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Study Tips for ADHD

1. If you have a formal medical diagnosis, make your college/learning provider aware. I learned this far too late. If you are still yet to receive a formal diagnosis, write an email explaining that you are in the process of being diagnosed and treated for possible ADD/ADHD. Often most colleges and tutors are understanding and will help you out. Extra time for assignments, private rooms for sitting exams and extra time. Sometimes there are different modes of assessment that you can request to undertake, for instance: instead of writing an essay, you can sit an exam, you may be able to hyper-focus on, or perform a presentation, (make use of that inability to shut your mouth, and quick wit.)

2. Try if possible to choose a topic of study, that utilises your hyper-focus.

3. Sit down with someone who can help you break up all your reading and assignments into 10-15 minute tasks. Do a task, do something else for a while, then do another short task.

4. Diet is a huge factor, DO NOT DRINK CAFFEINE!!!!! Caffeine reduces the amount of blood-flow in your brain, which is counteractive to your medication as its supposed to pump more blood into the side of your brain that doesn’t work – the focus part. Eat: quinoa, spinach, leafy greens, walnuts, blueberries, a lean protein source, (mackerel is full of good fats and omega 3’s) drink freshly squeezed orange juice, and drink a hell of a lot of water.

Also try to buy organic berries, a Harvard study proved, a correlation between children with a greater amount of pesticide, chemicals, from consuming fresh produce, (berries, leafy greens, bell peppers) in their urine and ADHD symptoms. On a study day I avoid heavy carbs, they’re harder for your body to process meaning all your blood is pumped to your stomach to aid digestion. Also avoid fresh pork, a study showed that fresh pork (not bacon as its smoked) makes your red blood cells increase in size, which makes it hard or impossible for them to travel through the small vessels. Again not good for your brain. **I don’t eat like this all the time, just on study days.**

5. Go to the library, at home you’ll be distracted, I used to lie and tell myself I’d be more distracted around people than I would at home. If you have ADHD, the libraries and campus will often have private or silent study rooms. USE THESE. Make friends with the library staff, explain that you need help, ask them where to find books, how to reference properly and organise your referencing. All the things ADHD people are crap at. I bought books on these topics, (I’ve never read them), in my final year I asked a member of staff, to sit, one on one, and teach me how. I told her if I appeared disinterested, or distracted, I wasn’t being rude but it was due to my ADHD and that she had permission to flick me on the nose, she laughed and didn’t flick me (I think she wanted to a few times) but it meant she had more patience with me.

6. Befriend the studious people on your course, otherwise known as nerds, they’ll always be up to date with lecture notes and be aware of hand in dates, and have taken good notes. They’re also good library companions; you can ask them where they’re up to, what their organisation methods are, etc. and you’ll have a hard time persuading them to leave their work/research unfinished to do something fun (we’re brilliant at that). These people will encourage you to be like them instead of vice-versa!!!

7. Use a large wall planner, place it in the spot you have breakfast or the place spend most of your day, a HUGE one, with coloured pens of deadlines, and a work schedule. Make sure there is a calendar on it. We need to visualise time to be aware of it!! We’re procrastinators with no concept of time! Have someone who you’re accountable to, be honest about work and deadlines. I’m the best liar, and I tell them to myself, “you don’t understand how I work”/’I have lot’s of time” etc.

8. Don’t do things last minute and rush them, I’ve done it for five years, and I pass because I’m smart but I hate myself because, I haven’t achieved the grades I’m capable of, I realise now, and I regret all the things I missed out on learning. You’ll end up in a cycle of shame and self-hatred.

9. Ask for help, bug your tutors, email them, ask for a personal supervisor, if you feel overwhelmed don’t bury your head in the sand and then do something fun. You’ll feel awful when it’s too late and messed up.

10. Take you’re medication on schedule, and have an organised sleeping schedule. If you can date someone, house share, befriend, someone who is your polar opposite, one of those to do list, alarm clock, punctual, meal prep, pencils in sex, types of people, it’ll instil a sense of routine, even if you don’t stick to it, or live by it completely, you’ll be around one.

This is my third time at University, after two previous attempts at studying Law and dropping out.

These are my tips, they’re easier said than adhered to, but these are the things I learnt a many years too late. I’m redoing my final year in the hope of scraping a half decent grade. It’s nothing near what I should have attained.

*I apologise for any grammatical errors, again a lack of concentration!

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by charlieparker.