Hi, I am new to this forum, but I have read plenty of posts and have found it very useful so I decided to go ahead and post my question. I am a 17 year old junior in high school right now and I have recently become very passionate about Physics. I decided that I want to seek a career in Theoretical Physics. Not so much teaching, but more research than anything else. The first thing I needed some advice on was preparing for college. Right now my GPA is a 2.8 sadly (result of slacking off my first two years of high school), but I am in the process of pulling that up as much as I can. I have yet take the ACT or SAT, but plan on making a fairly high score on both of them. So what should I be doing for the next two years of high school other than the obvious (making good grades)? Should I be studying math topics at home since it is the basis of most scientific career paths? If so where is a good starting point? The highest math class I have taken is Algebra 2 and Geometry, but my senior year I was planning on taking Trigonometry and Calculus. Also what are my options for college? Of course I would love to get into MIT or something similar, but that is something I don't think will come true. Is it alright if I don't go to a major, well known university? Will that severely affect my career as a physicist? Or is a state university fine? I see myself as a fairly intelligent individual, but I just sometimes can't find the motivation to give something 100%. It's like lazy is hardwired into my mind :(. To give you a better idea of what I want to do, I have always had the dream of working in lab or doing research helping to improve and develop new technology. Sorry for having such a long post, but I had a lot of questions. Thank you in advance for the responses.