I am an American high schooler considering what to do in university. I am immensely interested in theoretical physics, and I would quite like to become a professor in the subject (I've self-studied quite a bit of it; while I'm no master, I can still do enough to have a decent bit of reputation on the Physics S.E.). However, I've been hearing some rather concerning things from others already in academia about becoming a professor in physics in particular. First of all, I've heard here that every new crisis is permanently harming the job market in academia overall. Secondly, I've heard in several places (including here, if I recall correctly) that the job market for new mathematics professorships is starting to dry up, which most likely means the writing is on the wall for physics professorships. I've heard plenty of personal anecdotes from friends who have parents in academia about how brilliant folks who went to top class schools are now either not able to find work at all or only able to find work in small, relatively unknown universities. Finally, I've heard from a couple physics professors and chairs that it's somewhat difficult to find a first position in physics in general (though it is apparently relatively straightforward to achieve tenure once you get your foot in the door, so to speak).
I've really enjoyed my self study, and research seems quite lovely with the little experience I have with it. Thus, I'd really, really love to grab a PhD in physics and teach and research for the rest of my time here on this planet, but I'm concerned I'd be left out without a job if I tried to do so! Is my outlook on the situation too bleak, or would I be right to travel a different path and perhaps research on the side?