Surviving College with ADHD: Lesson 1

I'm offering free advice to ADHD college freshmen and their parents, including my ramen noodle secrets. Lucky you!
ADHD College Blog | posted by Rebeka Covell
The ADDitude college blogger writes about surviving college and succeeding in school with ADHD

So you’re at college with ADHD; you’re nervous, excited, and have tons of questions. Luckily, I know someone who was a freshman moving into her first dorm room, with her first roommate, and her first college classes 2 years ago and she’s offering free advice to new college freshmen. (Ok, ok; that girl is me.)

Now, don’t get me wrong; I still have a lot to learn myself, but I’ll attempt to save you from making some of the same mistakes I did. And hopefully, I’ll add in a few things that worked well for me along the way.

There’s so much to say about going to college; I don’t know where to start. I guess I’ll start with the first thing I did when I arrived at college at 7am on move-in day. I started loading all the shiny new things I’d bought into my first ever dorm room.

Lesson One: You don’t need all brand new things when you go to college. Sometimes, an old blanket or your favorite ripped sweatshirt is just what you need when you’re scared or lonely. I still wear my men’s XL high school “senior sweatshirt” to every single exam I take. And I’m not ashamed to admit I brought my blankie to college and sleep with it every night.

Lesson Two: Bring lots of cords and cables and plugs (or a really nice dad who’ll go to the store and buy them). In my dorm room the internet, phone, and t.v. hookups were on the complete other side of the room. I needed a 100ft Ethernet cable just to use my new laptop.

I can’t offer much advice on the roommate situation, because mine didn’t even come to school until second semester, and then she was almost never in the room. So even if you think you have a horrible roommate, having someone else there at night might make you less inclined to sob uncontrollably all night and call your mom saying “I changed my mind – I don’t want to do this – please come get me.” (Yup, that was me too.)

For the Parents: Don’t go pick your kid up if they’re homesick. I realize now how bad it would have been if my mom had picked me up that first night. I don’t know how it would have made the second night easier. Quite honestly, I was unbelievably homesick and upset the first day of college. My parents actually stayed in my dorm room when I had to leave for my first meeting; because I couldn’t bear to see them drive away without me. And yes, I cried through the entire meeting. But after about a week I started getting to know people more, and I ended up loving my freshman year. It’s just those first few nights that really killed me.

Oh, I almost forgot the most important tip of all: The regular brick ramen noodles can’t be cooked in the microwave. Buy the ones in the cup instead, they come out much better!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s tips on surviving college classes and homework!!

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