Kylie Munson began taking college classes as an 11-year-old student at Los Angeles Mission College after testing out of traditional standardized testing at her private school.
At age 13, she earned an associate degree in general studies with an emphasis in natural science, something she has been fascinated with since elementary school.
“I remember when I was about 10 years old reading this science nature textbook and that just started off my love for science,” Munson told The Epoch Times. “And I said, ‘OK, I really love this,’ and then I just started going deeper into the biology of nature and the animals and DNA and all of that stuff, and it just sparked my interest from there.”
At the same time as earning her associate degree, Munson graduated from Sage Oak High School with a 4.89 GPA.
At 13, Munson was nominated to represent California at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, which honors America’s brightest high school students who want to become future leaders in the medical field.
Apart from her academic life, she also loves participating in cheer competitions, with her team SMOED winning the most significant competition in the cheer community, called Worlds, in 2018.
Munson was offered a full ride to UCI at age 13.
During her time there, she said that being younger than her classmates was definitely an interesting experience, but that she was already used to being around older people, something she felt helped her to mature faster.
“I still felt like a normal student there,” she said. “Most people wouldn’t notice unless I told them my age right away.”
Munson said she decided to go to UCI because of its sense of community, instead of going to a much larger school where one might feel like “just another student.”
She said some of her more memorable experiences involved being on the school’s dance and cheer team.
“It was nice to have some school spirit to feel more like a normal student, and then also doing lab work and having some of the best professors was more of the academic side to that.”
Asked how it felt to walk across the stage for her UCI graduation at such a young age, Munson said she felt relieved, knowing that all of her hard work was coming to fruition and she could move on to the next step.
“For right now, I’m going to work on studying for the MCAT [Medical College Admission Test] and applying to medical school, and then also just being able to relax and do some normal teenager things.”
After going to medical school, Munson said she hopes to work in cutting-edge research to help find cures for inherited diseases.