Andrew,

Thank you for reaching out. I took the liberty of breaking your comment up into paragraphs to make it easier to read.

As I read your comment, I was thinking to myself, “I can relate.” But then I read the part where you said, “unfortunately, I’m 17.” Unfortunately!? Man, you are so far ahead. You have a HUGE head start on most people. It took me until I was 28 before I realized what you’re realizing at 17. My immediate advice is to stop worrying so much. You’ll get so much more done if you’re relaxed and at peace. You likely have a long life ahead of you and if change is what you want, change is what you’ll get.

I would suggest finishing up college — you’re almost done anyway, why not just get it over with? Use the time to make observations and to reflect on the world you’ll leave behind once you’re done.

Start writing (and optionally publishing online, which I cannot recommend enough) your observations of the “pointless distractions.” There are so many people, young and old and myself included, who would gain so much value from those thoughts of yours. If you want to start changing the world, start there. You can start while you finish up college.

After you’re done with college, I suggest traveling and exploring until your heart is content, or until you feel a stronger pull to do something else. There are few great teachers like that of travel with an open-mind.

Happiness? Happiness comes from within. A man sitting in a dark musty prison cell can be happy, while somebody sitting on the summit of a mountain in the middle of a wilderness can be miserable and unhappy. Happiness is not a factor of your circumstances or your environment, it comes from within.