Published on ADDitudeMag.com

ADHD Student Goes Back to College

As an ADHD student, I was sick with anxiety about going back to school.

by Rebeka Covell


I know my ADHD College Student blogs have been few and far between lately and I apologize; however, I’ve been busy with something that I didn’t want to share until it was planned out – I’m going back to college! I took the fall semester off for an internship; and also to look into other colleges I could transfer into because I wasn’t happy or successful at my first school. I was planning to transfer in the spring, but I decided against it because I was still unsure of my choice of school and my major.

Instead I’m taking two college courses – three days a week, and working the other two days. This way I can make sure I like the school and the classes before I’m totally committed. Also, I don’t have to go from 0-to-60 over a weekend; going from no school at all for 8 months to five classes all at once.

Today I went to the college to meet with the program coordinator for the Civil Engineering department to discuss curriculum and see if any classes had space for me to join. I was beyond nervous for this meeting. I just knew she’d take one look at my transcript, laugh, and tell me I had to start all over – or worse, she’d ask me why my grades were so poor, how I expected to do better this time, or why she should believe that the same things wouldn’t happen again. Actually I was terrified of going. So much so that I asked my brother to take the train into Boston with me and walk me to the building. I honestly thought that if I was alone I wouldn’t have the guts to step into the office and attempt to explain my failures.

When I met the professor I started explaining myself right away I just went to the hardest school that accepted me… The curriculum didn’t fit my learning style… It wasn’t until about five explanations in that I realized the professor was agreeing with me. She said she believes the school has to be a good fit for the student in order for them to be successful.

As she looked at my transcript I thought I might cry from relief, or hug her or something. She basically ignored my bad grades, and even when I said things like “that was a rough semester for me” she replied with “but you did well in this class – we’ll definitely transfer credit for that.” She praised me for C’s and didn’t once ask why I’d failed Calculus 3 twice. She just said don’t worry about it, you can make that up, or take it over the summer. She recommended four classes I could take this semester – one of them being a class she taught herself. She reassured me that if I had any questions or concerns she’s be more than happy to help me get caught up. It was like the best dream I could have wished for came true.

I wasted hours sitting in front of the computer, agonizing over an email asking for a second chance at college. I didn’t sleep more than a few hours last night because of nerves. This morning I almost made myself sick with panic. And after all that stress – they said we’d love to have you, and we’re willing to help. I love this new school already.

Now, I just have to get over my first day of class jitters before Monday – but that blog will have to wait for tomorrow, now I have to catch up on my sleep.


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