learning stuff from classes and books is hard and painful and boring
Welcome to engineering. :-)
Analogies can be helpful at the very beginning, but ultimately there's no substitute for directly understanding the subject, especially when you get to more complex topics like op amps. Understanding the big picture is something that takes time and a broad knowledge base. Rest assured that your hard and painful work will pay off. Pay special attention to the basics -- circuit analysis, electronics, E&M fields, signal analysis. As you study and (more importantly) do homework, you will gain intuition about the behavior of electronic circuits, and also the deeper mathematical models behind them.
That being said, the water flow analogy is not terrible. If you have a strong mathematical background, the mechanical analogy (voltage/current/resistance = force/velocity/friction) might help. Of course, those are only as good as your understanding of hydraulics and mechanics.
What might help more is reading many explanations of the same subject. Sometimes schools pick terrible textbooks, so look for others at your library. There are also many starter explanations of these concepts online. (William Beaty has some good stuff.)