Hello there, xkcd community!
While I once was an avid geek, my devotion has waned over the years, and it depresses the hell out of me. Three years ago, when I was fourteen and in the Eighth grade, I had ambitions of being someone with enough mathematical knowledge and aptitude to compete in things like the International Math Olympiad. To make a long story shortly vague, I had to battle my own haunting obsessions, impulses, and emotional turmoils, which kicked me off the track, so to speak.
I'm seventeen years old now, and while that may sound really young to some of you, I feel as if I need to competitively get back on track with my studies. I'm planning on using the Internet, and books in my possession which I haven't cracked open in years, to better myself in general. My dream school is MIT, but I don't have the extracurricular achievements to help boost me into that school since I wasted away such a large portion of my high school career.
Things I've started doing include: Learning Python through learnpythonthehardway.com, learning C++, cracking open my old Calculus textbook to finally learn it (I planned on learning it at 13, yet if you gave me the AP Calc AB test right now, I'd flunk. My current school, dedicated to kids falling through the cracks, also doesn't offer Calculus), learning programming principles through codeacademy, using my Art of Problem Solving textbooks, using the Khan Academy.
I guess my questions are: What is the best academic path I can slate myself towards? I'm probably not getting into a very good college, but I can opt for some mid tier ones right? Then I can work hard and transfer from there.
What new fields of knowledge should I start looking into? I'm going to be out in the real world relatively soon, so I think I should start learning how to earn an income, and manage my money.
What books/websites should I get to know?
If you're going to take the time to at least tell me something worthwhile, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope I don't sound entitled or anything like that.