One of the reasons Dr. Stearns chose Uni High over any other school was that he thought skipping 7th grade would be helpful. His favorite part about Uni was all the extra-curricular activities he could do that weren't possible at a larger school. He joined many sports and clubs such as football, madrigals, and he later helped start tennis at Uni. He spent his Freshmen year of high school abroad in London before returning to Urbana for his sophomore to senior years. Sophomore History was Dr. Stearns' favorite class at Uni, but he did not initially decide to pursue it when he graduated high school.
Dr. Stearns began to study political science at Harvard following highschool, but shortly after he decided to pursue history instead. He went on to receive his Ph.D. Since graduating, Dr. Stearns has taught at many schools including the University of Illinois at Chicago and Rutgers University. Besides teaching, Dr. Stearns has also published many different books and articles. His most influential work comes from his work in the History of Emotions which he helped found.