Yes, I practised a hell of a lot. At one point I was racking up 20-30 hours per week, while teaching and working on a Masters Degree. To follow up, no, I have never studied music at college, school, or university. My music education has always been private lessons, self study, and experience. I don't believe I have been at a disadvantage because of this. Forget the idea of a prestigious college. As others have said, focus on bettering yourself and meeting people.Thanks a lot. What did you do to improve so much after the age of 20? Did you just start focused and dedicated practice at that age?
Can I also ask if you studied drums/music at college or something? I'm hoping to make a career out of drumming, it's nice to hear people that are. Although I worry I'm at a disadvantage because of not studying drums at a prestigious college.
I suppose my issue is, HOW do I get into it? Where did it start for you, that has now led to you playing drums for a living? Where do I begin?
As for how to get in, the best advice I can give you other than what's already been said is firstly, be ready to take advantage of any opportunities that come, but secondly, create your own. When I was frustrated about finding musicians playing music I wanted to play, I wrote my own album, and then I became the one hiring the musicians. I became the one people wanted to play with because I was the one with the big project, and yes, I paid properly.
Persistence is key. It's unlikely to happen quickly. Build up over time, keep bettering yourself, and don't give up too soon (ever!).