ATLANTA — Jireh Hodges started college at the age of 14, transferred to Georgia State University at 16 and will be 18 — the age when many students are just starting their college experience — when she graduates with a bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in rhetoric and composition.
“It feels great to get to a place that I’ve been working toward for so long,” Hodges said. “I’m very proud that I’m graduating early. I’m ready to get out into the world.”
Despite being younger than most of her classmates, Hodges said the social and academic adjustment to college wasn’t difficult. As the second oldest of 10 siblings, she’s used to spending time with people across a wide age range.
But as a former home-school student, it did take some time to adjust to campus.
“It was amazing being a part of something bigger,” she said. “The campus is huge compared to the technical college near my home. Georgia State has such a large library and so many valuable resources you can use. It was amazing to experience.”
Hodges, of Marietta, developed a passion for technical writing while studying as a dual-enrollment student at Chattahoochee Technical College, earning credits that counted toward high school and college. One of her professors there advised her to explore Georgia State’s rhetoric and composition program to further her education.
Hodges said she hopes to make an impact on society through her writing and she aspires to become a writer or editor for a publication. During her senior year, she interned at Five Points, a top literary magazine published by the Department of English at Georgia State. Hodges was tasked with copyediting as well as writing blog articles. Hodges also worked on a Five Points newsletter and learned InDesign, a desktop publishing application.
“I want to make an impact and I think writing and speaking can really change the world. Society can always benefit from hearing from young voices,” Hodges said.
“I want to work for a publication that wants to develop ideas and put great ideas out into the world.”
Story by Horace Holloman
Photo by Meg Buscema