This is number one to me. Hustle, and then hustle some more. Design is hard. It takes more than just wanting to be a designer to become a designer. It takes a lot of work, but most importantly it takes hustle. If you don't hustle to get to college, hustle to learn more, hustle to get an internship and hustle to get your portfolio into the right hands; you will never become a designer. Simply put, if you don't hustle you won't survive. And remember, once you get the job, the hustle starts all over again.
Hustle, Then Hustle Some More