12-Year-Old Indonesian Starts College At The University Of WaterlooBy Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
12-year-old Cendikiawan (Diki) Suryaatmadja is preparing to go to school this fall. What's interesting about him, though, is that he is already going to college at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.
VOA News reported that Diki is taking up physics as well as additional classes in math, chemistry and economics. He is from West Java, an Indonesian province. He will be living in an apartment near the university with his father.
"I'm very excited to meet the new students and make new friends," he said in an interview with CBC News. "Little by little, through osmosis, you can learn [a] language."
According to Channel News Asia, the 12-year-old college student only began learning the English language after his family moved to Singapore from West Java. Within six months, he has mastered the language with the help of subtitles on American action movies.
"I expect to have lots of assignments," he added. Andre Jardin, associate registrar at the University of Waterloo, added that he is "amongst the strongest students coming to science this year."
Diki is one of the growing number of pre-teens who will be going to college this year. Jeremy Shuler, also 12 years old, will be a freshman this year at Cornell University. He is reportedly the youngest student ever to attend as per the school's historian, Corey Earle.
Petra Zarah Jarrar, via USA Today, advised students who will start or are looking to start university at a younger age to be confident of who they are. "You don't have to pretend to be someone that you are not just so you can get all of the popular kids to like you," she said.
She also urged younger university students to not be afraid to talk about their age and never to forget that "education is a privilege, especially when you are young and brimming with endless possibilities."