a college student and I live in Smashville! (Nashville, Tennessee) I’m
still in school- I’m pursuing my BSBA in marketing and my BA in
photography. I’m studying through some local state schools and also
Thomas Edison State College, a state school in New Jersey that offers
flexible learning opportunities. I’m planning to graduate with both
degrees in a couple of years.
Mumford and Sons, First Aid Kit, Joni Mitchell, The Civil Wars, etc. Go
check me out!
was homeschooled, so school was tailored to me! I went through my
requirements pretty quickly in high school, and then spent more time
learning about writing, philosophy, history, and taking other courses
where I could really stretch myself. I went through this program where I
read all of ancient literature, starting with Genesis, the
Illiad/Odyssey, etc. and moving right on up to George Orwell, Ayn Rand,
etc. Have you ever read Dante’s Divine Comedy cover to cover? Don’t.
Despite what the cover says, it’s not funny. I was pretty mad when I
graduated high school and found out that I had twice the credits
necessary. I was like, “Seriously. Mom!”
my parents never had my IQ tested. They said that if it was low, I
wouldn’t push myself. And if it was high, then I would just keep on
doing what I was doing. So there wasn’t any point!
far as peers go, I was fortunate to have friends of many different
ages. I did feel a bit older than the friends who were my age at that
time because I had a broader range of experience/education.
mom saw an advertisement for a continuing education class in sign
language at our local college right before my twelfth birthday. She
wrangled with admissions, and we were allowed to take it together for
non-credit. Then we found out that they had a two-year degree in sign
language interpreting. She asked me if I wanted to do it. I had seen
enough of the language to know that I was hooked, so I said yes!
you tell us about the process of actually starting college?
mom met with the K-12 program director (kindergarten? Seriously? We
weren’t that crazy) and we had to get special permission from the dean,
since I didn’t have a high school diploma yet. I wasn’t even in high
for the tuition, oh yes! we had to pay tuition. In fact, we paid double
tuition because the college required my mom to enroll with me up until I
was about sixteen. (Maybe they were afraid that I would color on the
walls? I’m not sure why.) Anyway, it turned out to be a great bonding
experience for us.
were welcoming and thought that it was great that I was in classes.
They enjoyed having me around. In fact, one of my fondest memories is
when, in one class, we were called ‘mom‘ and ‘sister.’ It was very
community based. I made some great friends.
students were not so welcoming. They felt threatened and frequently
made derogatory comments about my age. Also, some teachers were not
welcoming. I made all A’s except for two classes where I earned B’s. I
feel that the professors discriminated against my age, rather than
judging my ability, because I did as well in the classes as my mom, who
made A’s. All this started to iron itself out when I got a little older.
took all language based classes until about sixteen, when I started
taking some general education classes. I also took some CLEP tests
(College Level Examination Placement tests) for general education
loved my classes! The cadence and rhythm of American Sign Language
appealed to my artistic nature and creativity. I took so many classes,
that in fact, I graduated college with my Associate’s degree a month
after I finished high school.
you glad you started attending college at such a young age? Would you
ever send your children to college at such a young age?
I am so
glad that I was able to start going to college at such a young age. I
had so many great experiences, plus the opportunity to start working and
finish college early. If I ever have kids, I would totally let them go
to school at that age if they have that desire. Starting college at age
twelve was an incredibly enriching experience for me.
your learning opportunities. Does your school offer College Level
Examination Placement tests? (CLEP for short) You can test out of three
hours in several topics for less than a hundred dollars.
Do tests make you cringe? The same organization offers AP (advanced
placement) classes for college credit at most high schools. Or, enroll
in your local college, like I did. Or you can just graduate early and be
done with it all. Just explore! The one-size-fits-all education that
most public and private schools offer doesn’t fit many people. (I think
homeschooling is tops, but I’m biased!)
explore extracurricular activities. For me, it was music, textile arts,
volunteer work and yoga practice. Don’t allow yourself to stagnate just
because you are in a boring place right now. Since I did a lot of
extracurricular activities, I was able to unlock my creative side, and
discovered that I have a good eye for art and a good ear for music,
which is starting to pay off in huge ways.
if you don’t think that you are smart, remember that massive amounts of
book learning do not always equal intelligence. Problem solving,
analytics, organizational skills, perception, creativity, etc. are all
indicators of intelligence.