That's right - no longer can you sit in the back and soak it up - or not. You will be expected to learn - and contribute - with new thoughts, ideas, and concepts, synthesizing information and drawing original conclusions.
Memorization skills, late night cram sessions, and last minute papers may have gotten you though college, but these habits won't help you in graduate school - and instead will likely harm your success.
Faculty play an enormous role in your graduate education. Professors' roles in the classroom are obvious, but their out-of-class activities, such as research, publishing, and grant- writing, also influence your education and progress towards the graduate degree. Your relationships with faculty are essential to successfully completing your graduate program and your dissertation.
Without a doubt, faculty are important to your success in graduate school. However, many graduate students are surprised to learn that relationships with other students also predict success in graduate school and beyond. Friendships and good working relationships with other students, in your year as well as more junior students and especially more senior students, are a source of support, advice, and opportunities.