Save every penny you earn from babysitting those kids down the street. Put it in a jar labeled "College Fund." Daydream about all the Ivy league schools you're going to apply to someday. Snap out of it and finish up your homework for the night. Go to bed and dream of Princeton, Harvard, and Yale.
Start your junior year of high school. Give up on those dreams of the Ivy leagues and set your heart on a school in the city. Work harder than ever. Take your SATs. Do okay on them. Retake them. Do a little better.
Star your applications for college. Apply to six schools. Let that doubt creep in that you aren't talented enough to get into that school in the city. Don't even bother with the one in the city. Still dream about going there one day, maybe for grad school?
Wait to hear back from your top choice. Read the words "denied acceptance" on a letter from the school. Wait some more. Get into a school you've never heard of. Accept. Apply for loans. Pick up extra shifts at work. Apply for more loans. Apply for scholarships. Lay awake at night wondering how you are ever going to pay for all of these bills. Forget that you're walking across the stage in just a day and leaving high school behind for good.
Graduate high school. Celebrate. Refocus on the task at hand: paying for school. Work 40+ hours a week in the summer. See your co-workers more than your family. Pack everything up in your car just three months later and move 10 hours away.
Move into your dorm. Realize that that was the wrong room and move to your room down the hall. Start a new chapter of your life. Spend a month getting used to life on campus. Love all of your classes. Start applying for jobs. Get a response back right away from one. Go in for an interview. Accept when they offer it to you. Work there the rest of your college career.
Finish the semester strong. Go home and work extra shifts in between family dinners. Fill out your FASFA. Don't get enough aid. Apply for another loan. Go back to school and discover your dream job.
Tailor your schedules around becoming a journalist. Go above and beyond the requirements for your courses. Find a way to squeeze in more time to work.
Become a tutor. Work as many hours as you can. Find a love for helping your peers understand the things that come naturally to you. Apply for more scholarships. Hope you get some.
Keep your goal in sight. Keep your grades up and your mind sharp. Work hard not just to make money, but so you can keep doing what you love.