor for new students. There was a history professor who was theoretically assigned to help. I was required, for example, to get his OK on my class selections. When I took him the form, he looked at it with a puzzled expression, asked me if I knew how to spell his name, then instructed me to sign his name to it and not bother him again. That was the last we spoke.
My student mentor was tasked with helping me adjust socially. Well, no one has ever succeeded in helping me adjust socially to anything. He got lost pretty damn quick.
With no clue, no help, and no life preserver in a sea of sink or swim, I sank. Fast. I couldn't adjust to the complete change in educational processes quickly enough and I lasted just one semester.
Dropping out was the second biggest mistake of my life and even now, as an old man, there isn't a week that goes by that I don't regret it.
Back on-topic with something relative to the OP - From experience, I'd say that academic failure can come from unexpected sources. When students fail, it's not because they are incapable of learning. Clearly, they are. It's just that the way they've learned to process new knowledge and they way it's being presented are not in sync. Right now it may seem that the main problem is short attention spans but, frankly, I think there have always been disconnects between methods of teaching and techniques of learning, some of those disconnects large enough to completely sink the efforts of the folks on both sides of the podium.