Agreed with the Reed. Most people still in school would rather play games rather than make them. It takes a serious level of commitment to push yourself into working rather than playing. If you do play games, try to analyze them while you play. Ask yourself questions about how they do things and then try to figure it out. What would do you, how would you do it, and think about things like algorithms, designs, and performance implications. If you run into a snag, it's probably because you don't know enough about that particular domain so that's an indicator you should go out there and learn more about it., then move onto gaming topics.
Read books and online tutorials. It's a bit hard to believe, but there be some articles right here on teh DevMaster! Maybe even check out some open source projects. Also learn what professionals do by checking out their SDKs and level editors. Source, Unreal, Unity all have an established products with documentation, communities, and games that you can learn off. Sit down for a while and learn to use a level editor. Study how it improves productivity and think about ways you could improve it. Check out some example projects from each of those major engines and see how everything fits together. Always think for yourself and see if there are ways to improve what others have done. Never ever take what you see as the norm.
You wouldn't pay a share of your salary to someone to helped you get a job, would you?
You do if you got hired from a recruiter