Finals And ADHD
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Health and Wellness

Finals And ADHD

I'm might be freaking out a little over here.

Finals And ADHD
Raicheal Harper

The thing about finals when you have ADHD is not that you never paid attention during the semester or that you just don’t care about the results you earn. It’s about whether or not you’ll remember the right things at the right time. It’s about hoping you retain the things you’ve learned during the semester when you might have struggled all throughout high school with classes that gave you the slightest bit of trouble. I did well on essays and on anything that didn’t involve math or science- otherwise, for lack of a better word, I was certifiably screwed.

Anytime I have heard my professors mention when and where the exams are taking place, I have frantically grabbed my notebook and planner and scribbled down the information twice. I do not want to miss my finals just because I couldn’t remember where they were and, by some stroke of luck, I could not find them on my university’s website. I’m kind of freaking out a little bit this semester because it’s the first where all but one of my finals involves actually going to a classroom to take them. Most, if not all, of my classes last year had finals that were either submitted online or were done before finals week began. It was a little less stressful, I’m now realizing.

This has been my first full semester on medication and the first that I haven’t dropped any classes. Last year I dropped three total and managed to keep a decent GPA by taking a summer class to make up one of them. I was on medication for the last two weeks of my spring semester and the summer class was the first that I had taken while on medication the entire time. I got an A and was so excited to see that the medication was indeed helping. The first time I tried to take the class, I struggled so much that I felt hopeless and just stopped going (which is not the best thing to do, by the way).

However, ADHD medication is no magic trick. It’s not something that makes me superhuman when it comes to academic performance. I still suck at math, but not nearly as bad. I’ve been able to understand more of it than I have ever before and have managed to keep my head above water for the most part. Granted, having an appendectomy and taking a week to recover (because holy crap, that was painful) put a hold on things. But I’m still doing much better than I would have if I had taken the class last year.

I’ve managed to keep a pretty good list of what is expected from myself in the finals I’m taking as well and I know if I spend a good amount of time reviewing everything, I should (hopefully) do okay. I just have to study my way, which usually involves handwriting nearly anything that I want to stick. My notebooks are my best friend as well as my pens and highlighters. And those scented markers? The absolute best.

ADHD can be frustrating because you know the knowledge is there but it can be difficult to recall, especially during times when all of your classes are asking you to show what you’ve learned and how much you’ve learned. Even if it’s a final that involves only the last lesson or chapter or what have you, you’re still working with relatively new information and that can be difficult to lock away in your memory for safekeeping until test day. I tend to ask a lot of questions about something I don’t understand. Either that or I try to work it like a puzzle and move things around and switch them until it makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense, then I move on to the endless-question phase mentioned above (but only if I am absolutely tired of trying to figure it out on my own- I have a bad habit of not asking questions until it’s too late that I’m trying to work on).

This semester has been very different compared to my first two and I’m very happy about that. My disorder hasn’t caused me as nearly as much grief as it has before, thanks to both medication and the ways I’ve learned to manage it as of right now. I’m ready to finish strong, get to winter break, and start my fourth semester of college as soon as the time rolls around.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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