Why I (and anyone else struggling) Deserve to Study Part Time

You know what’s a pain? Having to feel like you need to justify yourself for only having half the study load that your peers have.

I’m made to feel ashamed. That I’m lazy, taking the easy road out. Perhaps they are nicer and only pity me. Poor Joy, she’s not doing well. After all, they put in the effort to study full time and without extensions, so why can’t I?

Simple answer: I am not them. 

I used to be smart, determined, motivated. I was the perfect student with straight As. Life was set up for me. (Then everything changed when the fire nation attacked I got diagnosed.) I had to take a semester off university, and I only returned 6 weeks ago. Less than a month in I suffered my second psychotic break.

And so I’ve had to drop down to half the study load with no extra work, I have a disability plan that allows me special consideration, and I require someone to sit with me when I write assignments.

It’s so difficult trying to cope with how Bipolar has changed my life, particularly in areas that were a part of my identity. And telling people I don’t study the same as they do literally brings pain to my heart. Especially when they tell me things that confirm what I feel about myself.

But I have something to say to me and everyone else: I am proud.

I am not you. I have a major illness that is exacerbated my stress and I’m not sure if you know, but university is kinda stressful.

Yet I’m going to fight. And fight and fight and keep on fighting for my place here. You can think I am not doing well by only doing two units, or perhaps that I am lazy, but I am working harder and achieving more for myself than anyone studying full time is.

I have those assignment extensions because I fight demons every time I bring out a pen and paper. I need more time to relax because that is the cure to my hallucinations, paranoia and self-aggression.

And I deserve it. I deserve to be here, studying less, as much as anyone else who on the surface seems to work harder.

I deserve the money from the government so that I can afford my needed therapy.

I deserve to be a member of the community just like anyone else and I promise you I will study my ass off and get the grades to prove it.

And you know what? I’ll fail sometimes. I’ll fail doing something you so easily do. But if you won’t be proud that I’m still doing two units when I could easily give up, live on disability and do none, then I’ll be proud for myself. 

My reaction to anyone who disagrees with me

Just another reminder that I’m looking to have another blogger come and join me on And Just a Touch of Crazy. If you have Bipolar and feel you have something worth sharing, please contact me using the form at the bottom of this page with a few words on why you’d be good here and a link to any content you’ve already done.

2 thoughts on “Why I (and anyone else struggling) Deserve to Study Part Time

  1. I feel you. I’m not bipolar. I have Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia and going through university was hell. But at least here in Canada, I was able to take a 6 credit course load, which is only two courses, and still be considered a full time student and receive full time student funding. It helped but not much. I ended up withdrawing numerous times due to my panic attacks and severe anxiety and then the government cut me off halfway through my BA degree. I left school in 2008 and could never go back since they cut off the funding for the rest of my life.

    I totally agree with you. We do deserve the funding and what’s more our “failures” should be seen as perseverance for each time we “fail” we get up and try again. But without funding, how are we supposed to do that?


    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. It means a lot to me every time I see one of my posts has resonated with someone. I admire your strength to keep trying and I’m really sorry that other circumstances have now made that too difficult for you now. Good luck in whatever you try to do next.



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