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Sixteen and starting college

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Bradley Hardesty of Martinsburg, Ohio, is a 16-year-old math and physics major starting his first year at Bluffton. The math and physics major also participates in cross country and track and is already finding his place in the Bluffton University community.

By Kasey Myers

Although Bluffton University welcomed a variety of talented new students this fall, few can boast the achievement of starting college at 16 years old.

Bradley Hardesty of Martinsburg, Ohio, is a 16-year-old math and physics major starting his first year at Bluffton. After skipping multiple grades in elementary school and junior high, Hardesty graduated early last spring from Utica (Ohio) High School.

While working through school at an accelerated pace, Hardesty also found time to participate in cross country and track in high school, even qualifying for regionals. His performance was strong enough to be recruited to run for the Beavers after his early graduation.

On top of his stellar academic and athletic achievements, Hardesty has also mastered the Rubik’s Cube. He can solve a traditional 3×3 cube in 9.52 seconds at best, he said. His average: about 15 seconds. Hardesty also enjoys solving his  13×13 Rubik’s Cube.

In order to attend Bluffton as a minor, Hardesty had a harder time with paperwork than most freshman. His parents were also required to sign certain forms in order for him to live and study on campus.

Out of all of the colleges Hardesty could have attended, he ultimately chose Bluffton.

“I like the people here,” Hardesty said.

In addition to the culture of Bluffton, Hardesty is also enjoying his classes. Despite the fact that his calculus class starts at 8 a.m., Hardesty remains enthusiastic about his major courses.

But his interests don’t stop with running, Rubik’s Cubes and early morning calculus. He also enjoys playing the piano and plans to take piano lessons through the music department here at Bluffton.

“To myself, I feel pretty normal,” Hardesty said. “So, it’s really funny when other people freak out.”

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