14-year-old from Mesa feels like ‘just another student’ at ASU
Dec 9, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 2:53 pm
(Photo courtesy of Christian Armanti)
PHOENIX — At 14 years old, Christian Armanti is one year away from earning a bachelor’s degree. He’s one of 45 students who are 16 or younger enrolled at Arizona State University.
The Mesa resident started attending ASU last fall. He did online classes for a year, so this semester is his first on campus.
“Some people would just stare at me for a little bit,” he said. “And some people would come up to me and ask me, ‘How old are you?’ and ‘Are you studying here?’”
Interactions like these were not uncommon in the beginning. Now, he said he feels like he’s “just another student” at ASU.
Armanti said students and professors have made him feel like he fits right in.
Besides taking 17 credit hours this semester, he also joined ASU’s mariachi band as a trumpet player.
He said it’s an experience that has helped him grow as a musician. He’s also part of another mariachi band outside of the university, plays the piano and sings.
Armanti did regular elementary school from pre-kindergarten to second grade. He skipped third grade and went straight to fourth grade. By then, he said exams showed he was ready for college.
He was 10 years old when he enrolled at Mesa Community College where he said he felt the most out of place.
“When I went to the enrollment office, the desk was taller than I was,” he said.
He added his mom took him, and the admissions representative thought she was the one enrolling.
Armanti spent two years at MCC. He earned an associate’s degree in applied science before transferring to ASU. He’s now majoring in communications with a minor in music performance.
He’s also taking pre-med classes because he wants to go to medical school and become a neurosurgeon.
It’s a career he became interested in when he first learned about how the human brain works in second grade.
“I thought it was so interesting to see how the brain controls the human body,” he said. “A lot of it still hasn’t been researched, so we don’t know a whole lot about the brain. I think that’s extremely interesting.”