August 26, 2019 at 5:36 am #126439AnnaNLParticipant
Summer is almost over and university is starting again next week.
I’ve got a delay because of my ADHD, (which didn’t get diagnosed until I completely drowned in my course work and I was unable to get anything completed because of the mess) so I still need to finish work from previous years, along with starting new courses and internships. I have been trying to stay positive and calm, but to be honest, I’m already experiencing way more anxiety than I’m comfortable with. I really do not want this year to be be another series of failures and I’m motivated to finally get ahead, but I’m getting in my own way. The stress has already begun and I’m already feeling that “fight or flight”, and I already want to turn off my phone and laptop and pretend it doesn’t exist. I REALLY want this year to be a good one.
Please share your tips about uni, I could use anything. I still need to work on organisation and time management (sadly there’s no 8th day in the week). But most importantly I need some help with stress management.
Sorry if this is very long, I’m just pouring my heart out here, maybe someone understands and has some advice.
Usually I get into “cycles” of a few weeks. I start off really well, but then something unexpected comes up, or I oversleep and miss a mandatory lecture, which leads to messiness in my head, which then leads to me getting confused with assignments I have to do, which causes me so much stress and takes so much mental energy that I can’t finish it (in time), which leads to ANOTHER thing unfinished I have to catch up with later, and there’s just as little time later as there always is. I just have such a feeling that there is no room for mistakes. Missing a lecture, allowing my head to get cluttered, not pushing through with assignments even though I have no clue what I’m doing, are all mistakes I cannot afford to make. (In reality I probably can, but in my experience these things cause such a chain reaction that in the end, they end up having huge consequences.) It is frightening to me.
I’m all about positive thinking and I really believe it makes a difference, but I have to be honest with myself too. And even though I tell myself I will be fine, I don’t believe it.
Please please help. Any experiences, storing or ideas are welcome, anything.
August 26, 2019 at 9:41 am #126467Penny WilliamsKeymaster
See if your university has a disability services department (most do now, at least in the US). Registering with disability services at your school can open the door to helpful services.
I think study groups are often helpful to keep students with learning and organization challenges on track.
Here are some additional study tips for college students with ADHD too:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
August 30, 2019 at 10:33 pm #126836melliferParticipant
Your “cycles” sound much like mine. I’m an ADHDer in college too! I have 4 tips. Hopefully you find them helpful.
My #1 tip is to use a planner/calendar/SOMETHING where you can write down all the assignment due dates, test dates, presentation dates, etc. Knowing exactly when stuff is due will help cut down on the stress. Even if you don’t write anything in the planner other than those dates, it’ll be worth having.
#2: If you can find a text buddy who’s in the same class, you can remind each other and hold each other accountable. You don’t have to be besties. You just have to be ok with nagging each other.
#3: If your professors have office hours, use ’em. If your profs give out their email addresses, use ’em. Don’t wait until you’re drowning, just make it a habit to touch base once a week and go over any questions. I used to be so afraid of looking like an idiot, but they’re really impressed if you actually come to ask them about an assignment you’re confused by or a topic you didn’t understand in class. I try to just jot it down whenever I don’t get something (another thing to use the planner for!) so I can ask the professor about it later.
#4: Finally, remember it’s never “all or nothing.” If you forgot to start an assignment and now you don’t have time to finish it, don’t let that stop you from doing a little bit. Partial credit is better than no credit. Even a few points might make a big difference at the end of the semester!
Good luck to you! College can be so stressful and feel so impossible. I’m in my final year now and wasn’t sure I’d get here but take it a little at a time and don’t be too hard on yourself when mistakes happen and plans go awry. 🙂
August 31, 2019 at 12:44 pm #126848scottishADHDerParticipant
I start University next week doing a Masters. I nearly died (not literally) from anxiety completing my undergrad. Only during the summer when chaos stopped and stillness came peaking its head around the corner did I realize I had a problem. I was diagnosed a few months ago. A lot of my life turned upside down, and I found it difficult to adjust. I took a year out of university to work on my health. Of course, this delayed my progression, but it helped immensely. During that year I started doing intense exercise. This was my medication because I didn’t even know I had ADHD. Fast forward to finishing University as an undergrad, and that’s when things got hard for me.
1. Record audio of lectures.
2. Become an early riser (6 to 6:30am)
3. Time medication window (The window in which meds are most effective) and take them shortly before those classes.
4. Study music is good. Background noise and nothing too complex.
5. When the overwhelm takes over, take a break. Re-access and jump back into it.
6. Study Diary (picks days for different classes to study)
I would offer more, but you can only write so much on these forums lol.
I wish you nothing but success with your studies. You can always reach out if you need an ADHD buddy who’s been through University already. Reach out if needed. 🙂 Good luck Anna!
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