Depends on what sort of freelancing jobs you get… Personal experience, I had freelanced for about 6 years… but the jobs I had in the beginning were for web design, later I started making custom wordpress themes since I could charge more and people could maintain their own sites, but the majority of people basically wanted a website.
Especially when I first started, and many times throughout, I worked on projects that I knew would never get on my portfolio, because what the client wanted and was happy with, was no way, no how, anything I wanted to put my name on…Even now, with my skills advanced to web apps and full stack dev, people ask me to do web design…just last week a friend asked if they could hire me to build an informational site for their condos hoa.
Now, if you can get more gigs along the lines of what kevin got, then yes, at least skill wise you will be on a much better track. You’ll still need time to build up the clients you want to be able to have a decent amount of work to put in your portfolio. But like many others pointed out…the skills companies really value, like agile and working on a team, those you wont get at all…you can make up for it though by becoming a contributor to other projects.
So yeah, its still not a fast track or an easier way, because you will need to not only find clients, hit your deadlines, get enough client projects that are worth putting in your profile, as well as find a team to work on another project on the side, while also looking for a job, studying for and doing interviews. Can it be done? Of course…but…its not an easier path…the more I think about it, its an even harder path because, since it is a different path, you’ll need to also keep up with the stuff companies are looking for that you wont get from freelancing alone.
Unless you really, really want to freelance (you seem kind of focused on that as a fast track, and fear of what if might have been may kick in if you dont at least try) from my perspective, a better idea would be to get any job you can…even if its just designing a website, building/maintaining a wp page, because your foot will be in the door and you’ll have full time work experience on your resume…even better, look for apprenticeship opportunities (I did one, and there are a lot of companies who offer them).