It is written in Koheles: So remember your Creator in the days of your youth (Koheles 12:1), because that is the best time to learn Torah. At that stage of life one has the most strength to toil and learn deeply; to learn day and night, with minimum sleep. One is also much freer then, since at that stage one has few responsibilities and distractions and is therefore of clearer mind and more settled. He therefore has the ability to understand, analyze, listen, learn and teach Torah. And since he does not have that many distractions—especially if he is supported by his father so he really has no other preoccupations—whatever he learns is impressed upon his mind. Our Sages thus said: “One who studies Torah as a child, to what can he be likened? – to ink written on fresh paper” (Avos 4:20), which is clear and lasting. It is this Torah that stands for Torah scholars in their old age, to make their mind settled, for the Torah of youth is primary and their foundation.
That being the case, O precious youth who are engaged in Torah study, have pity on this most precious time, and do not lose even one small moment of it. Gird yourselves to toil in Torah with all your might, for about this time it is said, “If a man says to you: ‘I have labored and not found [success], do not believe him’” (Megillah 6b). True, time is the most precious commodity throughout a person’s life, and every moment lost is lost forever, but the time of youth is the most choice of all times. One should be most caring for it and for the honor of his Maker.