View Full Version : How did you deal with college?

06-09-17, 12:09 PM
I'm wondering how, as an adult with ADD, you handled being away at college with no one to help you structure your time?

06-09-17, 12:52 PM

In my opinion, the key is to start early on getting skills that work without help. Poor but serviceable performance on his own is better than needing help and not getting it or not wanting it.

06-09-17, 03:08 PM

I quit.


Little Missy
06-09-17, 04:12 PM
Being awarded scholarships had me very motivated. It was all I did 7 days a week 16 hours a day. I bought all of my books prior to the semester(s) and read them, and then read them again.

06-09-17, 04:53 PM
I wish I'd done better. Looking back frfriends that have ADD and did well; where super motivated.

No distractions.

06-09-17, 04:59 PM
... but any college student who wants distraction is going to find it, guaranteed.

06-10-17, 06:54 AM
Before I was married I skated by barely. Got married when i was 20 and both of us were still in school. I did great after marriage I think because I was paying for it on my own and we had a baby on the way. It was the only time I made dean's list.

06-10-17, 09:44 AM
By avoiding it, other than visiting friends to party with them back when I was still college age myself.

My parents didn't have the money to send me, nor was I engaged or interested enough in school to even think about continuing the ongoing misery and suffering once I graduated.

But I finally decided to attempt to go get a degree at the ripe old age of 40ish, after taking many work sponsored online college courses in the psychology arena with much success, and actually enjoyed them for the most part.

However, once I learned of all the totally irrelevant and highly priced uninteresting stuff I had to learn (several years worth, not just one or two classes) to finally be awarded a piece of paper that deemed me worthy in the eyes of others, even after making straight As in all the classes I did attempt, I decided to walk away and spend that time and money on things that were much more fulfilling to me, overall.

It still amazes me that teens are expected to fully know what they want to do well enough at that time in their life to be expected to make such drastic life changing decisions within that small window of time, or risk being considered "less than" their peers in so many regards.

Not to mention signing their lives away to potentially remain in vast amounts of endless debt for the rest of their lives, based on what I've witnessed among many peers and acquaintances.

I still choose to learn by various methods every chance I get, but I prefer informal learning arenas so I can more readily absorb what I feel is worthwhile and actually applicable rather than following someone elses script trying to regurgitate what it takes to fit into their mold.

06-10-17, 09:40 PM
I was fully medicated in college, which helped a lot. My college had an ADD management group that helped me figure out how to structure my time and deal with my symptoms. I would go to office hours to get help when I couldn't figure out how to do my homework or when I was failing to get things done. I also worked with people a lot and often studied with the TV on in the background, which made it less boring and more motivating. Working with people who knew what they were doing helped me learn the material faster and better, especially when it came to boring or difficult material.

I'd often come up with random ways to study. I remember having to learn random processes for bio and I not being able to get any of them. I went on youtube and found a bunch of videos that explained everything and a super catchy song that helped me memorize me what I needed to know. I would often use text to speech to read crap on days on which I wasn't focused enough to read and play Tetris or Rainbow Unicorn Attack while listening to the text being read.

Johnny Slick
06-11-17, 01:04 AM
I was unmedicated and actually did really, really well once I got into a 4 year school. I *did* take 8 years to get my 2 year degree at the local community college but over that time I think I more or less figured out how to handle things - well, at least I figured out *a* way. The fact that the 4 year was much harder with deadlines I couldn't afford to not meet actually made things easier because, well, our people work better under deadlines.

I would be lying, however, if I didn't say that caffeine didn't help a *lot*. I drank a very large amount of caffeine in college, and unfortunately not in the form of coffee either. Nope, large sized drinks at fast food places were my thing, and yes, I destroyed my teeth and put on a lot of weight during that time, so no, I don't really think this was a great trade-off. I've since gotten them fixed (paying a lot of money to do so) and lost a good deal of the weight too (actually, I' m at roughly my HS weight now, granted that I was kind of fat in HS too, so that's a thing at least), but I paid *dearly* for that decision.

Speaking of that, too, I know of people - I feel like women in particular - who "manage" it by winding themselves really, really tight, by which I mean more or less guilting and prodding themselves into having the *massive* reserves of willpower you need to overcome being distracted without medication or meditation or what have you. I'm wound a *little* bit tight myself (I still notice this a bit when I'm practicing music - it is *so* hard for me to see a high note and not, like, think of it as high, if that makes sense) and I feel like if I went any tighter than I was in my college years I'd have gone crazy or something.

06-11-17, 03:03 AM
I had SAT and ACT scores such that many wanted me, but financially I didn't qualify for help. At the same time, my parents were not willing to help me either, so I gave up on the idea of going.

I'm a total waste of potential. :doh:


06-11-17, 09:14 PM
Friends. Would not have passed without them.

They provided the structure cause I would study in groups. The groups always had set times for studying. They also reduced the amount of work I had substantially cause we would each do just one problem and then we'd just share the other answers with each other. Copying other peoples homework cut my work down by 5 times id say. I also photocopied their notes since I couldn't pay attention in class.

There were also the free group tutor sessions available on campus. That was also a set time. I could ask a question, they'd help me with one and while other people were asking other questions, I could work on other problems on my own. I didn't really take this option often though as it was usually groups that helped me.

I remember I had an easier time studying in libraries too as distractions were less. I'd say set yourself a time each day to just study in the library. I myself still always went with a friend from my recollection though I think it could work without.

That said, I still did cram on my own right before a test so it was still a lot of suffering but friends did help tremendously.

06-12-17, 05:01 AM
Another thing is, I had very understanding professors, At the time there werent many people married with a baby at age 21.

06-13-17, 02:06 AM
Ok as some people pointed out, if you pay a lot for school.... you will get it done or your *** is grass. I'd say you get better as you go along, it might be really hard atfirst and take a lot of energy but you adapt to the stress.if it's a new skill, it might take awhile for you to "get it." Sometimes that means from the beginning to the end of the semester. Also if you do parts of your homework every day, that makes it easier and might help with procrastinating. I also advise to take 3 courses a semester, that's what I did most semesters. Also try to figure out your major, it makes college much more interesting and motivating.

I also did the tv thing too sometimes until it started to distract me. I did a study group once and it was great with friends. I did fashion design though, so my experiences were more hands on and it took me a LONG time to do things. Sometimes I cried a little bit just making myself keep focusing because my brains response would be depressed but then I would come out of that mood. Sometimes I took walks when I couldn't focus on reading assignments and would go back at my homework several times in the day to get a focus. That was stuff I wasn't full heartedly interested in. This was all on medication that doesn't work as well as some others.

06-19-17, 02:17 PM
I barely managed but only because I got support and extra time. I have Aspergers as well as ADHD so disability support were able to do a lot for me. I also went to the psychiatric services at the uni I went to which helped when I felt especially out of control.

I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until last year and I'm not sure how I managed without the meds. To tell you the truth, I'm on meds and I'm still having a lot of issues, but I guess that comes with the territory of comorbidity.

Anyway, I also managed partly due to the mercy of the university but mostly due to extreme anxiety, having a bursary and disability benefits that allowed me to not need to work and a **** ton of caffeinated drinks. I was extremely fortunate back then.

Honestly, I don't know how people can have a job and be full time students at the same time, especially others with ADHD. I'm ashamed of myself that I can't work as hard or as long as others. When I actually started working a real paid job (and not just a voluntary position) I only worked a 25 hour contract and that place stressed me out so much that I suffered extreme burnout and had blood in my stool. I needed to double my antidepressants and had to take out disability benefits because it triggered a major depressive episode. Though to be fair, I did work over my hours a lot because we were perpetually trying to catch up on something. Oh, and they blamed me for everything. Awesome.

06-20-17, 12:53 PM
Studying law was much easier that practicing law.
My period of study was rather unproblematic because I did not need to work constantly.I had to do a only a few big academic papers and a few written exams. It was sufficient to work in hyperfocus in some periods.
This way I was not able to produce good results, but I managed to pass the first and second german state law exams this way.

Procrastination was a problem, but clear deadlines forced me to do what I had to. I did not get confused, because of the small number of requirements.

In addition I learnd a lot "surfing the library" like surfing the internet today. This matched perfectly to my jumpy way of thinking.

In my case a more 'school-like' character would have led to failure.

07-22-17, 08:54 AM
I had big problems with time management, and usually studied or worked on whatever test or assignment was due next. I also burnt myself out studying too much, at least twice more than other students who didn't have ADD. So I studied less in order to not burn out, but my grades fell. Having lower grades and not burning out is a more appealing option than burning out and dropping out of university altogether.

Make eating well, sleeping well, sunshine and exercise a high priority. This will give you the strength and energy you need to be a student.

07-22-17, 12:57 PM
I got through my undergraduate years in awful, damaging ways that I'm still learning to fix.

First of all, I pushed myself to the brink of total burnout way too many times. When I started my studies, I never gave myself any breaks and would eventually cave in and vegetate for a while to recover.

I pulled all nighters and had way too much caffiene because I was so certain that this time it would be all finished (it wasn't).

I didn't socialise with many of my peers and often isolated myself because I needed the quiet to calm down. I didn't consider that peers are supposed to support each other and that I could lean on them if I was having trouble. I did eventually make friends but my pride made it hard for me to be honest about struggling.

I had an atrocious diet, either binging or forgetting meals. I also isolated myself from loved ones. Bad idea.

I had to resit a year because my mental health was getting much worse due to all these terrible decisions.

When I had to move away to finish my course, I wasn't that much wiser. Still pulling all nighters, still treating my body like ****, still isolating myself. But I gradually started to be more responsible with my health and lifestyle. For instance, I decided that in order to improve my sleep hygiene I only did my coursework in the studio or the library. This was a great idea because I got more work done and I could leave uni at uni. It's a bit difficult to do that now because my studio is my bedroom. If I can get a power supply in a cupboard I could convert that into a little studio (or a tiny bedroom, I guess).

Also, I highly recommend cloud storage for all your coursework (especially group projects). Save everything from your harddrives onto other external memory and for Thor's sake ORGANISE YOUR FOLDERS. I didn't learn that lesson until it was too late and now my harddrives are Mad Max.

I used to go on walks a lot, too. It helped a lot. I sometimes walked around campus if I couldn't sleep. Not advisable if you don't live in a safe area but, y'know, you can die anytime anywhere so why not? Or you can do something else that doesn't involve leaving the house. If I couldn't sleep, I would sometimes thoroughly tidy the kitchen (quietly, of course) or organise my clothes for the next day.

Oh yeah - organise your stuff for the next day! I'm not great at doing this but it's important! I can't tell you how many times I had to walk all the way back to my flat to pick up something I forgot. A checklist can help.

Work in short bursts. I sometimes use the pomodoro technique. If music helps you reach a flow state then use it but if it's too distracting then just monotask.

Don't hesitate to ask for support from disability services. Don't let pride **** you over. Take whatever support you can get because I guarantee that you ain't the only one and even the neurotypicals need loads of help and asspats.

And never ever join a fraternity or some stupid thing like that because it's dumb and really cringey. Seriously, I didn't know that was even a thing in my country and it was really awkward and embarrassing.

That's all I can think of right now.

07-22-17, 01:57 PM

then getting thrown out