When I go to grad school, I’m going to do something I wish I’d done for my undergrad degrees.
By the middle of my senior year of college I was stressed and overwhelmed to the breaking point…absolutely falling apart from my bipolar sending me careening between hypomanic and depressed by turns. Then there are the issues I have with OCD. But really, for education, I think my bipolar disorder causes me more trouble, at least for this.
Because when I’m hypomanic I’m brilliant. I write pages and pages for classes, my papers are stunning in how quickly they write themselves, and they are really insightful. I do well, because I have so much energy that I can bounce through classes without any trouble. On the flip side, when I’m in my hypomanic states, I can’t focus on homework for classes. So what I end up doing is neglecting reading/homework for classes and floating through with pure former knowledge. Thankfully for me, I’m a history student, and I have a vast knowledge that I’ve amassed. So even if I’m too antsy to sit still and do the readings I “need” to for class, I can still manage to pass within the top 3 students in class.
When I’m depressed though, I’m miserable. My teachers have told me that my papers are still great. They take me far longer to write, and I’m even less satisfied with them than I am when I’m in a hypomanic state, but they’re still passing. It takes me so long to get through my work, and I cannot even bring up the attention and will to get through class participation and discussion. In these states, I’m more able to read for class, but I’m less able to handle interactions and presentations that are necessary. I lose face for being “anti-social” and “withdrawn” when I’m depressed.
It really does cause quite a lot of trouble. For my undergrad degrees, I didn’t bother to go through my school’s disability center to get help with my issues. I’m not going to make that mistake again. For grad school, I’m going to talk to my school’s disability services center to make sure that I’m taking better care of myself. It’s something I’ve been learning for myself. I need to take better care of myself, which means making sure that I take steps to manage school better when I go back. So for grad school, when I have the money to go, I’m making sure that I take good care of my mental health so I don’t end up 1 step short of a mental breakdown like I did this time.