Carter Nichols was born to J.D. and Linda Nichols on April 6, 1998, in Greenville, Mississippi. The Nichols clan was a long-standing family of prominence in the Delta. Originally owners of a cotton plantation, the Nichols men had since branched out into law and banking. J.D. Nichols described himself as a lawyer and "gentleman farmer" with real estate interests on the side.
Early on in school, Carter displayed a great deal of potential, but he also demonstrated almost unlimited selfishness and a tremendously spoiled nature. His grades were always poor, and no matter what his teachers tried to do to engage him, they had no success.
J.D. Nichols was always off playing golf or working on a new real estate development, so he was rarely around the house. Linda Nichols chafed under the demands of motherhood, and whenever young Carter threw a tantrum as she was leaving for one of her women's group meetings, she placated him by giving him whatever he wanted as long as it got her out the door.
By the time he was in high school, Carter was driving a BMW and getting C's and D's. Even sports held no interest for him because they required him to work and get sweaty. He spent most of the weekends his senior year driving up to Oxford where he partied at his father's old fraternity house.
Upon graduation, Carter began attending the University of Mississippi. Perplexed as to which major he should choose, he ultimately settled on Acting. He liked the freedom and laid-back nature of the Theatre Arts Department. He had initially considered creative writing, but the teachers were far too rigorous.
He found that the Theatre Arts department, although demanding, would tolerate his lackadaisical attitude since he never had to excel at anything. He could work on stage design, and then as soon as someone expected something of him in that area, he could claim to be an actor. Then, when people began to expect him to work on his acting skills, he could claim to be a director and so forth.
Carter spent his first year at Ole Miss living in a rented house out on College Hill Road. Freshmen at the university are required to live in a dorm, but Carter just paid his dorm fees and promptly rented a house with a friend. After his freshman year, he moved into an expensive apartment above the Square.