Elijah Precciely started something new this week: college. The 11-year-old just started his undergraduate career at Southern University in Louisiana.
The physics major spoke to WBRZ about how college is treating him so far.
“I am very excited. I’ve been waiting for this for a long, long, long time.”
Fellow students like Mubashar Ali are impressed by their young classmate.
“Oh yeah. For a 13-year-old? Yeah. Definitely impressed,” Ali said.
To which Elijah replied, “I’m actually 11.”
“Eleven?!” Ali said, incredulous.
Elijah said this is where he’s meant to be.
“This is my environment, basically. I love to be up here on the campus. I love to learn,” he said. “What really strikes me is when some people think that I’m 15. Either I’m a tall 11-year-old or a short 15-year-old. Pick one.”
Although he’s much younger than traditional undergraduates, Elijah stands out on the social scene, but he blends in in the classroom.
“He was always engaged, always teaching the class, which you know is surprising. He knew way more than a lot of students,” Ali said.
Dillon Brumfield, another student, agreed.
“He can fit in, just day-to-day activities. He can do everything that we can do. There’s nothing he can’t do. It’s just like, afterschool is when it comes to be like, ‘Can he fit in?'” Brumfield said.
For example, Elijah doesn’t meet the age requirement for the new scooters that are potentially coming to the campus for student transportation.
“I’m going buy one,” Elijah said. “So right now, I’m focused on my academics. Everything else comes afterwards.”
Although he’s a genius, the university said he’ll still need support and plenty of guidance.
“He’s more than just a student. He’s more than just a prodigy. I think he is a young gentlemen and man of the Holy Spirit,” said Dr. Manicia Gene Finch, Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. “He’s going to fit in very well, as he already does here at Southern University.”
But Elijah said he’s ready.
“I’m not just here part-time, I’m here full-time. You have to have your mind set. ‘Oh I have to learn this.’ You have to have a mindset to actually know, ‘Hey, I have to learn this. My life depends on it.'” Elijah said.
“Act like your life depends on it, because it does. When you learn, you’ve increased your life.”
This story originally appeared in ABC7 News.