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    Joined: Dec 2018
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    My son is currently 14yo and will graduate high school this year. Grade skipped 6th grade and took double the load of the normal HS student so high school lasted only 2 years vs 4. During that 2nd high school year (starting summer before at age 12) he did full time dual enrollment here in Georgia at both Oglethorpe University and GA State. The state paid for virtually the entire dual enrollment up to 15 credits/terms. Because he has been taking 21-26 credits/semester he will enter college next year with almost 2 years completed. He has been accepted already to many elite colleges. 99% sure he will go to GA Tech and accepted to start this summer for BME major / pre-med. He will be required to commute till he turns 16 and is allowed to live in a dorm by the school.

    My question is has anybody else sent a 14yr/15yr old to college? How was the social stuff navigated? Any tips I can coach him with? Up to this point he has accelerated academically but socially still hung out with his Ice Hockey buddies his own age. He won't be able to continue playing travel hockey next year. This past year in DE courses has been fine but outside group projects, a few on campus lunches and a game or two of online Fortnight he didn't socialize with the college kids. The kids have always been kind and welcoming to him but there is literally a 5-6 year age gap.

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    I have not sent one, but I have been one, as has my sibling group. From my (and my siblings') long-ago experience (and adolescent perspective), some of the most significant factors in a successful social experience were:
    1) having a group of developmental peers outside of school (in my case, associated with my faith community and extracurricular interests). I was particularly fortunate in having siblings and cousins close in age on campus at the same time.
    2) attending a commuter campus, where social life wasn't as closely tied to residential life.
    3) finding an interest-based social group.
    4) gender/physical development: on the average, the female students had an easier time in terms of being accepted socially--but then had to navigate romantic overtures from older men. This isn't, of course, narrowly tied to gender, but since physical development in middle teen girls looks more like adults than physical development in middle teen boys (in most cases) does, there is often a difference in experience.


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    Originally Posted by ChrystieATL
    Any tips I can coach him with?
    You've received great advice above. I'll just add a link to this old post on FERPA and parental/student rights.

    Other tips:
    - Your son might want to consider a gap year.
    - As parents, you might want to furnish your son with a bit of monetary empowerment on campus (a pre-loaded Starbx gift card or a credit card which can be used to pay his own way if student study groups gather for pizza, etc).
    - Make sure your son is familiar with "Doogie Howser, M.D." as others may good-naturedly refer to him by this name when they suspect that he is young, intelligent, and accelerated in his learning.
    - Help your son identify and become familiar with TV programs, movies, music, top news/sports stories, and other cultural references likely to be familiar to those in the age range of the students he will be attending classes with (you mentioned those 5-6 years older than himself). This knowledge of pop culture may provide ongoing benefits for your child after graduation, if then employed among coworkers 5-6 years older than himself.
    - Make a plan to address transportation issues until your child obtains a driver's license.

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    Don’t have any solid advise. My daughter will be 16 years old when she will start college. She is 2 years skipped and now in high school.. I found that with social side you cannot do much, unfortunately (at least in our case). We are trying to keep up with her old friends, who she left behind after the second skip, but it is really hard. I would say advise from Aeh is great. We somewhat had success with our daughter joining a sport club and have some camaraderie through it. However, we are still not even close with her having “normal” friendship. We kind of accepted that reality for now. Our daughter does consider now a gap year before she starts college, when before she completely was against it. She is 12 so we will see if this will change couple of years down the road... Just wish you and your son all the luck in your wonderful journey!

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    This old post contains a roundup of links to several threads/posts outside of the College forum (Parenting and Advocacy, General Discussion, and Learning Environments forum), which may be of interest to those considering early college.

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    Originally Posted by ChrystieATL
    My son is currently 14yo and will graduate high school this year.

    My question is has anybody else sent a 14yr/15yr old to college? How was the social stuff navigated? The kids have always been kind and welcoming to him but there is literally a 5-6 year age gap.

    Hello from NJ :))

    My daughter, 14yo, has been attending college since Sept'18.

    She skipped HS, and based on her academic achievements, she was admitted to college where she has straight As.

    She is a FT student (15 credits this semester) and she cannot be happier. And if she is happy, we are happy.

    She obtained a perfect ACT score when she was 13, won several math competitions, passed AATG levels 1,2,3 and 4 & DSD exams (German language) and DELF 2 (French proficiency exam). She also speaks Polish and Spanish fluently. A congratulations letter from the White House (describing my child's ACT achievement), signed by Ivanka Trump was a big surprise and huge help when we spoke with the college advisor.

    She still attends German school once a week, plays tennis and meets her friends as often as she can.

    Why am I writing about it? Because I had so many questions and concerns before we decided to skip HS - the main one was about her social/mental fit, about age gap, new friends who drive cars and losing old ones who have been friends for years. Thankfully she is doing just fine - her new peers are great, she meets her German/tennis friends once a week - so far so good smile


    Last edited by GAW; 02/05/19 06:55 AM.
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    Thank you for all the great advice! I have already spoken with my son about many of these suggestions.

    While we originally were dismissing it. We have discussed him playing a reduced schedule of travel hockey with his age specific team. His hockey rink seems open to this concept given his situation and because he has been a good player with them for so long.

    He is also set to attend two GA Tech weekend events - a retreat and orientation, which should help him meet people. He is planning to do research and look for a lab over the summer once he starts classes at Tech.

    Unfortunately the gap year is tough because he wants to go abroad but it is difficult to do at his age and my husband and I have jobs and 3 other kids. He is just not old enough for most programs nor is he interested in getting a job or doing a year of community service. He thinks maybe between his BS and Med school could be the right time for a gap year abroad.

    He is an avid reader and very aware of the world landscape of events. He engages well with adults and people much older than him as well as his age peers. Almost uncanny how he can transition between groups so well.

    Transportation is tricky but we are thinking the local Marta train will work as it is set up and being used today for many kids younger than him to commute to private schools. We are going to get him a meal plan and he has a credit card already.

    We have discussed him adding 2 minors and doing 3 years vs the 2 he will need to graduate at GA Tech. He plans to live on campus in a year for the last 1 or 2 years.

    I know the experience won't be exactly normal but trying to make sure he doesn't miss out on the college experience completely nor lose all his childhood.


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