It’s back-to-school time, as the fall semester has begun. College students are gearing up for the return of late-night cram sessions, the countless hours spent studying, and the inevitable anxiety that goes along with acing exams. Distractions come up, like parties or concerts, and social influences may not exactly support a productive lifestyle throughout the first few weeks of school. For students with learning disabilities or mental health concerns, like ADHD, the start of the fall semester can be even more difficult to navigate. College students with ADHD should consider these suggestions as they adapt to a new routine for a successful school year.
College students with ADHD should figure out what supportive services or resources their school has to offer. Almost all colleges and universities accommodate students with learning disabilities at a campus based disability resource center or a student services office. Additional mental health counseling and campus health insurance may be available as well. It is important for college students with ADHD to establish a relationship with campus resource centers at the start of the fall semester, so that they can learn about and utilize any assistance before things possibly go wrong. Unlike in high school, where a counselor will work to make special arrangements for test taking or managing assignments, in college, students have to advocate for themselves.
College may be the first time that a student with ADHD has to introduce themselves and their learning disability to the teaching staff. Without receiving an IEP, which documents the educational constructs and goals for people with a learning disability, teaching staff does not know which students struggle with a learning disability. College students with ADHD should be upfront with their professors about the need for special accommodations. Open the lines of communication with a simple email or schedule an office visit at the beginning of the year. Students with ADHD should also feel comfortable sharing the difficulties they are experiencing throughout the semester, and continue seeking support from their educators. This could mean asking a teacher to help break down a long term project into shorter, achievable goals, or scheduling regular office visits to go over the notes from large group lectures.
Adapting to college life often means that everything changes. For example, college can include a new living situation, different social experiences, and fresh opportunities for personal growth. While all of this change may be good, making alterations to a regular therapeutic treatment plan is not a great idea. If you have felt positive effects from a treatment plan for ADHD, you should continue to adhere to the plan while you are in college. Stay consistent with any psychiatric medications you are prescribed. Connect with your counselor, and opt for additional experiential therapies like yoga or meditation.
If you are a college student with ADHD and living on campus, you may run into difficulties like managing your time, scheduling a routine, and adapting to the responsibilities it takes to live outside of your parent’s home. Services, like the Supported Apartment Life Skills at Yellowbrick, allow students with mental health concerns like ADHD to live independently, yet also receive in-home individualized guidance from professional providers. Having a home visitor can help a college student with ADHD execute a consistent study plan and figure out how to plan for a steady routine.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.