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ADD and College.

ADD and College.2014-04-27T22:57:27+00:00
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    So I found out I had ADD my freshman year of college (I am now a junior), and it was such a relief! If you take the story from the video posted about the stages you go through after being diagnosed, I was clearly a perfect match. Unfortunately, I am now stuck trying to learn how to cope, and get through college with this new news. I have been trying therapy, tried the free coaching offered by the school, get services through disabilities support services and done hours and hours of research on therapies, coaching techniques, coping, knic knacks that could help me focus or stay on task. However, none of this has made too much of a dent on my grades. Sure I have gotten happier (woo!), but if I drop out of college that happiness will go away. Not trying to sound too much of a sob story! There has been amazing progress with so many other aspects of my life, its just school keeps suffering. I need advice, motivation, and some tips and tricks of the trade. How to find a coach that will actually be helpful, how to be motivated to clean, how to not impulse buy every time I see a sale, how to remember that I have a project due and to actually get it done when I do remember. It seems I get into a good system of doing things, writing things in my planner, checking it, color coding my planner, making a schedule, cleaning on certain nights of the week, actually remembering to brush my teeth, then all of a sudden something changes. Messes up the system. and BOOM. I’m done. Nothing else gets done, and I’m stuck. Can’t get back on track. I believe part of the problem has been my major, Computer Science. I love to program, but sitting at a computer for hours isn’t something I can handle. I’ve had unbelievable bad luck with professors, and I think its time to change majors. Other then that, I’m stuck on what changes I should make. Any advice is much appreciated! I hope this post at least made some sense to people. Hopefully my fellow ADDers can follow the rambling!!


    Post count: 906


    First, I would suggest that you stop spending “hours and hours” on ADHD research. You are probably just going around in circles and overloading your brain with information you don’t necessarily need right now. Just give it a rest for a little while and free up some more time, and mental energy, for the studying you need to do. Keeping your grades up is more important right now. You can spend more time learning about ADHD later.

    Before you change majors make sure that you aren’t just setting yourself up to fail again. You will still have the same ADHD related challenges no matter what you are studying.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t do it if you want to. Just be aware that it won’t necessarily solve all of your problems.

    Also, if you love what you are doing, then maybe you can figure out a way to cope with the problem of having to sit at the computer for long periods of time. For example, it might help if you use a laptop so that you can move around and work in different locations. Taking more frequent breaks, making sure you have plenty of water to drink, snacking on healthy foods, etc. can also help.

    Have you tried medication? If not it may give you the extra push you need. But it isn’t for everyone.

    I am very familiar with the “BOOM”. It happens frequently, to all of us. What you have to try to do is pick yourself up after you slam into that wall, brush the dust off, and keep moving. I know it’s easier said than done. But you need to keep things in perspective and ask yourself what that one thing that changed really means. Does it really mean that you have to go completely off track? Or can you work around it? Focus on the solution, not the problem, and get back on track as quickly as you can.

    As for getting motivated to clean and not buying out the whole store whenever there is a sale…..

    Good luck with that. 😉





    Post count: 11


    I also found out that I had ADD during my post-secondary years. My diagnosis followed the events that made me decide to switch majors; at first I had no idea what I wanted to switch to. I went to the university’s counselling centre to see a career counsellor, who helped me get an idea of what fields meshed well with my interests. The career counsellor was also the first person to see the signs of my ADD, which led to my diagnosis; your diagnosis might be something that you could bring up if you meet with this kind of counsellor. It is important to note that none of what they tell you is an absolute – one of the fields that meshed the best with my interests was healthcare, which was the field I had just decided to get out of…

    One thing that I struggle with is doing so much planning and research that I never get started. I’ll use a metaphor: I spend so much time figuring out where to put my pieces in order to get a good start and researching how to play the game that I never actually start playing. Research is a great tool, but I know that it is possible to do too much.

    Like yourself, I am also a frequent victim of the “BOOM”. If I don’t force myself to re-adopt the systems that I had in place within a day, I often fall completely off track. I’m actually in that off-track state right now.

    As for the actual schoolwork, I would try to build a support network. I’m pretty sure that I had to work with several different people in order to get the grades that I did – I worked with a tutor/TA at the math learning centre, went to some extra tutorials, and kept in touch with one or two classmates. When I got the weekly assignments, I could use all three of these resources in order to get them done properly with time to spare.

    I can’t offer any advice on impulse spending or consistent cleaning routines, because I am still prone to the former and have not established the latter.

    Apologies for the flood of words, and best of luck!


    Post count: 845

    I got a computer science degree 40 years ago.  I started in mechanical engineering, switched to math (the then way to get a CS degree), and graduated in computer science.  I’m sure the curriculum is vastly different now.  I found it interesting mostly, so I could hyper focus a lot of the time.  Also, things could become extremely interesting the night before due.

    Having a high IQ helped me slide through in a way similar to the way many slide through high school, just getting by.  But I did graduate.


    @Blackdog has some good points for you to consider.  By now from your reading, you should know what coping strategies are.  Sit down, figure out what gives you problems, and develop your own strategies.  Don’t come up with something “impossible”, just something that pushes you in the right direction.  Something do-able.

    For money management and impulse buying:


    Time to pet the cat, good luck.

    Oh, if anyone read the link, the ships are still in the boxes.

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