14 Year Old Whizz Kid: An Interview with Wajih Ahmed

Usually, Soton Tab interviews take place in a drinking establishment; partly because everyone is more relaxed after a pint and also because they’re the only places we’re welcomed. But this […]

This chap is almost definitely smarter than you

Usually, Soton Tab interviews take place in a drinking establishment; partly because everyone is more relaxed after a pint and also because they’re the only places we’re welcomed. But this time we had to swap the Stag’s for SUSU Café because we were interviewing a minor.

Remember back in August  when it was announced a fourteen year old lad would start a degree in economics at Southampton? Well he’s enrolled, survived freshers’ week, had his first lecture and sat down with us for a chat. Here’s Wajih Ahmed.

Oh, and despite being seven years younger than me and a hell of a lot more intellectual, I was probably more intimidated by him than he was by me.

AB: So, Wajih, you had your first uni lecture today, what did you think of it?

WA: It was good, there were a lot of people and I met some new people there too.

AB: Compared to A Levels, how do you think uni will be different?

WA: It’ll be a lot different because I’ll do a lot more stuff on my own and be more independent.

AB: Yeah definitely. A lot of students have called you a legend for coming to uni at your age, how do you feel about being a legitimate BNOC?

WA: It feels good, yeah.

AB: So you know what a BNOC is already?!

WA: Yeah, Big Name on Campus.

AB: Yeah, a lot of students spend 3 or 4 years trying to be one but you’ve already achieved that before your first lecture!

WA: Yeah I suppose so!

AB: We’ve heard you like playing on the Xbox, what’s your favourite game at the moment?

WA: Definitely FIFA 13, I got it the other day!

AB: Whilst at uni, would you be interested in joining any clubs and societies?

WA: Yeah, football for the Social Sciences team on Wednesdays. I didn’t go for the Uni team because it would be quite difficult for me to get in that one and the Social Sciences one is smaller!

Despite being 7 years younger, Wajih's nearly as tall me.

AB: So you’re not interested in something like Quidditch then?

WA: Haha no, I’d like to do badminton though. But I saw a few weird societies at the Bunfight.

AB: Yeah there are some odd ones here! Why did you choose to study Economics?

WA: I guess I was always interested in maths but I didn’t want to do just maths because I want to do something that will get me a good job in the future and economics should do that.

AB: So what’s the plan after the Bachelor’s?

WA: I want to go and do another degree or PhD then I can actually live away from home. I’d like to go to London to do that.

AB: So after you’ve done your PhD what do you want after that?

WA: I wanna be an actuary and maybe get a job up in London.

AB: What actually is an actuary?!

WA: They kinda do statistical analysis of insurance and stuff. It’s a good job where you get paid quite a bit!

AB: I’m definitely doing the wrong degree then! So why did you choose Southampton now over Oxbridge?

WA: Well I had to live at home because I couldn’t live away and I only live 10 minutes down the road.

AB: Makes sense! What do you think the hardest thing about being 14 at university is?

WA: There’s a lot of stuff I can’t do, like I can’t go drinking.

AB: Do you think not being able to drink would be a big thing?

WA: No, I don’t think so because I can still go out with friends and not drink.

AB: Do you think there’s anything you’ll be missing out on which other people your age will be doing?

WA: Erm, no. I still live near all my other friends from school so I can still go and see them.

AB: Wajih, what were people’s reactions when they found out that a 14 year old would be on their course with them?

WA: They asked a lot of questions and stuff!

AB: So they didn’t ask if you’d got lost and accidently turned up at uni?

WA: Haha, no. They kind of already knew I was coming after reading about it. So I just met them at the inductions and lectures and stuff.

AB: That’s cool. So even though you live at home with your parents, do you get a student loan?

WA: Yeah I do!

AB: What are your plans on spending the money on? New TV? Xbox games?

WA: Yeah maybe, haha.

AB: Haha ok. What do you want to get out of the next few years here then?

WA: I guess I just want to make new friends and meet new people really!

AB: Sounds good, Wajih!