Emily Fraysier’s Story: Going to college with a chronic illness

Having a chronic illness does not need to make a college education impossible. For an example of this, look no further than Emily Fraysier, a 24-year-old student who has been battling Lyme disease for the past six years. With complications such as chronic pain and a compromised immune system, traditional colleges were out of the question, but UF Online proved to be the perfect path to success for this resilient Gator.

“As someone who is sick, I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish college if it weren’t for UF Online. Now I’m able to pick my own schedule and work when I’m able to.”

A lifelong journey to be a Gator

Fraysier has been destined to be a Gator since birth. As a University of Florida alumni, Fraysier’s father raised her to have orange and blue running through her proverbial veins. So, when she was diagnosed with Lyme Disease at 17, she was disappointed, “I had to be close to home because of my sickness, but I’ve always wanted to go to UF because my dad went here.”

Despite this setback, Fraysier showed the world how strong she was in academics and athletics. As a tennis player in high school, Fraysier had received 25 scholarship offer from various colleges. This eventually led her to the College of Coastal Georgia, but even that was interrupted because she was only able to play tennis at the college for three-fourths of the year due to her condition.

Although her athletic goals were interrupted, Fraysier did not let her disease halt her ambitions for a higher education. After heading back home to Aurora, Colorado, she enrolled in UF Online to earn her bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in sociology, all from her computer.

Did you know?

In 2018, the UF Psychology Behavior Analysis program was involved in a study that analyzed the number of publications and citations of programs across the country. The study found that UF’s Behavior Analysis program ranked among the highest despite having 1/3rd the staff than many other programs!

Overcoming a chronic illness with an online education

The program at UF Online allowed her to fully engage with classmates and professors despite her illness, and it has helped her work towards a future where she can help others cope with their own chronic illnesses. Fraysier graduated from UF Online in Summer 2019. Join us in celebrating Fraysier as another Gator proving that nothing needs to stop you from pursuing your dreams.

“I hope to help kids with chronic illnesses in the future. Being a Gator means being an individual with that hardworking attribute, and I know I’m going to have to work pretty hard.”

Looking to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology? UF Online’s psychology program is developed to teach students the biological bases of behavior and mental processes. Graduates in this major are prepared to continue their studies in graduate or medical school or pursue a career in healthcare, education, business, or law. Learn what our psychology major can do for you by visiting our major resource page.