reply to Tootsie
I'm the mom of a lazy, brilliant student. SAT = 800V 1680M 780W and not a great GPA - partly due to laziness, and partly due to the fact that he chose not to "jump through the hoops." He's now wishing he had sucked it up and done the "mindless" assignments he was supposed to do to get the A.
The first step to change is to recognize where you are!! It sounds like you're there. Whatever college you end up attending - I'm cerain you will work hard to make up for lost time, and shine like the bright star you are!! Then, you'll have glowing recommendations for grad. school and you will have many choices.
Good luck to you. And, yes, I believe you should try to convince a Carleton admissions officer that you made mistakes in the past - and to give you a chance...this is a possibility if you have a great essay and glowing teacher recs. Don't give up!