ADHD In College

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Advice on surviving four years from a current college student.

For a student with ADHD,  college can be a minefield of distractions. Everywhere you turn there is another club, another friend, another chance to get off campus for a burger. With all the things to do it can be easy to forget that college is – at least in part – about academics. With that in mind, here are 3 tips to help you keep on top of things at college.

 1. Make a schedule for yourself. 

Sleep, Meals, and Classes. These are three things that you absolutely cannot make a habit of missing in college. At least not if you want to stay there for long.

For most of you, college will be the first time you’re living on your own, and that means there’s going to be no one around to remind you to grab breakfast or that you have class in 15 minutes. A meal schedule is especially important for those of you who take medication that suppresses your appetite. It’s far too easy to look at your clock at 6:00 PM and realize you haven’t eaten a thing all day. Also, taking a test when you haven’t eaten is neither fun nor a good idea. It’s also a good idea to get in the habit of getting up at the same time every day, even if you have a class schedule that allows you to sleep in on certain days. Your body won’t be happy getting up at 8 AM, if you’ve spent the past 3 days sleeping in. Plus getting up early might give you a little extra time to study before class.

And speaking of studying…

 2. Find a study method that works for you 

Let’s get this out of the way. I don’t know you. I don’t know how many AP classes you took in high school or how many A’s you got in them.  I do know this: College is much harder than high school. The density of content and the expectations of professors will sky rocket the second you set foot in a college classroom and they will keep the bar high throughout the semester.

In all likelihood your study techniques from high school are not going to cut it. It’s best if you find out the way that works best for you sooner than later, maybe that’s with a group, or talking to the professor, or reviewing PowerPoints on your own, but it’s best you find out before tests and schoolwork Also if studying on your own or with a group of peers isn’t working out, you could always try tutors…

 3. Tutors are there for a reason. 

Pretty much every college offers student tutors or learning assistants. Especially for freshmen-year classes. Now I know there’s a stigma around accepting a tutor, but I’d like to remind you of two things.  1. There’s a worse stigma around getting D’s and losing out on financial aid.   2. You’re already paying for tutors. Unless you’re on a full-ride scholarship, they’re getting paid for by your tuition dollars. So go

  4. Bonus Tip: Take care of yourself.  

At college there is one person you need to care of. Their name is you. Actually that’s probably not their name unless your parents had a weird sense of humor. In any case, it’s easy at college to get caught up in obligations. Friends will want to get dinner, clubs will want you to attend meeting, other students will want help with projects. It’s very easy to lose sight of why you’re there with all these people and things clamoring for your attention. I’m not saying you should become a shut-in or ignore a friend in need, but don’t give up on your dreams of becoming a doctor/lawyer/chef just because the a friend wanted you to come to chemistry club with them. It’s just not worth it.