Expectation and success

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    • #114067

      Hi, this is my first time starting a thread so I hope I’m doing this correctly aha.

      I am a first year university student in the UK living away from home, I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 16.

      Does anyone else ever feel like they do so much work and put in so much effort yet the outcome is so disappointing to yourself that you aren’t even sure where it all went wrong. I will spend hours of my time at the university building (It opens at 8am and closes at 12am) finishing work and getting organised making timetables, lists, tick sheets and reminders. It all seems to be going well then all of a sudden 3 hours have gone by and I have almost no work to show for it. Not because I haven’t worked hard but just… well I wish I knew the real reason.

      I put hours and hours of work in… just as much as anyone else and my grades just seem not to reflect all my hard work… I know that sounds cliche but it really does feel like that.

      Then when the work is finally finished and handed in (after the mad rush even when you plan your life so it can be finished in ample time) I never feel happy or content with my work just frustrated that… one thing wasn’t done quicker or something should have had extra work with it.

      Everyone says to me I expect so much from myself and I need to give myself a break… I wish I could… i just don’t think I know how.

      Is it just me?

      Thank you for reading i do appreciate it

    • #114316
      Penny Williams

      You definitely do need to give yourself a break — although that is easier said than done. I think a lot of this has to do with perfectionism (which roots in anxiety).

      This article outlines how to stop the emotional distress cycle:

      How to Stop Those Negativity Spirals

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #114474

      Hi Penny

      Thank you for the article link I will be sure to have a look

      Thank you again

    • #114483

      Hi Valentina, I face the same issues in school too.

      If you feel like you are doing a lot of things, have you considered if you really need to do all of them or if they can be done a different way? I find study or work groups quite helpful where we are good at different things, so we take turns coming up with lists of things to complete within 1-3 hours. So in a way I don’t need to spend so much time on lists and just start doing something. We are either doing the same thing or things. Maybe that can help you have an earlier start to complete earlier too.

      I had a lot of problems with my workflow too, so I tried going through it with my teachers and classmates using 1 example workflow so they can help me identify areas I’m stuck and how to work around it. My classmates I work with also give me regular feedback and vice versa so I know how I’m progressing. It helps to talk it out or show the written steps of what you do if you feel like you’re doing a lot but not sure how to manage it.

      • #122412

        Nikcococo and jkate23 thank you so much for your words. I’m glad to know it’s not just me who has these issues. I will take on your advise and try to put it into my studies.

        I appreciate all of your help

        Thank you so much

    • #114487

      Hi Valentina

      I struggle with similar problems. I find I spend more time preparing to do something than I do actually doing it, or the techniques I use with study are very inefficient.

      I’ve been trying to find some helpful sources of advice recently, and came across this article. While this article might not be overly helpful with prioritising workload, the author might well be a very good source of information. I found the forgetting curve very helpful, which makes me think he has a lot more useful advice.

      8 Unique Studying Tips for College Students with ADHD

      I looked into the author, Doug Puryear, who is a Psychiatrist who was diagnosed at 64. He talks a lot about his own difficulties with studying when he was going through med school. He has published a book with a section on studying. I have just ordered it via snail mail. Unfortunately the kindle version isn’t available for me in Australia.

      Might be worth you having a look though, perhaps his study section though, perhaps it will help :).

    • #114920

      Hi everyone, this is my first time posting. I got diagnosed yesterday, at age 20. I’m a woman, a wife, a college student, and I’m in need of help. I’m sorry if this is the wrong thread.

      I have been in college for 3 years, and did very well at first. I had a 4.0 for my first year, and then as I tacked on additional daily duties/ life changes occurred, I started slipping up.
      When my grades got really bad, I transferred to the local community college, changing my major to dental hygiene, then nursing. I withdrew from all my classes last semester (dental hygiene), due to bad grades that resulted from my not being able to complete things on time, poor attendance, bad testing experiences, etc.
      I got a much less demanding job than the waitressing one I was trying to balance with school and married life, and did better this semester. I still couldn’t handle the courseload of algebra, Anatomy and Physiology, and Pyschology classes all at the same time. So, math is over.
      I already tried Biology last semester, and I’m worried I’ll fail it this time. The only grades that really count worth anything are test grades… so I’m scared I’m screwed. It’s a requirement to get into the program, and I have to have a certain grade, and I cannot reattempt the course again, according to the college’s guidelines. I failed every test almost, but the online quizzes that allow two attempts and have a lengthy deadline (10% of course grade), I made 80 or above on all but one.
      I have an A in psychology, but it’s more interesting and has participation, classwork, and interesting online homework with plenty of time to finish them.
      I think that if I had been diagnosed and medicated earlier, I could have already entered my program of choice. I could have done so much more… I never noticed the change in academic progress wasn’t due to my laziness or whatnot, but adding new responsibilities and duties to life. I just couldn’t juggle it all, and I have to work. My husband and I are just starting out, and we won’t make it if I don’t.
      Does this sound like I could talk to my doctor about requesting reasonable accommodations at school?
      Also, does anyone think they would be allowed to give me a do-over if I provided documentation of declining academic success after becoming married and things, and living with a challenge I didn’t know about?
      Sorry this is so long, I’m just panicked and I hate what’s happening right now. Thank you!

      • #114922

        Also, for the record, I tried very hard— as much as I could. I studied every chance I had, in a quiet, distraction free (as possible) environment. I tried planners and getting organized, which worked a little, but still not enough. I tried dialing back social and work related tasks, and that also helped a little, but not enough.
        I exercise, eat well, and sleep as well as I can, which is still not great.
        I didn’t realize until yesterday, that I wasn’t failing because I’m stupid or crazy or dull— I’m just not neurotypical.
        Math and science, but really math, have always been hard for me. I’m usually very good at everything else, but I think that’s because I like everything else a heck of a lot more.
        I feel like the biggest failure of all time, and don’t know what to do.

    • #114960

      1997bumblebee – I have a classmate who worked part time, is planning her wedding and excelled our course despite language barriers because she ask a lot of questions in class and also have guidance from her friends in class.

      Maybe you can try to find ways to get learning support from your classmates or lecturer. I find that 1-2 hours a week with them was more productive than struggling on my own. I also learn better if I ask questions after class when it is fresh in my memory. Eventually I can do most things myself.

      For math, I would recommend having a standard formula list as reference and identify some patterns when you work it out part by part. I also refer to the examples in the textbook. If you have problems breaking down some parts, quickly ask in class or after class. Get a practice workbook for algebra and time yourself while doing it, I try to finish 15min before the set time. For bio and the other sciences,I think the key is to break down the information and digest it with the pictures. I watch YouTube videos on the topics if possible and draw mind maps. If you want, maybe I can show you how I digest information or suggest study methods for bio if you email some pages of something you’re struggling with and what ways are easier for you to learn to arlejerlutos@yahoo.com.

      My school advisor told me that health and personal issues like different learning method or problems concentrating are to be fixed myself but they can offer free learning support if I asked. There is no exception because people with adhd, autism and other disabilities passed the course.

    • #122453

      I feel for you all! I’m also someone who works super hard, but then has very little to show for it. This is my 11th year at University (I have currently two Bachelor degrees and am working on my Master thesis) and I have struggled for all of those years with balancing life’s responsibilities (work, study, home, relationships etc.).

      This year my grades for the first time in years are good overall. Before that I barely passed difficult or boring subjects while doing well in subjects I found more easy or more interesting. But that’s typical I think.

      I found that building some groundwork first helps with every subject, but especially the difficult / boring ones. My brain needs some kind of ‘coat rack’ so when I’m studying I know where in my mind to file certain concepts. I would make some sort of mindmap for every week or lecture with the topics covered in that lecture. For example if I would need to know If someone was entitled to compensation (I study law) or who was the owner of a certain item I would write down the question (owner?), the categories or problems and how to solve the case when those problems occurred. So problem x solve with legislation y or case z. At that time I might not remember yet what legislation y or case z said in detail, but when I studied everything I knew exactly in which box to place it in my mind (so to speak). This saves me a lot of time, because my studying is more effective + I use the mindmap to quiz myself regularly.

      What helps is asking other students what they do to prepare for tests. I used to make my own summaries because I thought that only I could make them perfect, but have since learned that I save a lot of time if I just buy one from some other student. Even if that summary is only like 75% good, the time you saved by not making your own summary gives you time to really know and understand almost everything of it. While making your own summaries (at least in my case) left me with no time to actually study them. Also class notes are everything. In my experience the majority of test questions reflect material covered in lectures. So leaving space between your notes and completing them with what’s in your textbook is also a good way to get good grades.

      I find it difficult, but I now keep saying to myself that it does not matter if I’ve covered the whole textbook if I do not remember anything of it. It’s better to prioritize the topics that are actually covered in class and know them by heart.

      I wish you the best!

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