I’m 22 years old, and I was just diagnosed with ADHD last week. I graduated as valedictorian from my high school, and I maintained a 4.0 GPA as an honors student through my freshman and sophomore years of college until I dropped out because I didn’t find the coursework challenging or engaging enough. I’d never considered that I might have ADHD because, although my mind was perpetually running at a million miles a minute and I suffered from extreme anxiety surrounding everyday tasks, I had excelled academically since I could hyper-focus in class and used my passion for schoolwork as a coping mechanism. It’s odd that in all the years of hearing about ADHD, I’d only ever seen it as a disorder or a disability, but after receiving the diagnosis myself, I’ve been able to recognize how this condition has made my life both challenging and deeply meaningful. It’s been so validating to know that I’m not some bizarre, overly-intense weirdo who just needs to work harder to get my life together (because despite my academic accomplishments, I’ve had an impossible time figuring out how to maintain an enjoyable social life and get everything done without feeling panicked and like I’m constantly teetering on the edge of failing at everything). I can’t describe how comforting it feels to know that I’m not alone in my experience. I’m planning on returning to college to eventually become a teacher, and I’m feeling filled with a new spark of hope knowing that other people experience this condition as well and have figured out ways to lead full and beautiful lives. So, I just wanted to chime in and express some gratitude for all of you for sharing your experiences. It means so much to witness other people expressing the same sentiments I’ve felt and previously thought I was so alone in experiencing.