Hi Alex! I'm a software engineer at an MMORPG game company. While I personally can't speak for the design side of your questions (being from a different department and all) here is a general tip:
The game industry is very competitive- try to figure out what aspects of game design you are most passionate about and put an emphasis on those aspects to really stand out. Knowing what you enjoy most in designing games can give you a better idea on what college courses to take. From your post it sounds like you really enjoy story-related elements. In larger game companies there are entire teams devoted to lore and narrative design- growing your writing skills both inside and outside of school can give you an advantage for those kinds of positions.
I passed on your question to one of our senior game designers, and here's what he said:
"Best advice: Don’t go to a game design school. They’re ludicrously expensive jokes. I learned everything I know while on the job. The biggest gain to going to a game school is that people to make mods with are readily available. It also helped me get my first internship since I had that tiny bit of credentials over some random dude who didn’t. That said, if he can get his hands on books like Rules of Play by Salen and Zimmerman or Andrew Rollings and Ernest Adams on Game Design then that should be enough to get him thinking about design principles. If he is going to a regular college/university, I’d suggest any extra-curricular courses he can pick up in basic programming, art, or even game history. I know some universities are offering game courses.
The key to getting into the industry is 1) knowing someone, and 2) bolstering his portfolio with modifications, levels he has designed and artified, or programming code. It really depends what route he wants to take. Designer, artist, programmer. If he wants to get into the systems side then he’ll want to get a lot of math courses in. I know systems guys love math/engineering types when they look at resumes."
If you don't know someone in the game industry, Quality Assurance (QA) positions can be another way to get a foot in the door and are a lot more entertaining than washing toilets!