I would chuck college and get a job at a travel agency. From there, I would use the money ostensibly saved for college to get my own apartment and car, and since it was before the Internet was common, I’d use that time to travel and do whatever I could to become a travel writer. I might even still pick up side jobs doing correspondence course writing. I might also take courses and get certification as a masseuse.
While I love the path I took – my life and outlook became so much better when I became Wiccan, not true for everyone but very true for me – I could see finding a lot of happiness in adventure with that other course. Besides, the shrieking possessive growth-inhibiting mother was going to happen no matter what I did; she’s a constant, incontrovertible, nothing I can do about her.