Reply To: Is anyone else coping with Adhd and enrolled in college?

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#105447
Spaceboy 99
Participant

Hey there!

I’m not currently enrolled in university, but I did manage to graduate from one, so I feel like I can offer at least some advice. Like you, I failed a bunch of classes and had to switch focus, too.

Your taking online classes makes some of the advice I would give a little useless, but we’ll see if there’s anything I can do.

The first thing I’d ask is where and when you’re taking your classes? If you’re taking them at home, I’d recommend finding somewhere, maybe a coffee shop or a library to take your classes. At home, all of your super-interesting, shiny things are immediately nearby. If you remove yourself from the distractions, and put yourself in an environment you don’t control, it can be easier to focus. Additionally, the action of ‘going to class’ can help prepare your mind for focus, instead of having to potentially divert from another task to do your classes. If you’re limited by a job, and HAVE to take your classes in the evening, after work, even taking a couple of turns around the block before class can help give you this benefit.

Do you have anyone in your life who’d be willing to help you study, or be in the room with you (not being distracting) while you study the material? Having a second person nearby can make you feel accountable for getting distracted, and make you more likely to focus. This is one of the benefits of classroom learning over distance learning, to be honest.

For the two weeks behind, I would recommend taking an extra class per week, until you’re caught up. It’s not good trying to catch up all at once, forgetting half the material, and just feeling more and more behind. When I switched courses, I had to take four additional courses, and rather than do them all at once, I spread them out over the remaining two years of my degree, one class per semester. It meant I had less time to work on my dissertation, but it also meant I had a good, strong foundation, instead of just trying to blaze a trail.

Re: medication, which medication types have you tried? Because there are about 50 different medication options, not to mention variations in dosage, so it’s possible that there are medication options you haven’t tried. Stimulant medications can come as instant release and extended release, both of which have different effects on different people. There are also non-stimulant medications available. These medications do not all feel the same. As a general rule, if you’ve had a bad experience with medication, either the dosage is wrong, or the type of medication is wrong. It doesn’t mean that all meds are bad, and meds can make an ENORMOUS difference in your ability to focus and get things done. I managed to get through university without meds (I’m 27 and only just getting diagnosed), but I procrastinated like hell. Every essay was written the night before it was due, and I almost lost my chance at a degree altogether. Anything that can boost focus and motivation is a plus, to my mind.

So, there’s my two cents. If you think, based on what I’ve said, that there may be medication options you haven’t tried, I urge you to have a word with your doctor and start experimenting. If not, I hope the more general study tips I’ve given you are of some help.

Best of luck!