Students, watch for the ADHD SNEAK ATTACK: 3 tips to ‘hang in there' this semester

Beware, Halloween is here, and if ADHD symptoms have snuck up on you, it is time to face the reality and take charge.

You were doing fine, your systems were working, your strategies seemed on point, and suddenly, now, you find yourself struggling.

You are not keeping up and you don’t want to admit the truth. You wanted this semester to be different and you can feel the ghosts of the past start to creep up on you.

First, it was that one paper, then a midterm surprised you, and now you realize the readings are too many to catch up on. The more you think about it, the more stressed you get. And now you can’t see a way out.

You desperately wish you could go back in time, head out on the highway, or hide in a Netflix series. If this sounds familiar, stop. Just stop now and take a breath.

Here are our top tips to “hold it together” and make it through:

Student Tips Facebook1. Get help right now.

It certainly feels awful to have to reach out and say “I am in trouble”. We know that all you want is to not be behind and to not be stuck in this (familiar?) spot. But, there is still time to strategize, if you face the truth with your support team. Reach out now, over email, over the phone. Go see counseling services at your school. Avoiding the truth always makes it worse. And remember, the same part of the brain that regulates your emotions controls your executive functions. So, the stress you are feeling is making it even more difficult to focus.

2. Hide in the library.

Find a place hidden from any distractions. Go early and stay late. Use classical music, chunk up tasks and don’t let yourself take a break until you get a section done. Get some momentum. Make a step, make progress. Once you start and get into it, your anxiety will come down, and you will be able to keep at it. Stick to those habits and whatever you do, don’t give up.

3. Get strategic.

Break down your classes and figure out what you need to do to pull it off. What is weighted the most heavily? What will be the best use of your energy? Perhaps chunk up each course on a whiteboard, or meet with a friend and walk through where you are at. The one advantage of ADHD is hyper-focusing for many people. Take advantage of this feeling of urgency and try to knock out a few prioritized tasks. Now is the time to “think outside of the box” and figure out a way.


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