Teen Mom OG's Amber Portwood Accepted to Purdue University, Plans to Pursue Psychology Degree

Amber Portwood is headed back to school!

The Teen Mom OG star, 30, has been accepted to Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and plans to pursue a Bachelor's degree in psychology in applied behavior analysis.

"This is something I've been waiting for for so long," Portwood, 30, tells PEOPLE. "I got my GED almost eight years ago and I've wanted to go to college ever since. I feel like this is a step toward a new beginning."

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Portwood, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, says her own mental health journey inspired her desire to help others through a psychology degree.

"I picked the major because of my own mental health status, and also just living the way that I've lived with it, and understanding my kind of world and this mental health world," she says. "I want to understand other people even more."

She adds, "I help people through the platform that is given to me by MTV, but I want to take things to the next level and help even more people on a one-on-one basis."

In addition to her own personal goals, the reality star says she also wants to go back to school to set a good example for her kids about the importance of never giving up on yourself.

Portwood shares 2½-year-old son James with ex Andrew Glennon, and 12-year-old daughter Leah with ex Gary Shirley.

"I want to show them that you can always turn a negative into a positive," she says. "It's a good message for my kids to see in the future that, 'Hey, this is what I did. And you can do it, too.'"

"I want them to see that no matter what you've been through, you can change. Anybody can change," she adds. "So just make life what you want to make it, and make it better."

Teen Mom OG airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on MTV.

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