View Full Version : How do better in college


Eclectic
08-21-14, 11:23 PM
My boyfriend and I have been in college for a couple of years, and he's worried about how he's doing. He's failed some classes. I notice him often getting distracted when studying, which I understand. Sometimes he would be studying and then switch over to tumblr or youtube for a long time. He also isn't always on time, which makes him miss up to thirty minutes of fifty minute classes or even exams sometimes.

I think he said he only took his medication for exams this past year, and he didn't do as well as he would have liked. He does say he will take it every day this year. He says it helped when he took it every day in the past, but he's still worried. He thinks it's harder for him than his peers to understand material or work on assignments. This year he will be living with friends, which may be quite a distraction, especially since one of them does not go to college.

I want to reassure him that he can make this work. Is there anything I could suggest to him that might help? It doesn't have to be a suggestion specific to people with ADHD. Maybe some kind of time management or something would help as well.

InvitroCanibal
08-22-14, 01:49 PM
My boyfriend and I have been in college for a couple of years, and he's worried about how he's doing. He's failed some classes. I notice him often getting distracted when studying, which I understand. Sometimes he would be studying and then switch over to tumblr or youtube for a long time. He also isn't always on time, which makes him miss up to thirty minutes of fifty minute classes or even exams sometimes.

I think he said he only took his medication for exams this past year, and he didn't do as well as he would have liked. He does say he will take it every day this year. He says it helped when he took it every day in the past, but he's still worried. He thinks it's harder for him than his peers to understand material or work on assignments. This year he will be living with friends, which may be quite a distraction, especially since one of them does not go to college.

I want to reassure him that he can make this work. Is there anything I could suggest to him that might help? It doesn't have to be a suggestion specific to people with ADHD. Maybe some kind of time management or something would help as well.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=164777

I'm adding a link to a thread I posted. I used to struggle a lot too, a lot of times it's the issue of pulling information out, not always putting it in. How you put the information in, is critical to understanding the material, and understanding how each term relates to one another.

If I asked you what the opposite to a dog was you'd tell me cat. If I asked you to name as many things that are red in a minute, you'd come upon a fire truck eventually. We organize things in our mind like a filing system, strings of information via categorization and association. Learning new subjects or new materials is hard because we have no categories or associations for them. The main key is to understanding the system as a whole and then looking at the roles of each piece down to a deeper and deeper layer.

Rote memorization is often the poor compensating method we are taught in highschool that we carry on to college. It's poor because we learn how to be parrots instead of thinkers and if we take those poor coping mechanisms with us, we fail college. Understanding what you are learning, why you are learning it, it's function in your life, its reason for existing, and then doing the same for each subset function is the key. It's more critical than memorizing terms and definitions.

Also, with paper writing procrastination, you have to write one draft, then throw it out and start again. By the second or third draft your paper will be perfect, if that is another challenge he has. I often used to procrastinate papers because I didn't know what to write or what I was going to say. I'd last minute write it and then sometimes get a B, sometimes an A, but mostly a C. It's easy to B.S english papers, and history papers, but science papers and research papers can not be B.S'd. I found that out the hard way. After accidentally losing one half ***** research paper I wrote the night before, I had to quickly rewrite it in four hours. I found though that it was much easier than the night before to write because I knew where I was going with it. What my general points were and so on. I ended up getting the highest grade in the class on my paper which I wrote four hours before class started. The key was that it was my second draft. Had I turned in the first draft as I originally planned I would have failed that paper like everyone else. I also had done zero editing with my final draft...I didn't need to because it was mostly perfect. My professor who was not known to give compliments and graded very harshly said it was an excellent use of research and very thought provoking..but I failed to provide a summary paragraph. But even with absent mindedly leaving that out, my paper was so well written that I still got a 92 which is the highest grade I've gotten on an upper level research paper. Keep in mind almost everyone else got a D.

It has nothing to do with my ability as a writer, which being dyslexic and adhd, i'm terrible at writing papers haha and everything to do with the rewrite process. However throwing out the first draft completely allows me to not have to stress about editing a very poorly written paper. Don't salvage a sinking ship, just build a new one and learn why the last one sunk is now my philosophy.

If you could reply and let me know what he specifically is having trouble with i'd love to help or private message me. I've failed so many classes that I think I am qualified to help. I find the more one failed at something the more qualified they are to give advice on it, simply because they know what does and doesn't work.

BlackWarrior
08-25-14, 08:47 PM
My boyfriend and I have been in college for a couple of years, and he's worried about how he's doing. He's failed some classes. I notice him often getting distracted when studying, which I understand. Sometimes he would be studying and then switch over to tumblr or youtube for a long time. He also isn't always on time, which makes him miss up to thirty minutes of fifty minute classes or even exams sometimes.

I think he said he only took his medication for exams this past year, and he didn't do as well as he would have liked. He does say he will take it every day this year. He says it helped when he took it every day in the past, but he's still worried. He thinks it's harder for him than his peers to understand material or work on assignments. This year he will be living with friends, which may be quite a distraction, especially since one of them does not go to college.

I want to reassure him that he can make this work. Is there anything I could suggest to him that might help? It doesn't have to be a suggestion specific to people with ADHD. Maybe some kind of time management or something would help as well.
I could relate to the "only taking medication for exams part." I didn't want to take my medication all the time because it would make me feel weak (yeah kinda weird). I can also relate to the friends part.

My suggestions (these are things I actually abide by over the years):

1. Take the medication as prescribed. It will work better when the body gets accustomed to the levels of amphetamines in the body. Initially, he will think that it wouldn't make a difference but he will likely retain information subconsciously thus making better decisions.

2. Learn to balance school and friends. I made the ultimate choice of leaving my close group of friends to focus more on my school and my future. I moved into a quieter setting. I still hang out with them from time to time but by no means am I partying and doing the same stupid crap over and over everyday. I just couldn't stand living in a house where there are constant parties going on.

3. Download an app that restricts youtube, tumblr time (I use "StayFocusd")

4. Use a nice lamp. Yes, it will make a difference. I switched from regular light bulbs to a nice OttLite with a daylight bulb and have been focusing so much better.

I failed 3 courses before I did all the above. My underclassmen GPA averaged ~2.1 but my upperclassmen GPA averaged ~3.5 (in more "difficult" courses too!). My advice is to tell him to take the initiative now, and make the change or it may possibly hurt his future career prospects.

*I'm currently procrastinating on my studies by writing this :giggle:

InvitroCanibal
08-26-14, 02:26 PM
I could relate to the "only taking medication for exams part." I didn't want to take my medication all the time because it would make me feel weak (yeah kinda weird). I can also relate to the friends part.

My suggestions (these are things I actually abide by over the years):

1. Take the medication as prescribed. It will work better when the body gets accustomed to the levels of amphetamines in the body. Initially, he will think that it wouldn't make a difference but he will likely retain information subconsciously thus making better decisions.

2. Learn to balance school and friends. I made the ultimate choice of leaving my close group of friends to focus more on my school and my future. I moved into a quieter setting. I still hang out with them from time to time but by no means am I partying and doing the same stupid crap over and over everyday. I just couldn't stand living in a house where there are constant parties going on.

3. Download an app that restricts youtube, tumblr time (I use "StayFocusd")

4. Use a nice lamp. Yes, it will make a difference. I switched from regular light bulbs to a nice OttLite with a daylight bulb and have been focusing so much better.

I failed 3 courses before I did all the above. My underclassmen GPA averaged ~2.1 but my upperclassmen GPA averaged ~3.5 (in more "difficult" courses too!). My advice is to tell him to take the initiative now, and make the change or it may possibly hurt his future career prospects.

*I'm currently procrastinating on my studies by writing this :giggle:

That lamp part is really true. I noticed the reason I study in certain places and at certain times has to do with the light source. I like soft yellow lights as opposed to super blinding white lights. To each their own but I second the light source part of what blackwarrior wrote

addthree
08-26-14, 04:43 PM
Focus is the key and staying on top of the homework, must be the #1 priority.