Home › Welcome to the ADDitude Forums › For Adults › 42 with a history or poor grades before GED and back in college. help!! › Reply To: 42 with a history or poor grades before GED and back in college. help!!
Hi Andrew. I’m not sure if I can help but I’ll try. I’m likely not as high up the adhd band as you but I struggled in school. K-12 was rough. My last semester as a senior in high school I found a passion for math and science. It’s not that I really cared about the math or the science, but it was a giant puzzle and for whatever reason I learned that big puzzles are enticing to me. So I went to engineering school and did twice as much work as anyone else and did okay. It wasn’t just the puzzle, it was that I also found out I like being creative. I took classes not to learn the material, and certainly not to get a piece of paper, but to help me create. The harder the class the better I did, as long as I could somehow see using the material to create something. My senior project was to make a computer controlled NC mill, way before anyone else had thought of it.
No, I’m not saying creativity is what you should do, it’s what worked for me. But it worked because it was a trigger for me. You’re proud of being a Marine, and you should be. You’re proud of your work career. (And to be honest, 20 years in the same career is impressive for anyone.) So is there a way to tie your class work to that pride? Find an emotional connection between what you’re proud about to the course work you have left to complete. You want the degree to prove to others you can do it, and I really understand that because that was also motivation for me, but it’s a bit negative in a way. Don’t worry about proving the idiots wrong. Worry about finding the emotional spark that gets you going. You said you know what teaching styles work for you. Go talk to the profs and find out what their teaching style is. If they don’t like you talking to them then it’s likely that they are the wrong prof for you. I don’t know how to say this but my guess is marines know how to get crap done. So use that spirit to figure out who the best profs are. Most good profs really like to see students that are engaged and want to learn. That’s what you are. Make a connection with them. Ask them about their course. Ask them how they teach their course. Figure out questions that will give you an idea of their teaching styles. Talk to them often. If they know you really care about the subject, and you’ve said you love learning and want that spark back, then show them that you care. If you can connect with them then they will give you the benefit of the doubt. Most students are just trying to skate by and do the minimum. Profs hate those students. You have passion. Let it out so they can see it. The good profs will help you out. It might be advice. It might be extra help. It might just be giving you extra time. The good profs are also passionate about their subject. Believe me, they want to see the spark they have grow in a student. You have something that few other students have: passion. Use that.