Can ADHD and College Go Together?

September 8, 2016

Can ADHD and College Go Together?

Recently, I have been diagnosed with ADHD. A couple of years ago, I gained a bachelor’s degree in linguistics and completed my education in the sphere of software development. Yes, I managed to do it even with ADHD.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that ADHD in college is a great challenge. Here, I’m going to share some of the effective techniques that helped me overcome focus issues and achieve academic success. 

1. Pomodoro Timer was my best friend.

This technique is becoming increasingly popular among those who are struggling to combine college and ADHD. It is very simple but highly effective – all you need to do is take a five-minute break after each 25 minutes of intensive work. 
I did EVERYTHING this way. I mean it. Whether I was programming, writing an essay or reading a book, I knew I had only 25 minutes until the next deadline. This helped me stay focused. 
Pomodoro Timer also helps avoid a common mistake among people with ADHD. Most of you think that procrastination is our biggest enemy, but in fact we need it! So, with this technique, you’ve got both – pressure for good concentration and rest. 

 2. I chose the disciplines I was fond of.

This is quite obvious, I hope. Whether you have ADHD or not, studying requires a lot of efforts, so you have to be really passionate about the things you choose for your future major. 
In my case, I realized I liked some things in the programming course, but it was not my true passion. So, I figured a postgraduate diploma was enough for me. Still, I had to spend so much time on commuting, working in a lab, and so on… By the time the exams came, I was so frustrated I hated myself. 
It was totally different with linguistics. I loved it, went extra mile, and was absolutely proud of my efforts. The lectures were interesting, the dissertation was real fun (how often do you hear that?), so I tried to stay super focused.

3. I took notes. With a pen.

Yes, without a laptop. I basically took a pen and wrote everything down into a notebook (with paper pages). 
This is effective because you have to think before putting something down. This helps you concentrate and, as a result, understand new material better. Additionally, I would use colored pens to draw graphs and diagrams, and make notes. This was fun and kind of relaxing…
I was surprised at how much my grades improved!

4. I had one place for all my notes (Well, I did my best to).

Frankly speaking, my notes were scattered everywhere. I always forgot to bring my notebook, a pen or something else… You won’t believe it, but I still keep finding some of my college notes. This is what you should not do. 
To avoid such a mess, you can use numerous applications which are available on the Internet. For instance, Scannable app. You can scan your handwritten notes and store them in one place! Believe me, you’ll be happy you used this app if you have revise for the exams.

If you have ADHD, you are not doomed. All you need in order to get a degree is to learn some discipline and try to manage your time! Hope all these pieces of advice will be useful to you. Study what you really like, show some dedication, and you’ll succeed. 


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