New grad with bipolar disorder breaks down barriers with a podcast


FRESNO STATE — Many students live with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, but that doesn’t have to be a barrier to success, said Fresno State graduate Andrea Lee.

Although having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder just as she started college, Lee recently graduated summa cum laude from Fresno State’s Craig School of Business at 19, after only two years at university. Now Lee is highlighting mental health issues with his new podcast, “The HiLow Podcast.”

Andrea Lee standing next to a sign for the HiLow podcast. “The HiLow podcast is where I bring people with mental illness, interview them about their stories, and ask them to share their way of life and the advice they have for others,” said Lee, who started the podcast to create his own medium. network.

“I created the podcast to help myself, but also realized that I could help others by doing so. There are approximately 46 million people, worldwide, who suffer from bipolar disorder. There are a lot of people who need this resource, they have to go through this every day, it’s a lifelong mental health issue.

Lee’s podcast points out that people with mental illness live the same ordinary life as everyone else. “I did an interview with a man who has two children and who Tourette’s syndrome and bipolar disorder, so it was a really interesting conversation about family life,” Lee said.

A graduate in business administration with a major in entrepreneurship, Lee launched her podcast at Student hatcherypart of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Student Hatchery is a selective program that provides students with office space and entrepreneurial coaching to help them grow a working business. To be considered for the program, students must meet GPA requirements and submit a business plan.

“The Student Hatchery was definitely my dream program,” Lee said. “I watched it about 30 times, but never had the confidence to apply because it seemed so prestigious. I really wanted to do it, but I just didn’t have the confidence. But this last semester , I decided I was going to do it and wrote my business plan.

Lee said the support network and mentorship at the student hatchery, her entrepreneurship classes and her fellow students helped her turn her business plan into an actual production.

Image of student hatchery.

The Student Hatchery at Fresno State.

“The struggle was with self-doubt and impostor syndrome, which I think is true for a lot of college students,” Lee said. “The Student Hatchery is a great community, and when you have people around you supporting you, you can go even further.”

Lee’s passion for entrepreneurship stems in part from the example of his immigrant grandfather, who first founded a successful rice business in Vietnam and then launched a successful Chinese restaurant in Hanford after arriving in the United States.

“I really identify with my grandfather and his struggles. His struggles were huge, coming from a country at war and making his way to America, but he did more than just survive, he built something “said Lee.

Lee comes across as uniquely driven and hardworking, but she said her experience with mental illness has taught her that she must put her well-being above her accomplishments. “I’m proud of my accomplishments at school and I’m glad my parents instilled in me a very focused academic mindset, but they also advised me to take care of my mental health. Mental health passes first and foremost, and I think it’s a lot more sustainable,” Lee said.

Healthy Minds Network logo image. According to Mental Health Study, a national survey of student mental health, 41% of college students suffer from depression and 34% from anxiety. Based on her own experience with bipolar disorder, Lee advises students with mental health issues to accept the reality of their situation and seek help.

“I think a lot of people are ashamed of their mental health issues, especially in college where the focus is on growing and learning and getting things done,” Lee said. “I think the first thing to do is to accept your mental health condition, because there is nothing to be ashamed of, and once you have accepted it, you can get support, whether it’s professional help, medication, or support from family and friends.. You won’t be able to achieve your goals without putting your mental health first.

Now that she has her bachelor’s degree, Lee plans to pursue a master’s degree in business administration, continue her podcast, and start a website about mental health issues. Ultimately, she hopes to contribute to a better understanding of mental health and a reduction in the stigma associated with mental illness.

“It’s so important to have honest conversations about mental health, and that’s what I try to do with my podcast. Anyone with mental illness is a person. If you care about people, you should care about making mental health a priority.

By Jaguar Bennett.

Watch this short video on depressive and bipolar disorders.


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