View Full Version : Struggling With College


Jrex1612
07-04-14, 06:48 PM
I went back to college to get a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science. I want to do this more than I have ever wanted a career in my life. I am half way there.

I started noticing my struggles with studying and retaining information. My biggest obstacle so far: Algebra. This subject has caused me frustration, anger, depression, many, MANY tears and self loathing. I had a friend coming over to help me (he is really smart and completely understands all things math.) I still could not grasp the formulas, negatives, positives, imaginary, quadratics, polynomials, completing the square...etc... you get the picture. I would completely forget how to work any and all problems. Especially at test time.. I would stare at the problem and want to cry because I could not remember where to even start to solve the problem.

2 months ago I was diagnosed with ADHD with generalized anxiety disorder. I was started on ritalin 10mg 3x daily. It isn't really helping and I let my doctor know last week. So he prescribed Adderall 20mg XR, but I am waiting for insurance prior authorization and it seems to be taking forever! Sigh... anyway...

I have withdrawn from College Algebra 2 times now to keep from failing and having that on my GPA. I am taking it for the 3rd time now, a summer course that is 8 weeks instead of 16 weeks. I am doing it without any help from my friend as well. So far.. I am doing OK, but it is definitely a challenge for me. I have 2 weeks left of this course and I am freaking out a little about how much harder it is getting.. and how I HAVE TO GET THROUGH IT THIS TIME.

Does medication help? My doctor that tested me said I do not have a learning disorder, so that's not the problem. I am at the end of my rope with this.. I am hoping someone that has had a similar experience can give me some hope!

sarahsweets
07-05-14, 06:47 AM
Did your doctor diagnose you with adhd? If you will be taking adderall for getting through college, it wont help with algebra. Does your school have tutors? Have you asked the professor for help? IME when I asked a professor for help, they graded me a little less harshly because they saw the effort I was putting into the class and trying so hard to pass. This happened to me with finite math. It was so hard and I went to the professor's office twice a week to help me understand the lesson and break down the equations and steps. It was still brutal but I scraped by with a c- and was able to put my math requirement behind me.

Jrex1612
07-05-14, 10:05 AM
Yes, I was diagnosed with ADHD with generalized anxiety disorder. I've been taking ritalin 10mg 3x daily, but it doesn't help. My doctor has changed my prescription to adderall but I am waiting for my insurance to authorize it.

I haven't told my professor about my ADHD, I didn't think it was necessary. This is the 3rd time I have taken this class (but I did a little research and chose to take it with this professor.) So far, he's been really good, his lectures and explanations have been good and he grades really easy! (As in, if the set up of the problems is good, or going through it the correct way, even if the answer is wrong he will still give points based on everything else, so a problem worth 4 points, he will take off 2.)

I'm just concerned about these next two weeks left. Since I have been through this course 2 other times, at least I have a little of it in my head. But I withdrew from the other 2 times I took the class so now we are getting into algebra I haven't done before so it's all new! I really just need to get through this class.

So you don't think medication won't help me concentrate on the problems and retain the information being taught? :(

Chicky75
07-05-14, 11:17 AM
I don't know about medication helping you to retain the information being taught - I was on adderall briefly, but not while in school.

I second Sarahsweets suggestion to go talk to the professor. You don't have to tell him you have ADHD if you don't want to (in fact, I would maybe say, don't), but just explain how much you've struggled with this particular class in the past but that you're determined to get through it this time. It almost sounds to me (as a completely unqualified in any sort of psychology person) that you might be psyching yourself out a little. Since this is the third time and you struggled in the past, maybe you've built up some sort of mental block?

I say, if the professor has office hours, go to ALL of them. If they're at times you can't go, talk to him before or after class to see if you can schedule other times. Or find out (from him because I agree with Sarahsweets that letting the prof know that you're really trying) if there are tutors available or if he has a TA who could help you.

Also, have you tried something like Kahn Academy? They have free online courses, mostly math, that you can do by topic. Maybe you could do whatever topic you'll be doing in the next class on there first, so that you'll know where you need more explanation.

Jrex1612
07-05-14, 11:59 AM
Thank you - both of you.
Actually, when this semester started I did mention to him this was my 3rd time taking this course and that I definitely struggle. He understood completely and gave me suggestions which are helping a lot. I am doing better this time, I have even passed the past 2 tests, the first with a 72% and the second with an 87%!!! (I never got above a 58% in the previous classes so this is a major accomplishment for me.)

I think you are right, that I psych myself out - my psychologist says my ADHD and anxiety have a lot to do with it. It probably does.. but I'm not sure what to do about that. I study hard, I really give it my best, I just have trouble remembering what formulas are for what problems, or I miss a negative.. lol it's always something. :)

I have a good feeling that I will get through it this time and I really hope I do! I have chemistry 1 lined up for fall semester and I have heard it is a lot of algebra so I already have anxiety about that.

I have failed at so many different things in my life that I just can not fail this. It's so important to me and I am working very hard. I sometimes think I over-think everything and the second guessing myself is what causes me to have these problems with college. I definitely feel I have something to prove. Not just to other people, but to myself. (and other people!)

I have done exceptionally well with my other classes so far - but now they are getting harder as I get closer to my MLS program.Algebra has been my most difficult up to this point, and I know all the science classes I have in the future will be harder too. It makes me so nervous!

Adduce
07-05-14, 03:13 PM
I'm not sure if this will help but I enjoyed going through this playlist on youtube (about 40 lectures in all). This is quite a good format as the professor takes you through step by step.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Amt_-uB9QQ&list=PLDE28CF08BD313B2A

InvitroCanibal
07-05-14, 10:09 PM
Try, try to practically apply the rules and concepts as you go through every day life. Much of logic as we know it is actually just algebra.

An example would be the commutative property of addition, A+B=B+A

Think about that rule for a second and try to form a sentence that fits that rule logically.

An example would be in a truth statement such as
We attract what we fear therefore we fear what we attract

Hope that example works :S came up with it quickly but the general point is there that these rules are principles of logic and you just need to apply the rules themselves as you go about your everyday life.

Make new ways of looking at the rules and play with it a bit. Double check the logic with your professor. Once you have the rules, you will get what the math problems are showing, if that makes sense.

They try to teach us theory before application but ADD people learn via application of theory.

Algebra, in general is usually just manipulating expressions or solving equations. They just throw more and more variables at you and make expressions as complicated as possible.

It's basically not asking you what the solution is but what is the question. it's all just a rehash of division, 9/3 is 3x=9...solve for x. See..just division done backwards. The rest is taking large eternal equations and shrinking it down into clear simplistic forms but also recognizing that these two numbers on both sides are equivalent.


Good luck

InvitroCanibal
07-05-14, 10:45 PM
I think it gets confusing because at the end of it all..you realize you haven't solved anything, you've just shrunk the same question and groomed the variables to make them look pretty; so that when you are given orders from a supervisor that have confusing elements which are clouded in obscurity, you will clearly and effectively obey the orders with impunity.

Behavioral training is fun eh :)

Chicky75
07-16-14, 12:21 AM
How's the class going?

MADD As A Hatte
07-16-14, 08:58 AM
I went back to college to get a bachelor's degree in medical laboratory science. ... ... My biggest obstacle ...: Algebra.
... 2 months ago I was diagnosed with ADHD ... . I was started on ritalin 10mg 3x daily. It isn't really helping ...

... I have 2 weeks left of this course ... I HAVE TO GET THROUGH IT THIS TIME.


Good on YOU for asking for help. Truly I don't know where to start with your OP, so I'll just cut to the chase.

You've got two weeks left, so you're under the pump. I was in exactly the same place, a couple of months ago. Believeme. You need to do NOTHING between now and the end of your course except FOCUS ... SLEEP ... WORK (if you have to), and STUDY RELENTLESSLY.

In early June, I was entering my university exam study period (as a mature aged student, I've this year started a Bachelor of Psychology, full time, four subjects. Biology plus three essay subjects.) I was flipping out. But with a bit of support, I went from "how the phuck am I going to to pass this?" to pulling 2 x High Distinctions, and 2 x Distinctions. The evidence shows ...

Here's how I did it:

- Get over NOW NOW NOW to the ADDforum's Accountability thread, sign up on KanBan Flow and we'll prod you to the greatness you are capable of. The ADDF cheer squad got behind me. We'll get behind you.

- Get onto KhanAcademy.org for review. Hours and hours on Khan last year resulted for me in a High Distinction in Intermediate Math, and this year an HD in Biology. Khan is free, high speed, lots of quizzes and drills. If you relentlessly put the time in, it works. (Sal Khan is all over TedEx, he's the Sexiest Man Alive in terms of online education.)

- Up your Ritalin dose to something deep and meaningful. Assuming you don't have any complications you haven't told us about, your current dose is ridiculous. You're on 10mg Ritalin, 3 x daily, yes? My children were on that exact dose when they were novices, in primary school. The standard adult Ritalin dose in Australia is DOUBLE what you're taking. It's 60mg per day (3 x 20mg, morning, noon, and late afternoon).

Could I suggest you take responsibility for your own medication, and over the next few days, first up your morning dose x2; then the next day, up your noon dose (as well) x2; then on day three, up your afternoon dose (as well) x2.

By day four you'll be on 20mg, 3 times per day = total 60mg. Well within an adult dose (max. 70mg).

I'd be really surprised if you don't notice a significant difference in your ability to hold it together, when you're on a proper adult dose. If you get headaches, that's quite normal for an adjustment period (assuming you don't have major medical complications we don't know about), so take normal painkillers. After a few days, your brain should have adjusted and you'll be sorted.

*** Set alarms in your phone to remind you take your meds at 7am, 1pm, and at 5pm.

That said, disclaimer, of course I am only speaking from my personal experience for the past seven or so years with Ritalin, and then the longer acting version, Concerta. (Recently my Concerta dose ran out, and I had to fill in for a few weeks until my next shrink appointment. I followed the Ritalin dose I've described above. It worked perfectly, for me.)

All the best, Jrex, we look forward to seeing you over at the Accountability thread. We've set the bar pretty high over there, so I challenge you to PLEASE come on in and show us your best!

.

Jrex1612
07-18-14, 05:16 PM
Thank you! I really appreciate the suggestions and input.

I have 1 week left and this semester is finished, I couldn't be more ready for that. :)

It is going OK. This last part has been really challenging, my last test was my lowest so far, 70% but I'm not complaining because that is passing and I will take passing over failing any day. lol

I've been studying to the point of getting headaches, I just take a couple of ibuprofen and keep going though. The final is July 24th, I am having a lot of anxiety about it. I am so determined!

My doctor changed my Rx to Adderall (generic) 20mg XR. I think the dosage is too low right now, and I really don't like the XR at all. I would rather have control over when the medicine works, first part is good, but when it seems like it wears off before the release and that makes me feel sluggish. I can't stand that, it makes my focus more forced, which isn't helpful to me at all. I sent my doctor's nurse a message about it, my doctor is out of town until next week so maybe we can get some changes to happen. Since I have been diagnosed and on medication, it has been a lot of me calling and adjusting dosage and medication. I thought the ritalin was too low too, I just didn't want to take more than I was prescribed, partly because I am so new to this and I don't know what I need - and I don't want to run out of my medication before I can get a refill. When my doc switched me to adderall, he prescribed 20mg XR 3x a day. My insurace said nope - denied. So we started here with 20mg XR 1 time a day. I know it takes time to figure out the right dosage, medication and when to take it, but it's frustrating! I'm really trying to have patience with it though.. which is not easy for me - patience is not one of my attributes. ;)

I will take your advise, get some accountability and continue to work hard studying! I can't tell you how much your words are appreciated. For a short time, I joined an ADHD group for women on facebook, they were constantly posting such negative things and blamed every single thing on their ADHD. I've only been diagnosed a short time, but have suspected I had it for quite a while. I'm usually a pretty positive person, and I function fairly well in most situations unmedicated (because I've had to!) Meds are helping with focus as well as a few other areas I have struggled with, but I can't say ADHD is the cause of every thing wrong in my life. So I am really thankful to read a lot of positive things from people in this forum.
Thank you again (to everyone that responded) and also thank you for checking on my progress!

Jrex1612
07-18-14, 05:21 PM
One more thing Madd as a Hatte - Where would I find the accountability thread? I looked but I couldn't find it.

MADD As A Hatte
07-20-14, 05:32 AM
One more thing Madd as a Hatte - Where would I find the accountability thread? I looked but I couldn't find it.

In the search thing (in the blue bar across the top of the screen), search on the word "Accountability".

Or search on user name "StevUke79", and look through his threads. [Just note that he's a dear fellow but he CANNOT spell his own name. Laughing! His user name is stevuke79 with no "e" after the Stev. Silly man!!]

In the meantime, I'll ask Stev to get in touch with you.

See you over there!
.

MADD As A Hatte
07-20-14, 05:42 AM
I found something fabulous this weekend, for reviewing material.

http://www.purposegames.com/

I'm trying to get brain anatomy into my brain anatomy before semester 2 starts at the end of the month. Purpose Games takes a few second to sign up on, and then you've got a zillion visual interactive quizzes to choose from. They take about a minute each .. have a look ... if you sign up, let me know and we can make our own group.

I know you've only got three days to go til your exam, but purposegames is fantastic!!

Let us know how your exam goes ...
.

Jrex1612
07-20-14, 03:39 PM
Done and done.. for both. I found the thread and posted on it.. but I didn't read

Thanks for the suggestions! I look forward to using them and seeing how they can help me. Even though I only have this week left for this semester, I still have other classes in the future that I'm sure I will need a little help with. I'm a science major, so I'm sure I can use the websites to help study my science classes. (Chemistry in the fall!) :eyebrow:

MADD As A Hatte
07-22-14, 04:47 AM
Done and done.. for both. I found the thread and posted on it.. but I didn't read

Thanks for the suggestions! I look forward to using them and seeing how they can help me.

So, Jrex, woohoo ... you're nearly through your intensive course.

How's it going? Do you have a final assessment / exam this week?

All the best, keep us in the loop about how it all goes.
:grouphug:

Jrex1612
07-22-14, 11:57 AM
For my fine arts class (The Art of Dance) I had to write 2 papers, one is a live performance review the other is a 2 page final paper about the class, the importance on the future of dance and an argument as to why dance is important.
Confession: I took this class because it is a requirement to have a fine arts class and I wanted something very easy, not only so I could get it out of the way but pad my GPA a little. This class was super easy, out of 900 points for the class I got 898. (I missed two questions on a test.) So... that one is finished, and I accomplished an easy A out of the deal. :)

As for my hellish torture AKA algebra.. we have review for the final test today. The final test is on Thursday. It's 30% of our grade for the class and we have to score a certain amount of points in order to pass. My anxiety is doing a number on me due to this. I am reviewing and working problems from past chapters and looking at the sample final test my professor gave us to study with. Truth be told, my hands are shaking as I type just thinking about it. I try to keep positive thoughts and continue to do my best when studying the problems. I am excited for the end of this class and conquering it, so I can move on and do more challenging classes. :p

Prayers and good, positive thoughts are appreciated!

Chicky75
07-22-14, 12:30 PM
Good luck and congrats on the other class!

Have you talked to the teacher anymore? It sounds like you have a solid study plan in place, but talking to him about any parts that you're still struggling with could be helpful. Maybe he could give you some extra tips or something.

I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Jrex1612
07-22-14, 02:01 PM
Thank you!

I plan on going in about 30 minutes early just to talk to him and ask questions about certain formulas. When looking at a test, I tend to forget which formula I need to do in order to solve the problem. (Or just forget a step while working the problem..)

Maybe he can guide me or give me key words to think about while working out a problem. That's my hope for today. :)

MADD As A Hatte
07-23-14, 05:49 AM
For my fine arts class (The Art of Dance) ... So... that one is finished, and I accomplished an easy A out of the deal. :)

As ... algebra.. It's 30% of our grade for the class and we have to score a certain amount of points in order to pass.

My anxiety is doing a number on me due to this. ...

Congratulations on the Dance of Art. Um, Art of Dance.

Algebra Schmalgebra. The exam's only worth 30%??

What have you scored so far from the 70% of other assessments?

It sounds like the actual exam isn't going to be a deal breaker. What % do you need to get on the final, to pass the course?

You are a clever woman. You will do REALLY WELL in this exam. REALLY WELL.

Best
.

Jrex1612
07-23-14, 09:46 PM
Yes, 30% but we have to get a certain score at least in order to pass the course. Currently I have an 84% in the class, I have done OK on all of the homework and quizzes, but even if we did perfectly on all of that, the final is absolutely necessary to pass or else we fail the class. I'm not sure why they do it that way. So I just hope I do well enough to pass.

I'm one of those annoying people that always feels like I should do better, unless I have a perfect score I am not completely satisfied. This class may have cured me of that - all I care about is a passing grade. I don't even care if it's barely passing, I just want to pass and be done with it.

After reviewing last night, I feel a lot better about it, although I wouldn't be me if I didn't squirm and have anxiety about it. I didn't sleep well at all last night, I am weaning off of caffeine and all day today I have had a horrible headache that ibuprofen and tylenol haven't been able to give me any relief.

I'm not going to complain though, I will study until I can't anymore and go in tomorrow and do the best I can. This is an opportunity for me to be a college student, I chose this. I will get through this and come out of it better than I started.

Oh - I meant to tell you, my doctor increased my dosage of adderall and prescribed IR. So now I take 20mg IR in the morning and then 10mg at noon. I like the IR SO MUCH better than the XR. I also think cutting down the caffeine helps too because I don't feel so jittery or fidgety. I'm still unsure if I am timing my meds just right for what I need, since some of my classes are night classes I need it at night, but not too late so I can get to sleep at a decent hour. So I am still working on that.

Chicky75
07-23-14, 10:15 PM
Congratulations, 84% is awesome!!

I'm the same with always wanting a perfect score, but it's just not possible all the time. And if you think about it, what do you need from this class? Is it just to pass a requirement so that you can go onto other classes for what you want to do? Is someone down the line going to tell you that you can't do something because you only passed but didn't get a perfect score in this one class?

Good luck tomorrow!

MADD As A Hatte
07-23-14, 10:27 PM
GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR EXAM, Jrex.

You WILL pass. No question about that!

You can't do any more, at this point. Put your game face on, go into that exam room, and give 'em hell.

Best
MADD x

:grouphug:

Jrex1612
07-24-14, 01:57 AM
Wow! You guys are the best. :cool:

Chicky, never thought about it like that really... I like it, I'm going to adopt that policy and try not to sweat it so much.
I do need the class as a pre-req for chemistry. I have gained a lot of information from this class. Now all I have to do is finish it!

I really have to tell you all that your encouragement and support is amazing. It has contributed to my success lately. I appreciate it more than I can express.

I can't wait to get this over with! I might have to celebrate when it's all over. (Not sure how, because I don't do much of anything these days and my social life is non-existent ever since I started going to school.) Eh.. I'll figure something out!
Thanks guys! :grouphug:

MADD As A Hatte
07-24-14, 06:16 AM
Wow! You guys are the best. :cool:

Chicky, never thought about it like that really... I like it, I'm going to adopt that policy and try not to sweat it so much.
I do need the class as a pre-req for chemistry. I have gained a lot of information from this class. Now all I have to do is finish it!

I really have to tell you all that your encouragement and support is amazing. It has contributed to my success lately. I appreciate it more than I can express.

I can't wait to get this over with! I might have to celebrate when it's all over. (Not sure how, because I don't do much of anything these days and my social life is non-existent ever since I started going to school.) Eh.. I'll figure something out!
Thanks guys! :grouphug:

You go girl! And we'll be there with you, sitting like little exam-fairies on your shoulders.

Tonight, when it's all over with ... come back here and we'll give you a few pointers on "how to celebrate / reward oneself after sitting eggshams" ...

We're in different timezones, so here's my method: Champagne. The most expensive you can afford.

And in a few weeks, when you get your results back, and they're GOOD ... when you've ACTUALLY got that first giant academic accomplishment under your belt ... set yourself a GIANT reward for the next hurdle.

My goal is maintaining my 6.5 GPA next semester. Reward for me? A (replacement) Mont Blanc ballpoint. My last one was stolen, in a house-break in, 20 years ago. Phuck that. It's time I replaced it.

Check this out. $520 USD of a Meisterstuck gorgeous writing implement. Utterly. Orgasmic.

http://www.montblanc.com/en-us/shop/writing-instruments/meisterstck/meisterstueck-90-years/meisterstuck-90-years-legrand-rollerball-111068.aspx

.

Jrex1612
07-25-14, 10:53 AM
I DID IT!!!!!! I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!! I got a B!

After withdrawing from college algebra twice, I finally passed this class. I checked to see if my grade was posted this morning and seen that it had and that I got a B, and tears started rolling. Now that sounds silly, and normally I'm not such a crybaby, but this struggle is real!

I am so relieved! :yes:

Jrex1612
07-25-14, 10:54 AM
P.S. Madd, that's quite a pen! I think if you want it, you deserve it!

I am going to have a beer when I get off work and celebrate! Cheers friends!

Chicky75
07-25-14, 04:02 PM
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :yes::yes::yes::yes:

I have definitely had that same feeling - you owe yourself some sort of celebration this weekend!

MADD As A Hatte
07-26-14, 01:08 AM
I DID IT!!!!!! I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!! I got a B!

After withdrawing from college algebra twice, I finally passed this class. I checked to see if my grade was posted this morning and seen that it had and that I got a B, and tears started rolling. Now that sounds silly, and normally I'm not such a crybaby, but this struggle is real!

I am so relieved! :yes:



FFFFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

I AM SITTING HERE INSTANTLY IN TEARS

AND SMILING



WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

MADD As A Hatte
07-26-14, 01:11 AM
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :yes::yes::yes::yes:


Just to reiterate what Chicky said ...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :yes::yes::yes::yes:

and again ...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :yes::yes::yes::yes:

and once more with feeling ...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :yes::yes::yes::yes:

Laughing! So happy for you, doll!

Jrex1612
07-26-14, 08:55 AM
You all are so kind!

OK, so now that I have a few weeks before I hit the books again, what can I do to give support or encouragement to you all?

I am so touched that you were moved to tears Madd! :)

Hugs to you all!

MADD As A Hatte
07-26-14, 09:05 AM
What can you do? Help yourself in this ongoing quest, and me in mine. Join the Accountability /KanBan game ... private message me!

Chicky75
07-28-14, 01:14 PM
You all are so kind!

OK, so now that I have a few weeks before I hit the books again, what can I do to give support or encouragement to you all?

I am so touched that you were moved to tears Madd! :)

Hugs to you all!



What can you do? Help yourself in this ongoing quest, and me in mine. Join the Accountability /KanBan game ... private message me!

What Madd said! And just keep paying it forward!

MADD As A Hatte
07-29-14, 05:23 AM
Jrex, I must apologise. I have just now presumed to take your name in vain, on another thread about struggling in college. I quoted your success story for another college student who seems to be now, where you were a month ago. Please please please forgive me. I only used your FABULOUS SUCCESS as a means to show evidence that having a cheer squad works!!

Feel free to private message me and tick me off, if needs be.

Otherwise, in case I forgot to mention it ...

CONGRATULATIONS ON GETTING A BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE



:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

Jrex1612
07-29-14, 03:18 PM
Haha.. no worries, I don't mind at all. If I can help someone that struggles with something I am glad to! Where is the thread? Maybe I can offer some insight or at the very least, relate that I know what they are going through. :)

MADD As A Hatte
07-29-14, 04:55 PM
Haha.. no worries, I don't mind at all. If I can help someone that struggles with something I am glad to! Where is the thread? Maybe I can offer some insight or at the very least, relate that I know what they are going through. :)

Search threads for Struggling With College

Jrex1612
07-31-14, 12:59 AM
Ok. :)