As a college student with ADD/ADHD, I have tried many different studying tactics. Let the following be a lesson in what not to do when it comes to preparing for college finals.
by Henry Greene
All semester I tried to ignore my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD). In a flurry of constant note taking and flash-card flipping, I lulled myself into believing I was actually learning. But, inevitably, the stubborn truth has caught up with me: Throughout all these hours of so-called studying, my mind has been wandering off.
So, as per usual, it's the weekend before finals here at Temple University, where I'm an English/journalism double major, and I'm panicking. In spite of hitting this semester harder than any before it, I am in the same old place as always: staring blankly at a study guide, struggling fruitlessly to decode my Stat 101 study guide’s tangle of text.
Going off the theory that an exercise-induced dopamine spike will help my concentration, I decide to run 15 miles -- a desperate attempt to defeat, in one morning, a disorder that has been with me for 19 years.
I haven’t run that far since high school -- a fact that my body is glad to remind me of the next day. Unable to roll out of bed until noon, I spend the vital Sunday before finals staring blankly at my schoolwork, trying hopelessly to nurse a splitting headache with espresso.
As many an ADDer can attest, when our brains refuse to cooperate, chemical concoctions seem like our only cure. This is my logic when, after an hour-long panic attack, complete with an expletive-laced lamentation bewailing my cursed condition, I convince my mother to let me pop one of her antianxiety pills and wash it down with some B12-charged energy drink.
Lulled into a calm at last, I sift through statistics worksheets seamlessly. I contemplate T-values, ordinal variables, and nirvana. But, alas, like all good things, my brief stint with enlightenment has come to an end. And, with the high watermark of my Ativan tide far behind me, reality has started to kick in (again): The last four hours of chemically induced calm have bought me only two completed pages of a 10-page worksheet.
Near my wit's end, with both natural and artificial remedies proving fruitless, I drop into bed defeated, dreading my morning exams.
Henry Greene is a college student and ADDitude's newest blogger. Please join us in welcoming him to the community!