I would tell myself to try harder because your potential is greater than what you realize. Don't listen to what everyone around you has to say. If you believe that you can do something, then go for it. It takes a few failures to get a true win. It won't be easy, but it's worth it. You're worth it. You are NOT stupid. If you would just focus and have faith in yourself, you could go a very long way. You have your entire life ahead of you. I know you say it's just high school, but it's not. High school basically determines the rest of your life. They are helping you get where you need to be. Listen and pay attention. You're smart. Realize and put all your effort into it before you're 19 in some cosmo program trying to find scholarships to do what you really love to do. Listen to what everyone around you is telling you. Listen to mom. She's ALWAYS right! You'll realize it in the end. Times are hard, but they will get better. Sooner or later. I promise you they will. Head up.
Victoria, choosing a degree is the first step when preparing for college. Choose a college degree of something you would love to pursue into a career, and not think about what degree will help you receive a large paycheck for your career. Researching colleges would be the next step, and take the time to see if the college you may want to attend is acreddited. Make sure to ask plenty of questions you are unsure about the college because not asking could waste not only time, but payments on loans for school. Lastly, make sure the college will be able to try and at least help you seek employment into the career you desire for.