Disney star's reason for leaving her career behind shocks fans: 'Not what I expected'

Kelsey Weekman
·2-min read
Disney star's reason for leaving her career behind shocks fans: 'Not what I expected'

Twitter users were stunned after finding out that a former Disney Channel star is now getting her Ph.D. at MIT.

Bridgit Mendler, a 28-year-old actress, is best known for playing the dependable older sister in Good Luck Charlie from 2010 to 2014. She also starred in the 2011 movie Lemonade Mouth — a movie about a fictional band — which drew attention to her singing ability and launched her career as a platinum recording artist.

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That’s enough for anyone to be proud of, but Mendler didn’t stop there.

As one Twitter user pointed out in a viral tweet, she’s now studying at a prestigious university.

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According to MIT’s website, Mendler is “a Ph.D. student at the MIT Media Lab with a focus on technologies that support inclusive and collaborative governance and citizen engagement.”

The site acknowledges her past career in entertainment as well, noting that her online interactions with fans “inspired her interest in social platforms as a means for bringing more voices, experiences and expertise to government decision-making.”

Her LinkedIn notes that she’s been in the program for more than three and a half years, but it’s not clear when she’ll finish her studies. Per her LinkedIn, she previously earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree from MIT.

Mendler hasn’t released new music since 2017 and hasn’t acted since 2019. It’s possible her career in the spotlight isn’t totally over, but it’s certainly met its temporary end.

Fans were impressed by her pivot to academia.

“What a role model,” one said.

“An accomplished woman,” another wrote.

“Not what I expected,” a third commented.

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