What's the best way for someone who's really into philosophy to make their mark on the philosopical community if he or she is having trouble going to a university? I've tried sending my work to professors throughout the US, not necessarily for publication purposes, just to get it looked at, but for now, no dice.
It's a perhaps unfortunate fact of academic life that credentials (degree, university affiliation) are very important to being taken seriously. Although it's not a hard-and-fast necessary condition (i.e., it's not impossible to be taken seriously without them, as would be if it were hard-and-fast necessary condition), and it sure isn't a sufficient condition, either (i.e., not everyone with credentials is automatically taken seriously). I'd suggest joining an online community devoted to philosohical discussion, such as the AskPhilosophers Group linked on the left menu bar. I imagine there are also online philosophy courses you can take, or at least follow ( MIT has been doing some wonderful work in this area). The internet is a virtually limitless resource; I can't even remember how we did intellectual work without it. Good luck!