Higher Education with SZ/SZA- past/current students, your experiences, any success stories?


I went to university for four years. I did my first year and then my second year three times (lol). It became a running joke that due to the nature of my illness (which I never revealed as when I was at my worst I didn’t realise I was ill) I would start a new year then go up and down with attendance and attainment

I did psychology :joy: :joy: :joy: :joy:

I spent months trapped in my house convinced housemates were plotting against me and that demons lived in the shadows so I could only walk around with a torch at night so I could walk in the light. Thank goodness for Tesco home delivery or I would have starved.

Then I would have weeks where I would randomly turn up to lectures and hand in work. Once I went to a party and my friend who opened the door reacted like “OH MY GOD, EMMA! EMMA IS HERE!! HOLY ■■■■!!!” lol it was a good party.

Eventually I got brave enough to quit uni (I was going in circles and getting into more debt).

Later this year I shall start college one day a week to get professional kitchen training to take me from cook to chef :smile: :hocho: :sushi:

Manual work/education is much better for me as when I am bad I can still switch off and go through the motions without thinking.

So there must be other HE students out there, either failed like me or successful, past or current. I wish I had realised sooner how my illness affected my ability to work and changed to part time or a better course.


My college years were a long prodrome of struggling with erratic grades until I developed sz and dropped out of my university with a quarter or two of classes to go.

While getting talk therapy, I took classes part-time and worked in my home town and had my first full psychotic break at the stress of going back to University. I still went back, but dropped out again and decided to focus on work. My employer didn’t care whether I finished my degree, but 10 years later I went back to my university and finished. Since then I took a few classes while working to pick up some skills, and considered a second degree but didn’t pursue it.

It can be done, but you have to be well organized and commited. In many ways I was a better student after sz, than before as far as doing my homework and keeping up with assignments simply because I had to, I couldn’t coast by anymore. It didn’t work.


I have seen that there are a few successful students on here so it’s possible. I have a bachelor s degree and an MBA but I got them both before my sz began. I used to be a top level manager in a high stress job but I just can’t function in that environment anymore. My judgement, people skills and decision making abilities just aren’t what they used to be. If I went back to school I would learn a trade. Like how to fix cars or air conditioners or something like that. But I am sure everyone’s experience is different.

Great about your cooking course / Sheff course…
I’ve done a lot of first years of degree level or partial degrees
Psychology, art, counselling, ta psychotherapy, yoga teacher training, shiatsu massage and accupuncture… I usually became unwell (4x) as a result of the stress I’d put myself under to achieve highly…
Now I’m a playwright, which is in my own time by my own schedule I’ve had 2 commissions for short prices and been shortlisted with one short play, results pending… I’m applying for a grant to take my full length play to a theatre
I feel a bit born into this with my love of theatre, and writing… Never thought to combine it till 2 yrs ago

Think my cognition waxes and wanes a bit, know I’m not equipped for any of the things I wanted to train for…

I barely finished high school. I was diagnosed and in hospital when I was 17 and 18. It took a long time for me to get the with program basically. Stop the drugs… stop the drinking… take my meds… work with my Doc and work towards staying out of hospital…

I’m 30 now and have been pretty stable for a few years.

I started College last year… for horticulture. So far I think I’m doing Ok. They keep letting me come back.

Good luck and if you want to go back to college… I don’t see why you can’t.


Well I agree on the manual work being better part. I’m a lot better in jobs that are going through motions as well, as my brain gets fairly screwy from time to time. That’s why work with animals is so calming to me, like when I go volunteer with the cats I go, clean, feed, and then play w the cats and chat with whatever old person or mom I’m working with.

Sometimes I dream about quitting school and just working some low level job with animals the rest of my life. I’d be dirt poor, but stress free at least and I’d be good at my job.

I’m studying neurobio right now in school. It’s very difficult, not neurobio itself, but the general requirements such as chem, Orgo, physics, etc. all awful. And my disorders are making keeping up with everything and still getting good grades a real challenge. So far I’m doing ok, only failed one class but I retook it. Unfortunately doing ok isn’t good enough to get into a decent grad school…sigh

sounds like you were trying really hard to get that psychology degree at uni, sometimes things dont work out the way that we want them too,

thats great that you are trying to become a chef now though, you must like cooking very much,

i had to drop out of a social care course after a couple of years bc things conspired against me lol
now i am doing a counselling course and looking forward to next year, its all part time though which i prefer but slowly slowly thats what they say, just got to keep taking those meds and i should be ok, i am lucky to be on a good med,

are you taking anything for your problems? i am on a low dose of amisulpride and an anti anxiety med
does your ability to cook affect your sz/sza just wondering

I do, I have always been good at it :smile:

I take quetiapine 50mg and sertraline 150mg atm and the only way sza affects it is that I get stressed and freak out in the kitchen a lot more sometimes and I cannot focus so will forget I am cooking something or that I was meant to do something like check dates when rotating the stock.

To help with this my boss made us checklists for the major things we are supposed to do- everyone else hates them lol, but it makes me happy to be able to see the tick and know I have done something even if I think I imagined it. The physical aspect of cooking is easy though its more communication with the line that is affected.

That would be the life!

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I’m a college dropout.The SZ started in my 17 year. Finished two years of college. My fantasy is to go back and get a degree, on to graduate school, become a professor, become head of the Semantics Dept.

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I’m like the ■■■■ when it comes to schizophrenic students. My thesis is on imagined contact and prejudice (stigma) of mental illnesses.


I need 4 more classes for my AA degree. I attended college in person from 1990-95 but I am finishing up my degree by taking online classes.


im currently retaking my third year of uni, going to finish in may, hopefully i graduate but if i dont, thats me done with education. ill then start looking for work.

I’m writing my master’s thesis at the moment, it is going to be a reconceptualization of schizophrenia. I will continue with a Phd after that.


6 posts were split to a new topic: Did you fail or succeed in college?