Hey TD and welcome to the forum;
My goodness; you've got such a beautiful mind but struggle with your own truth. I know this place well my young friend. I'm here, as are others, to support you thru this if you're up to the challenge; you're so worth it!
Btw, my last name rhymed with fart!
One of the unfortunate consequences of having all this access to information online, is being subjected to a literal world of comparisons. "I should be like this or like that and my life's a mess because I shouldn't be thinking this or that way."
The reality though, is you're just as screwed up as the rest of us were/are at your age.
You've had 18 yrs to develop your sense of self, and only 13 of those yrs have been with the faculty of language! And for 8 yrs you've known about your sexuality.
Out of those 8 you've studied your guts out, developed friendships, (dysfunctional or not) gone thru puberty, never had a true sense of individuality and was subjected to world views, including those of your family, that call into question your true nature as a gay man.
How am I doing? This mess you call life, is as it should be; bloody confusing and emotional. Expectations of yourself and others needs to be put into perspective if you want to get thru your teens, 20's, 30's and 40's fairly unscathed.
Each stage of your development is a 'Rite of Passage' or gateway into the next phase of your life. Each comes with specific challenges and achievements to move forward.
It's like Math's; one can't do division until addition and subtraction's mastered. Algebra's either got, or not! No point struggling if you're not doing a science major right?
Your grades are great and in a good field! You have friends, bad ones or not, they're there. Your family seem caring; you're self aware and eager to face life head on. Wow!
That's a huge advantage over many others. Please, please let yourself off the hook! What you've achieved in 18 yrs is an absolute credit to you and your folks.
Do you think people naturally move onto sex without fear and self doubt? Hell no! Ask anyone, it's an emotional nightmare. What you describe is as normal as it gets hun. One step at a time, only when you're ready ok.
I've run out of space, so I hope I've helped you put your life into perspective; it's not all bad, just 'new'. One day it'll be laughed about, I guarantee it..
Sez (Please come back and talk ok)