Carson Huey-You calls himself a “normal dude.”
But most people would agree that Carson is extraordinary, to say the least. For one, he recently graduated from Texas Christian University with a major in physics. He minored in Chinese and math, and by all accounts, he was an excellent student, finishing the course of study in less than four years.
Oh, and he’s 14 years old.
Carson went off to college in 2013, when he was only 11; he’d skipped several grades to graduate as his high school’s co-valedictorian. Although he shies away from terms like “genius,” he’s an admitted science lover.
“I am not a genius,” he told the Star-Telegram. “I am a normal 14-year-old person doing college-level stuff.”
He has friends his age, and he reads some age-appropriate books, including The Chronicles of Narnia. He plays the piano. He speaks Chinese (hence the minor). He enjoys chess, but also plays Minecraft, and he spends plenty of time with his little brother, Cannan.
Cannan, by the way, just graduated from high school at 10 years old, and he’s also headed to TCU soon. Cannan says he’ll study physics, engineering, and astronomy.
But for now, it’s Carson’s moment. His mother shed a few tears at his graduation, and later described Carson as “sweet.” Any parent would probably have a similar response—and Carson also showed a bit of emotion when collecting his diploma.
College was sometimes difficult for Carson.
He made headlines in 2013, and in interviews, he suggested that he thought that his college studies would be easy.
Initially, that was true, but Carson was challenged by some of his coursework. Among the hardest: American environmental history, general chemistry II, and his most advanced course, classical mechanics.
“That one hurt,” he admitted.
And on occasion, he had to deal with a new type of challenge: learning from failure.
“When I used to get bad test scores or something like that, I would go home and be disappointed and think about, ‘Oh, I should have known this, I should have done way better.’ I know better how to deal with that disappointment, knowing that I will bounce back.”
He also experienced a bit of a culture shock when moving from high school to college.
“It was scary at first because my high school was only one building versus a massive campus with tons of people,” he told the Star-Telegram.
He eventually came to love the experience. He told the Star-Telegram that his favorite parts of college were “getting to learn new things about things you never thought about, things that you never knew existed, things that you might not even think about thinking about.”
C. Magnus L. Rittby, TCU’s senior associate dean for administration, acted as Carson’s academic adviser. Although Riittby didn’t use the term “genius,” he did compare the young graduate to Doogie Howser, a teenage doctor from a mid-’90s television sitcom.
But Carson’s clear: He thinks of himself as just an average kid. The only difference between him and his 14-year-old peers? He’s currently planning for graduate school.