Christine MacInnis, LMFT
Managed Through High School But College Is Killing You? This May Be Why...
Let's see if this sounds like you. You got decent grades but at times you would forget to turn in work you completed and focusing on the teacher was always a struggle. Work that was difficult and challenging but interested you got done but busy work, like worksheets? Forget about it. At the bottom of your backpack at all times. Deadlines were the worst; especially on long term projects. You grew to dread them. If you loved a class or teacher it was an easy A. If it was boring? You were looking at a B on a good day.
What if I told you this sounds a lot like ADHD(Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)? Yes, that diagnosis they gave that kid that bounced off the walls in kindergarten. What if you have been dealing with is all along but now the unstructured life of college is destroying you. You are not alone. There are many who go undiagnosed with ADHD every year because they learn to cope or what we in the field of affirmative neurodiversity therapy like to call masking. You learned all the tricks you needed to get by and the structure of high school worked for you rather than against you so you went unnoticed by teachers as having a problem. You are also highly intelligent so you learned how to get by. But now you find the lack of structure is causing you to miss work and important deadlines. The classes you have to take to graduate that don't interest you are a chore. What can you do? Here are five tips to helping you survive college if you are an undiagnosed ADHD person.
1- Get diagnosed by an appropriate clinician. Here at Transcends Family Therapy, we have clinicians who can give you a short and easy assessment to see if you truly have ADHD or if you are dealing with other educational issues. You need to know what you are working with so you can get the appropriate supports.
2-Bring your results to your college disability program to get a 504 support plan. This is an individualized plan that allows you certain accommodations to make college more bearable for you. This could be extra time on tests or projects or tutoring at the center. It is tailored to help you.
3- Work with an ADHD coach or therapist to teach you the skills you need to work with your ADHD, not against it. They can provide you the necessary tools to be more successful.
4- Have self-acceptance about your unique learning needs and how you best fuction in your world. ADHD can be a wonderful gift once you learn the best way to use your unique gifts and talents.
5-Find your supports! There are tons of support groups, Facebook groups and Youtube information out there to show you others who are also living and thriving with ADHD. You just need to search it out. The folks here at Transcends Family Therapy not only know about this particular neuro-type, they also have lived experience with it themselves. We are here to help you thrive!