A Message For Students
By: Jon Thomas, EdD, and Pamela Barton
First Day of College! … Ready?
So, you’ve negotiated the hardships (and maybe embraced the “gifts”) of ADHD and look to graduating high school in the near future. It’s pretty common about now to get lulled into thinking success in high school predicts success in college; it doesn’t. But if college is your next step, you have plenty of time to ready yourself for success, especially if you start now.
Even though you may be eagerly anticipating that great on-your-own adventure known as “college,” at some level, you might have a tiny voice pushing a few questions into your conscious thoughts, such as, “Am I ready? Will I do well? What do I need to focus on to be successful? What kind of help might need? From whom? What might go wrong?”
“Not really,” you say? Well, perhaps a bit later as your departure date draws closer. If so, you are like most students, who report at least a few of these nagging concerns. Keep in mind, how you do in the first few weeks of college bears strongly on how you will progress and how (or whether) you will ultimately complete college. So addressing these concerns as they nag louder is a great idea.
You may have also heard about the high rate of college failure among students with ADHD, especially in the first year. So what can you do about it?
The best thing you can do is to begin now to think consciously about some of the aforementioned questions and begin to gather some answers.
Where do you get this info? One way is to begin to familiarize yourself with your college’s web site. There you can find everything you need to know about resources, campus life and structure, social and group possibilities and any needed services. In a way, familiarizing yourself with the web site is kind of like visiting the college before you arrive. And a lot of students with ADHD deal better with transition when they know more about what they are getting into.
Next, read some articles about college transition (a few are listed on the sidebar of this web site), especially those written through the eyes of some of your peers with ADHD. (Check back here in a few weeks for a great article on this.) You can use Google to find others.
If you feel ambitious, there are many excellent books on the subject of ADHD and college at Amazon.
Consider taking a college readiness course for students with ADHD. (More info on our own course is available on this web site.)
You have taken a step in this education process by reading this brief article. Continue to take additional steps. Do something each week. Anything you can do that raises your awareness on this subject will help.
Keep up the good work and thanks for reading. See you next week!
Dr. Jon Thomas, LPC