Being Bipolar: A College Student’s Journey to Graduation

 “I want to raise awareness so that people with and without mental illnesses know that it’s okay to take risks and give yourself a chance in life.”

As a student suffering from a mental illness, Chelsea Strangeway wasn’t about to let that stand in her way of earning a college degree.

For years Chelsea struggled to fit her education into her daily life, which was primarily dictated by how she was feeling that day. From the outside Chelsea appeared to be a normal happy woman who was pursing her degree. But that was on the good days. There were plenty of bad days as well, which is where our story begins.

As a person dealing with a bipolar disorder, Chelsea felt limited in her post-secondary options for pursing a college degree. She had tried the traditional college route, which ultimately was not a good fit for her. That’s when Chelsea decided to take an online approach to pursuing her degree.

Chelsea saw choosing an online college as way for her to deal with her bipolar disorder on her own terms, without the fear of rejection from her classmates and instructors that may happen in a traditional college lecture hall.

Initially Chelsea saw all sorts of success in her online classes. She was earning A’s and maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. It wasn’t until Chelsea started noticing her moods cycling rapidly from mania to depression that she decided it was time to tell her educators what was going on with her.

Chelsea reached out to her Dean of Students and the support she received in return left Chelsea feeling confident she’d made the right decision for her education.

Recently, Chelsea graduated from Globe University Online with her Business Administrative Assistant diploma and has been helping students dealing with mental illness overcome their own fears of failure by encouraging them to pursue college. She was even spotlighted in a recent publishing by the Wisconsin chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health).

We want to encourage our students who may be dealing with a mental illness to reach out to us. We’re here to make sure you’re successful both inside and outside of the virtual classroom. To contact your academic advisor directly, call 1-877-609-8889.