She Started College At 12, Now People Call Her ‘Doctor’

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At 12-years-old, most of us are just doing what most pre-teens do: talking about boys, going to mall, talking on the phone and literally growing up. For one North Carolina girl, she was growing up, but also taking the academic world by storm when she started college at age 12.

According to WECT, Julia Nepper’s parents pulled her out of school when she was a child because they didn’t think she was being challenged enough.

Julia’s mother, Nadine Nepper remembers a time early-on when administrators questioned her daughter’s aptitude. “It’s hard to believe she was kept back in kindergarten that one year,” she recalls. “It was suggested if we wanted her to excel, we’d have to pull her out and homeschool her.” And, that’s exactly what Nadine and her ex-husband did.

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She began her college career at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina. At 14-years-old, Nepper had earned her associate’s degree from there. By the age of 16, she had graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Then last month, Nepper walked across the stage with her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

That’s right, a Ph.D. at age 23. That’s the time when most of us are finishing undergrad, getting our first job and partying on the weekends. But with Nepper, people can call her ‘Doctor.’

“Most of the people I’ve met, in my life, could have done what I did if they had the right support,” Nepper told WECT. “I don’t fault my parents, pushing me, with regards to my education. Clearly, I could handle it and it worked. So they must have done something right.”

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So now what? You’ve done what you’ve set out to do in academia, so what’s next for the beautiful, bright student?

This is the first time in more than half of her life that Julia no longer has homework. On her twitter profile she lists being a “Scientist, communicator, and educator. Plus, she’s “pretty good at stuff.”

She also shared her immediate 2018 New Year’s resolutions:
Goals for 2018:
1. Get a job
2. Be less broke
3. Be more positive

Not bad, right? We thought so too.

“I’ve been in college most of my life and I haven’t really been in the real world,” Julia said. “It’s exciting but actually scary to go out and get a job.”