Can someone give me legit advice on how to improve on chess?

I’m 1500 rated on (always stuck between 1480-1530 points) and 16 years old. The end of my first semester is coming so I’ll be a little busy for a while but when the second semester starts, I’ll have time to study chess for 2-3 hours everyday.

Anyways, I’m sick of people telling me “do puzzles” or “do tactics”. The only tactics that have legitimately improved my chess were those basic backrank / checkmate pattern puzzles and those simple tactic puzzles back in December 2020 when my rating was like 900.

I used to waste those 2-3 hours mainly memorizing theory but I noticed that no one actually knows theory move by move around the 1500 rating so this also feels like a waste of time.

What methods do the advanced players use to actually improve?

Before anyone asks:
• yes, I do actually know some basic endgame theory
• I’m theoretically prepared enough in the opening around my rating
• I’m legitimately trying to improve my chess.

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