Amanda Bynes announced on Twitter that she's graduated from California’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising after five years of studying. The actress went off the grid in recent years due to issues with mental health and drug use, but emerged in November 2018 on the cover of Paper Magazine and in an accompanying interview, in which she broke down the timeline of her struggles and credited FIDM as one of the things helping her get back on track.
The 33-year-old's initial claim to fame was The Amanda Show, followed by her roles in movies like She's The Man and Hairspray. However, underneath the feel-good nature of the films, Bynes was struggling with drug use and dealing with extreme body image issues. Her poor mental health led to outbursts on Twitter, including one notable instance when she said she wanted Drake to "murder" her vagina. In Paper, Bynes said she she'd since been sober for four years, although she reportedly entered a mental health facility back in March for a stress-related relapse. Now, however, she's standing tall with diploma in hand.
"Instructors love her. Love her," Kathi Gilbert, the assistant dean of admissions and one of Bynes' advisors, told Paper. "She's smart, she participates in class — she's an amazing student."
Even in classes Bynes didn't expect to like, like Merchandising Math, the actress excelled.
"It's a class on mark-up percentage, mark-up dollar, retail cost and everything about selling your product," she explained to the magazine. "I never really liked math before, but I like this class...I'm getting a 96 in it."
"She wanted to get well," Toni Hohberg, the president and chief executive of FIDM, also said. "She's tasted the worst of the world and she's come through it beautifully." Bynes is also reportedly starting her own clothing line in the near future.
Like Bynes said at the end of her profile — it's only up from here.