1. says

    I suppose congratulations are in order, then… but sixteen? I couldn’t have gone a year earlier 18. It would have really freaked me out.

  2. says

    Wow. I took a couple of summer classes at George Mason when I was that age, but I sure wasn’t fully ready for college full-time. Given what happened a year later when I went off to Arizona for my first full semester, I guess you could say I wasn’t ready then either. Congrats to her!

  3. says

    We’ve been warning her that there’s going to be some major culture shock. She’s going to be living at home with two professor-types, though, so we’ll get her acclimated fast, I hope.

  4. rrt says

    Congratulations indeed! I think you’ll be able to help her through any shock just fine.

  5. Russell says

    Why is that too young? The social issues are going to be there, no matter where she is or what she is doing. If anything, there is advantage to her having substantive coursework to wrap her mind around.

    I’ll admit to some bias. I started university at 16, and finished my BA at 19.

  6. George Cauldron says

    15, dang!

    Congratulations, and may you graduate at 18, get your PhD at 22, and retire at 40. :-)
    (But with a long life, tho.)

  7. says

    Hooray! Skatje, I started college at 15 and graduated at 18. It was a gazillion years ago (well, I’m class of ’92 from my school so I suppose not a _gazillion_) and in a different situation than yours (parents were 300 miles away, the school was very, very small, etc) and now I’m an old fart, but if you ever feel the need for support from someone outside your network but who has been there and done that, please don’t hesitate to email me (random internet stranger).

  8. says

    Sure, she may be a genius and the daughter of an accomplished evolutionary biologist (and an equally wonderfully mother whose resumé, as it were, I am entirely unfamiliar with), but has she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior?

    Perhaps you should consider BJU, or perhaps a lovely little school in Pensacola. That will get the smart out of her, post-haste.

  9. pholus says

    Congratulations! I don’t know how I’ve read this site
    over a couple of years and not noticed the UMM! Guess
    I’ve been in a haze. Anyway, UMM was a fantastic school
    to attend as an undergrad (class of 1989) and the new
    science building is fantastic!

    Enjoy! So, what major is she declaring?

  10. says

    Congratulations Skatje!

    I wasn’t really ready to start college when I did (17), but I suspect that has a lot more to do with me being a moron at the time than it does with age. It sounds like you’re going to do very well.

  11. Carlie says

    I started college when I had barely turned 17, and away from home at that. Good for ’em, I say!

    Congrats to the whole family!!!!

  12. says

    Plenty of the folks I know who started college at 15 or 16 did just fine. Me, I started at 17. (And, I managed to spend an inordinate amount of time in grad school.) Still waiting to see how I’ll turn out.

    For what it’s worth, JM is decidedly not an old fart.

  13. Carlie says

    So has she graduated from high school already, or will it be a part-time in each thing? I admit I’m fuzzy about such things – they have those kinds of half and half arrangements here, but way back in the day when I was in high school we had so many requirements that there wasn’t a prayer of having space in the schedule for college classes.

  14. theodosius_35:125-129 says

    congrats. My wife began college at 15 too – we met in college – she was 16 at the time and a year ahead of me. I assumed she was a year older than me as well instead of 2 years younger – her younger age didn’t really show, probably because she carries two (and only two) X chromosomes. I am sure any well-adjusted, independent-minded daughter of an atheistic evolutionary biologist will do great. There are certainly some perks to starting this phase “early” – a lot can be accomplished before turning 30 – my wife just turned 30 and is already 3 years removed from her family practice residency! Just try not to get too overwhemed by people being visually and verbally impressed by your age whenever it comes up.

  15. flatlander100 says

    Well, condolences on not making UW-Madison, but UMM is a very good fall back school. [grin]

  16. says

    Dang overachiever, Skatje. ;-) I thought I was cool taking part-time classes at 16, and even cooler saying I started college at 16, because my birthday always falls in the first week of classes too.

    Oh well. And although it wasn’t Morris, at least I’ve never had to endure a school in Wisconsin.

  17. Ally B. says

    Congratulations to her! I started MIT a week into being 16, and it’s been wonderful. No one looked at me any differently if they found out, and most never even had any reason to find out, so I wouldn’t worry about her being singled out.

  18. says

    Congrats to Skatje! I wish I had started college earlier, but my high school had an option where you could take community college classes senior year and I couldn’t afford it (you had to pay tuition, of course). I did the AP thing so I had some credits going in, but in high school I had never realized the myriad of options for getting into college *sooner* and I sometimes feel a little tweaked at myself for not bothering to learn about my options early instead of just assuming it would all fall into place.

  19. with a Y says

    Whether starting young or old, learning is a wonderful opportunity and lifelong adventure. Enjoy the ride Skatje.

  20. says

    So, uh, PoliSci right?

    I just assume with all your activism.

    Be warned though, the best way to be disillusioned with politics is to study it.

  21. says

    Well, congrats, Skatje… I’ve always maintained waiting till 18 to start college is a waste (I started at either 14 or 15, depending on how you define “start”).

    I’m gonna echo JM and say that if you need outside-the-network support or advice, feel free to ask me.

  22. NelC says

    I never made it to university, so I’m taking off my eyepatch to give Skatje a double evil eye!

    But seriously, best of luck to her. Sixteen does sound awfully young, but I’m sure you’ll keep her grounded in real life, PZ, so she won’t be tempted to go off on some over-achieving binge.

  23. Theo Bromine says

    Too young! Having a relaxed senior year of high school is way more valuable than jumping into college early!

    No. It is worth noting that for many people, an extra year of high school when one is ready academically for university would be annoying and frustrating, rather than relaxing. #2 son was definitely ready to leave highschool a year earlier (ie starting at 16.75) than he actually did, at 17.75 (evidenced by his high marks/grades – no one should get 100% in a creative writing course).

    At college, at least in theory, people are there because they want to learn, not so much because they are forced to be, or are just “marking time” until they can leave.

  24. Caledonian says

    Be warned though, the best way to be disillusioned with politics is to study it.

    I would think losing one’s illusions would be a positive change.

    Congratulations, Skatje.

  25. says

    At college, at least in theory, people are there because they want to learn, not so much because they are forced to be, or are just “marking time” until they can leave.

    In practice, it seems most of them are marking time until they can graduate with a piece of paper that helps them get a middle-class job.

  26. John Emerson says

    I think that a much higher proportion of students should start college at age 16. For at least half of HS students (by my guess), the HS social experience is painful and humiliating. Ordinary college classes are usually more demanding than advanced HS classes in elite schools, and many students are ready for the challenge.

    When I started college, four years of HS foreign language counted as one year of college foreign language. Even if the multiplier were only 2, you’d still be better off going straight to the real stuff. A lot of people end up taking pre-calculus, HS calculus, advanced HS calculus, and advanced college calculus in sequence when they could have done it all in two classes in college. And so on.

    I assume ability and motivation, but a stiffer challenge can increase motivation.

  27. says

    Congratulations, Skatje–you will do phenomenally well in college, I’m positive. HS is a load of folderol* (as I’d bet you’ve already figured out) and a fine place to leave as quickly as possible. Enjoy yourself and have fun studying things that matter to you!

    *not a slam on any HS teacher-types who may be reading this… as in all things, one takes the bad with the good… but I’m speaking from my own experience. Your results may vary.

  28. older and better says

    I’m all for starting college as early as possible. I figure that if a kid can manage her education, she doesn’t need to be in high school any more, and if she can’t, she should still be in middle school. So, high school is superfluous, unless you really like that social scene. My kids all started college (through various subterfuges, because they didn’t finish, or in some cases even start, high school) by twelve. I myself started college early but took ten years to finish. Along the way, I married, had three kids, and took whatever classes appealed to me. Then one day, I said “I’ll bet I have enough credits to graduate” and sure enough I did, twice, in fact. But it was fun. I’m sure it was more fun (for me anyway) than doing it straight through in four years.

  29. says

    Congratulations to her!

    As an ex-Simon’s Rock student (I was 17, though), I’m a strong proponent of letting people start college when they’re ready. And I didn’t miss senior prom (junior prom was dull) or another year of tedium and drama one bit.