Slacker to Physicist?
Physics seems to catch my attention. I took a class in my Freshman and Sophomore years of high school called Principles of Technology, even though I hadn't even completed the recommended math courses prior, and I loved all of the problem solving. It wasn't the easiest course, but I loved the challenge. That's where I learned how interesting it all was to me. I liked the idea of understanding the mechanics behind the universe- the greater mysteries of every driving force around me.
Here's where I feel ashamed though... I'm not anywhere near a straight A student. I'm a senior in high school, and I've been a hardcore slacker all four years. I'm the kid who could very well achieve a near perfect GPA if he really tried. I generally just don't have to put much effort to get by, but I guess that's where my downfall is- In the world of Physics, I don't want to just "get by". I have great aspirations, but I know I won't be getting there with my current mindset of "do enough to get by with decent grades" (3.28 currently, thanks to AP and honors courses). I failed my pre-Calculus class this year (but this isn't a new thing for me; Algebra I took me my second go-round to get it), and it makes me feel like an idiot that I hope to study something as math intensive as Physics, but struggled in that class. Still, something seems to keep drawing me to this field of study, and I guess I've decided that I'm not going to quit and let a slight struggle with mathematics keep me down.
I'm probably going to a public university (mostly due to the fact that I really don't have a whole lot of money), but my dream would be to go to graduate school at Caltech or University of Chicago. I know, so does everyone else. Seems like a stretch coming from a guy like me, but I don't want to give up.
So, has anyone here been in my situation? Where they had to completely turn around all of their habits for the better? Maybe you weren't a super genius, and mathematics wasn't ever easy as pi (-ba dum tiss-) for you? I'd love to hear it, and if you could give me any resources to practice Physics and Mathematics, that would be great too! I'm just hoping my optimism isn't foolish of me. Thank you!