10 Ways To Make College Life Easier With ADHD

10 Ways To Make College Life Easier With ADHD

With a little organization, your schedule will be so much smoother.

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I have lived with ADHD my entire life. Just like many other people have, and I am sure they would tell you that it presents some obstacles. In elementary, middle, and high school I felt like I really owned my disability. I had it locked down. So naturally, I thought college would be different, but still a breeze when it came to cope with my ADHD.

I was wrong! College doesn't provide the schedule I was used to. The professors are amazing and willing to help, but they also have a ton of other students. Way more than my high school teachers had. My first semester was rough. I struggled to schedule my homework, class, work and social life. so here I will outline ten ways to be successful in college with a learning disability. However, these tips can help anyone!

1. Keep an organized planner

Keeping an organized planner is essential. In my planner, I plan far ahead in the calendar section. Stuff like test dates, quizzes, events, and projects. In the weekly section, I put all of my up and comings, like homework, when to do laundry, my workout schedule, and my work schedule. It helps a lot to see my week laid out. It keeps me responsible and on top of what I need to do.

2. Keep a clean living space

My first semester, I put organized living on the back burner. I didn't realize that it stressed me out subconsciously. I typically do my everyday homework in my room, so having a nice space is crucial. I usually dedicate about fifteen minutes a day to tidy up. Living in a dorm, my space tends to get messy within about a day, so doing the small things like making my bed every day and doing my dishes. Having a clean room to come home to is a great feeling and lessens my stress after a very busy day of classes.

3. Study for test outside of your room

Doing your homework inside your room is fine. However, tests are a different story. I find it really helpful to use a study room. The space doesn't have a lot of distractions and usually, I choose one near other resources that help with studying.

4. Study in a group

Sometimes you don't know all of the material that your peers do. Also, it helps to teach each other the material. It's been proven that teaching is the best way to learn material. Usually, I have classes with a few of my friends, so learning and teaching material with them is extremely beneficial.

5. Make a schedule that works best for you

Do not overcrowd your schedule. Your life will kind of revolve around your schedule. So, make sure it doesn't stress you out. I would highly recommend not taking classes early in the morning. You might think it will be easy for you to get up that early because we've been doing that all of high school. However, here you have to walk to classes. Sometimes your classes are far away. So, make sure you take that into account as well. Try to walk your classes and make sure you haven't scheduled them to close together.

Also, keep in mind that huge breaks between classes might not be a great idea. I tend to want to go home between classes if I can and sometimes that gives me an excuse not to go. Just do what you know you can handle, my best advice was don't be too ambitious with scheduling at the start, you can always add classes if you think you can handle more. Also for the video I linked above if you want some more information I'd skip to around three-minute mark.

6. Use your resources

Colleges have a lot of great resources for people with learning disabilities and a ton of other resources for everyone. I find tutoring extremely helpful, and you can find a lot of it online. So, if you have breaks in your day I would recommend going and getting some extra help.

7. Get ready the night before

Rushing to get ready and get all of your class supplies in the morning is no fun. However, a great way to get rid of some of that stress is to prepare the night before. I always lay out what I am going to wear the next day and pack my backpack before I go to sleep. I also recommend making it part of your nightly routine to plug in all of your technology. Nothing is worse than having a dead phone or computer when you have class all day.

8. Ask for help

I know sometimes I feel awkward when I don't understand whats going on, but I have learned to always reach out when I need help. Professors and TAs have office hours so use them! Most of the time if you are busy during their office hours they can set up another time to meet with you. Talking to an expert on the subject that's confusing you is extremely helpful. that being said, sometimes you can't get there with your schedule. Ask a classmate! they might not be as knowledgeable as your professor but they might have the answers you are looking for. You can always look into getting a tutor if you are struggling with the materials.

9. Make plans ahead of time

I love having a good time with friends but sometimes those plans can interfere with my school work if I don't watch out! If you make plans ahead of time then you can do your work early. Put it in your planner! I have to admit sometimes I grab dinner or go out last minute, but I always feel like I should be doing the work I haven't finished yet. when you make sure to have your work done before leaving for the night you feel so much better. Planning your nights might seem redundant or annoying to you and your friends but I promise it will get rid of a lot of stress. You won't be rushing to get work done and you won't be thinking about school work while you're having fun!

10. Learn to say no!

Sometimes I get stressed out because I have too much going on. So, if you feel that way start saying no to what you ca not handle at the moment. If you have too much homework and your friends want to go out then maybe you should stay in. It could also be telling yourself "no, when you want to stay up until 4 a.m to watch Netflix, when you have class at 8 in the morning! College is a great time, so you should try to involve yourself in as many opportunities as you can. However, if you feel as if you have been stretched too thin, say no for a while and cut back on what you can't handle.

I hope these tips help you out! I have found all of them extremely helpful in my everyday life. They might not all work for you, that's okay. Try them out and see which ones do! If I've learned one thing, it's to do what works best for you and your personal preferences.

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6 Things I Didn't Really Need in My Freshman Dorm, And 6 Things I Wish I Brought Instead

I promise you, being Pinterest-worthy just doesn't make sense in a dorm.
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As I packed up my dorm room and unpacked it all once I got home, I kinda felt stupid. I moved in with 2 cars full of stuff (yes, I know how extra that sounds and yes, it was indeed that extra) and I didn't end up needing half of it. Now, I'm swimming in stuff I need to get rid of while holding on to the stuff I didn't realize I would need and ended up buying mid-year. No matter how much you think you know everything, first-time dorm residents, please listen.

6 things I DIDN'T need but swore I did

1. All my personal books

I mean, I'm an English major and I love to read, but no one, and I mean no one, A) has free time and B) uses that free time to read in college.

2. Keurig

There's a coffee shop I can use my cafe credits at on my way to class. I never woke up early enough to brew my own coffee, and I never craved it bad enough in the afternoon to feel like I needed to make my own immediately. It was nice to make tea with though.

3. Dishes and Silverware/Excessive Mugs

All you need is 1 mug and a couple of water bottles. I promise you paper plates and plastic silverware are all you need.

4. An overabundance of office supplies

I didn't use all those fancy office supplies in high school, so as much as I love them, I have yet to reach for them in college.

5. T.V.

The T.V. I had was only slightly bigger than my laptop screen and the wifi at my dorm wasn't good enough for streaming. I hardly used it, but I know others used theirs a lot. Just a personal preference!

6. Tons of wall art

I totally believe wall art has the power to make a dorm room feel less institutional, but I wish I had brought more pictures from home to make my room personal. Pinterest dorm rooms just aren't real, and they aren't what you want when you're homesick.

6 things I wish I had bought before school started

1. ID Lanyard

I personally love these ones from Vera Bradley , but honestly, any way you can carry your ID, money, and keys all in one is a life changer.

2. Earplugs / Eye Mask

Dorms are loud even during quiet hours and sometimes your roommate stays up later or gets up earlier than you do. Amazon couldn't ship these to me fast enough.

3. Wireless Headphones/Earbuds

Personally, I'm an earbuds girl, but either one does the trick. It's nice to not have to deal with cords and to be able to connect to any of your devices without an adapter.

4. Laptop Shell/Stickers

Almost everyone ends up ordering stickers to put on their laptop to express themselves to those around them. On a practical level though, you're probably going to have the same laptop as 5+ other students in your lecture and you will probably throw your laptop in a bag and run at some point. A shell and some stickers will provide more protection than you realize. Check out RedBubble for some great options.

5. Small vacuum

This is especially important if you get a rug. Sweeping is not pleasant, and the vacuums at your dorm are probably older than you are.

6. Pictures from home

Like I said before, wall art isn't going to comfort you when you want to go home. A picture of your dog or best friend sure will though.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Gherna

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College Made Me Feel Like I Can't Have Free Time

Every second that I do have free, I feel like I need to be working on some type of homework.

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There's no doubt that college is taxing on most student's mental health. You get to the point where you feel stressed about even breathing. I have hit the point where I feel like I'm permanently affected by the stress that I've dealt with this semester.

I used to have so much free time. Even in my other semesters, I had time to hang out with my friends, work, and even be lazy when I wanted to be.

I was still a good student, I got all my assignments done on time and I worked hard on them, but I never really had an overwhelming workload.

That is, until this semester. I got to a point where work was overwhelming, I was working longer hours than I was used to, and having to spend every second that I wasn't in class or at work doing homework, whether it was just lengthy math problems or writing multiple essays or scripts.

After months of being in this habit, when my workload from both work and school died down and I actually had free time, I didn't know what to do with myself.

When my friends were busy and I just wanted a relaxing day at home, since I felt like I deserved it, I would try to just lay down and rest, either reading a good book or catching up on all the shows that my stress had caused me to miss.

But there was always a voice in the back of my head reminding me of every upcoming assignment. I would start thinking about the essay due the next week, or a test that I could be studying for ahead of time.

That voice kept telling me I was being unproductive and wasting my time if I wasn't getting ahead on school work when I finally had the time.

And so I'm still in a position, at the end of the semester, where I feel like I'm wasting my time every time I lay down and just want to take a nap because I'm exhausted from running between work and school. I'm trying to fight myself and tell myself that I am allowed to be lazy for at least a little bit, and I don't need to be constantly working.

Hopefully, that voice wins over, especially with summer coming up. With all of the free time, I'll have since I won't have to stress about school, hopefully, I'll be able to better balance my busy days with my lazy days.

I know this is probably an issue for many college students who are overwhelmed with everything that they have to do. Hopefully, summer break is a nice break for all of us and it gives us the chance to get the free time that we all deserve for surviving this semester, and the school year overall.

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