ADHD and the College Environment

For those that have been public schooled, that amount of freedom you get as you enter into college can, in a sense, be overwhelming.  For those with ADHD? Even more so. No longer are you being guided along by your teachers and parents to get up at 7 in the morning, show up to class on time, do class work, go home, do homework, go to bed on time, and prepare for a test at the end of the week. If you’re a full-time student, you’re taking 4 or 5 courses per semester, each at different times of the day and on different days of the week. Instead of homework, you’re given project and test deadlines, some not being due until weeks into the semester. Reading and working out problems in your textbook are optional, but you’ll be expected most, if not all, of it by the time finals come around.

This is something that many homeschoolers have already had to come to learn how to manage after years of fighting it out with their parents until they finally figured out how to do it all on their own. If anything, homeschoolers are prepared for the college environment. So if you’re one with ADHD, how do you prepare yourself for the college environment? The suggestion that an article on Contemporary Pediatrics makes is a simple one: learn to be independent and be determined to move forward. The article is really aimed towards pediatricians, but you can gain something from it as well.

The important thing is to never use your disability as a crutch. In a society that believes in making victims of everyone, it’s easy to look at the circumstances that we’re put into and say to ourselves “this is why I’m this way and there’s nothing that can change that”. We were made with faults so that we could learn to overcome them. For instance, just because someone is born with the tendency to become an alcoholic, it doesn’t mean he has to to live his life as an alcoholic. That man just has to choose not to drink. Adapting to the college environment may be more difficult for you than others, but that just means that you’ll have to work harder than most; and in the end, that says more about you than anything.