My ADHD Career Path

When I grow up I want to be a hairdresser, no, a dental hygienist, no, an architect . . . such is the career path of an ADHDer.
ADHD College Blog | posted by Rebeka Covell
The ADDitude college blogger writes about surviving college and succeeding in school with ADHD

When I grow up, I wanna be a…

When I was little, the answer was always "A pediatric dental hygienist." Now, I have no idea why I ever said that. Just the thought of touching other people’s teeth all day makes me cringe. Nope, not for me. Maybe I just liked the big words; I don’t ever remember playing dentist.

One thing I do remember playing is hairdresser. My mom or aunt would let me style their hair, as long as I really tried to make it look nice. Back then, I didn’t have Ritalin (I hadn’t even been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-ADHD) and I’d start out very careful, concentrating on making them look fabulous. Every single time I tried this, I’d get bored after about 10 minutes and start thinking wouldn’t it be funny if… It was all downhill from there. They would wind up with half of their hair looking great, and the other half would be sticking straight up, or have tons of clips that I used in my hair. Someone should have caught the ADHD right then and there, and after a while, no one would let me anywhere near their hair.

Another thing I remember playing is carpenter. My brother and I would get out the pretend hammers and drills, and Dad’s tape measure and go around measuring everything in the house, and cutting the doors, railings, and everything that we thought needed fixing.

Now, he’s a plumber, and I’m working towards being a civil engineer. Not too far off! Clearly the hairdresser career failed before it started; I think my career choice was mostly motivated by the ADHD, and not an actual interest in hair. Even in my dental hygienist stages, my mom always said, "She’s going to be an architect when she grows up."

Nowadays, architecture has more of a historical approach, and you need an engineering degree to actually design buildings. Turns out, moms know a lot more than you give them credit for.

I’ve been in the civil engineer phase for a while now (and I’ve invested two years, and thousands of dollars) in turning this phase into a career. I just hope I don’t change my mind anytime soon. Although I have always wanted to be a professional shopper, or maybe an ice cream taste-tester…

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