WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- More than 650 Polk State College students will walk the stage Thursday at the college's 120th commencement ceremony.
- Miles Carson, 17, to graduate from Polk State College
- He's the youngest to receive a bachelor's degree from the college
- Carson hopes to open a business one day
One of the people graduating this year is 17-year-old Miles Carson, the youngest student to receive a bachelor's degree from Polk State.
Carson said one of the reasons he was able to graduate five years earlier than the typical college student was due to him not taking a summer vacation for the past six years.
"I didn't enjoy taking a break. That's why it made it so easy. No they're way too long," Carson said about summer breaks from school.
He's graduating with a bachelor's degree in Supervision and Management with a concentration in Business Administration.
"I'm very happy an optimistic about my future which I don't know what it entails. Definitely something business related," Carson said.
While attending school, Carson said he didn't play sports, or participate in other extracurricular activities. He also didn't date or use social media.
Instead, he began taking classes online starting in the eighth grade, while he was still enrolled in school during the day. That allowed him to enter high school with enough credits to be considered a 10th grader. He went to Auburndale High School for six months when he was 13, while still taking classes online at night. He realized he preferred the Florida Virtual School more.
"I hated school and this has allowed me to get more of it done. I actually enjoy learning. I just wasn't a fan of the classroom structure when you're a kid having to sit there 7 hours," Carson said.
Carson continued taking online classes and when he was 14, he was accepted into the Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School at Polk State College. Classes there counted toward high school and college credits, allowing him to graduate from high school at 16, and from Polk State College, a year later, with his bachelor's degree.
"It was like a much better high school experience. Great school. Great professors. I learned a lot," Carson said.
Carson said he hopes to be accepted into University of Florida's online Master of International Business degree program. One day, he hopes to open a business.
The 120th Commencement at Polk State College will be held at R.P. Funding Center on May 2, starting at 6:30 p.m. The guest speaker this year is distinguished alum Nikki Smith, owner of ASAP prints.