OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Friday, January 3


QUESTION: For those that started university at the age of 16, how did you deal with the realities of student life? How does/did your age positively/negatively affect your experience?


  1. I skipped a grade in elementary school so I would have been 16 when I started uni if my birthday was later in the year. For me, it was really important that I came from an upbringing where I was treated the same as everyone else in my grade and that transferred over to how I saw myself compared to everyone else starting first year with me. However, that doesn't mean that I don't have some level of social anxiety about fitting in. It just takes time to learn to cope with that.

    You just have to remember that age is only a number and shouldn't dictate when you experience different aspects of your life. I was lucky to find friends through residence that wanted the same experience that I did out of first year so that was really great. I came from a good family so I was ready to take on the responsibilities of paying for school and the lifestyle that comes with that (rent/residence, food, entertainment, etc.).

    I think one of the negatives that comes from starting early can be the pressure that people in my situation tend to put on themselves to succeed academically. It's best to try to avoid comparing yourself to other people and just focusing on what you are learning and how to get what you want out of your education. Undergrad is too short to be spent stressing over what grades other people got.

    All in all, if you have a good support system and the basic maturity to help keep you grounded, starting university a year earlier isn't really that big of a deal.

    TL;DR, Age is just a number. OP, if you are a prospective student who would be starting their undergrad at 16, congratulations! Keep calm and I'm sure you'll be okay :)

    If OP was just curious about what early-university-goers experience, all I can say is that we're pretty normal (actually, a lot of people have no idea I started younger than them), we have to go through all the same adjustments that other students do and that "missing" year doesn't necessarily matter too much.

    1. You just wrote an essay about how you dealt with situation you really weren't a part of...You stated upfront that you weren't 16 when you started. :P

  2. AND, I just realized I wrote an essay on OMG UW. Sorry for the quasi-rant, folks!

  3. I was 16 when I started and it was the worst thing i had done. I should have taken a year off. I was too immature for the responsiblities, the work and all the freedom. This stuff should come to you when you realize its importance. Because of it I suffered greatly in first year (academically and relationship wise). Now I have improved greatly mainly because I am mature enough to spend time studying and be meaningful relationships, be it friend, romantic or professional.

    At the end of the day make sure you are gonna be mature.

  4. If it makes you feel better there are other 16 year olds wondering around campus too, we're all in this together