Many college students with attention deficit disorder find college easier than high school. After having to get up at the break of dawn to sit through 6-8 classes, taking 3-4 classes can feel like a luxury. And some colleges offer the choice of classes later in the day, which can be an added benefit for students who have a terrible time getting up in the morning.
College classes, however, are likely to be more demanding than high school courses and require self-motivation and independence. Difficulties with organizing, planning, and following through are symptoms of ADD/ADHD and can make keeping track of all the required readings, papers, quizzes, and tests even more challenging.
One old-fashioned strategy that is incredibly helpful is to keep a master calendar where you can see a month in advance. It takes a little time, but the idea is to go through all of your classes and input ahead of time everything that is due. You can choose to keep track of a month at a time or the entire quarter/semester, whatever works best for you. And it doesn’t really matter whether you choose a paper or a digital calendar, but the view has to be big enough to show the entire month.
The benefit of doing this is that you can see the whole picture. (And of course it’s important to check it on a daily basis. It’s easy to forget, so most of my clients set reminder alarms on their cell phones.)
A master calendar can show that a particular week is going to be really heavy with papers due in two classes and a test in the third. Being able to see this ahead of time can help reassure you that you won’t be taken by surprise and will help with a plan for studying. On the other hand, a master calendar can show light weeks coming up which can be a huge stress reliever if you’re feeling overwhelmed and have no idea when you’re going to find the time to get everything done.
As an ADHD coach who specializes in college students, I have been coaching students in colleges all over the country by phone since 2003. If you or your child could use some extra support, please contact me below for a free consultation. I would love to talk with you.