I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in fifth grade. Since then, I’ve always been at a constant battle with succeeding in school.

The conversation first arose when my fifth grade teacher privately spoke with my parents about how I had shown textbook signs of someone with ADHD. I would be transfixed with paper clips during lectures, have constant relentless movement, and always be in a hurry to finish quizzes and assignments, regardless of quality.

Even when I did my homework I’d sometimes forget to even turn it in.

I was fully conscious of my ADHD and how it was drastically affecting my academic performance when I got into high school. With large amounts of homework and things to keep track of, I was falling behind. My parents would do everything they could to keep me on track. They made sure I was taking my prescribed Adderall and keeping up with my assignments.

My freshman and sophomore year I slacked off and didn’t try all that hard. I wouldn’t sit down and study each night like my classmates, and with how the classes were structured, I figured out how to get by with getting decently good grades by doing the minimalist amount of effort I could.

To be honest, I never really actually learned how to study anything effectively until about three quarters of my way through my first year of college.

I’ve always been active and played all different types of sports; golf, baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, and competitive snowboarding. Sports like football, golf, and baseball were too slow paced for me and I’d get bored with them very quickly.

With baseball, I’d be in the outfield picking dandelions and throwing my glove in the air because no one could hit the ball as far out as I was. Then when it came to football, I could never memorize the plays or commit them to memory. Even though I’d always go to my coach after practice to ask questions, on top of studying the playbook in my free time, I could just never quite get it.

But I had a big passion for lacrosse. I loved the constant back and forth action, and I ended up playing for close to nine years.

Throughout my education, I’ve figured out ways to combat my ADHD and keep myself more organized and on top of things. I would never fill out the planner books given to me in middle and elementary school.

Learning from that mistake, I got a whiteboard and list out all my homework assignments for the week from the nearest due dates to the furthest. I also try to start assignments the day I get them so I at least have a start and could slowly chip away at them as the due dates got closer.

I’ve wanted to attend the University of Oregon since I was in sixth grade, and I realized my junior year I really needed to kick it into high gear to get my GPA up and start preparing for the SAT and ACT. Every time I’d be doing homework or doing SAT/ACT prep tutoring, It was a constant worry for me. Will I be able to get my GPA up? Am I going to completely bomb the tests? Will I even get into the UO?

All in all, I achieved what I wanted to achieve. I got my GPA up, graduated high school, got into the University of Oregon, and learned a lot more about myself as a person and what I’m capable of. Now that I’m here at school, I’m constantly motivated to work harder and take advantage of the opportunity I worked so hard to get.

I’m going to all my classes, staying on top of homework, and exploring all the options I have that can progress me as a student and help start my career as a journalist. Getting into college was my first goal I really wanted to achieve. Now, it’s graduating college and giving myself the best chances I can to succeed in my adult life.

I don’t want to waste any more time like I did in high school.