Let me explain my situation.
I'm a Dutch student, and I'm now 21 years old, and for the past 2 years I've been going to Art school.
The reason I went to Art school (I don't know what it would be called in the US, but it's a college in the Netherlands) is basically, because I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
Before Art school, I attended one of the most prestigious highschools in the countries. I was during almost the entire 6 years, very unmotivated and didn't do very much. Even though I didn't do much, I still had a 7.7 avarage for my "end exam". (I don't know what the american equivalent score would be, but Oxford asks for an 8 avarage for most of their undergraduate courses). I got the 7.7 even though I practically didn't do much work until something like the last two months before the test.
That was who I was 2 years ago.
I have completely changed since then.
I now dropped out of Art school, because I am not fulfilling my ambitions or following my interests there.
Over the last two years I've developed a very strong interest in Economics and political science. I've become very ambitious, motivated and disciplined. I know for sure, that if I we're as motivated in highschool as I am now, I would have easily got a 9 avarage, which is very high.
Now, I had intended a while ago to apply for Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, but the application dates had passed. I will still apply for next year, but right now I will have to attend another college/university.
The problem is, that my grades are not good enough for the top universities, but I believe that those grades don't represent my actual abilities right now.
My question is a bit general, so I hope that won't be a problem.
If I want to go to a top university, perhaps one in the United States, what should I do right now? Would it be a good idea to attend a liberal arts college in the netherlands majro in social sciences and specialize in Economics/politicical science/international relations, and move on from there? Or would it be better to try to re-do the end exam (which is possible for a fee of about 600 euro's), get a really good avarage, and use that to apply to Oxford and others? That would take another whole year, and I am already 21...
I know that my questions are a bit open ended, but I hope someone might give me some advice as to what to do in my situation.