Survival Guide for College Students with ADD / ADHD
March 16, 2016
ADHD / ADD affects between 8 and 16 million adults. At least 25% of college students with disabilities are diagnosed with ADHD. Students with ADHD also have lower GPAs more social concerns, emotional instability, and substance use.
Many students are first diagnosed with ADD / ADHD when they reach their freshman year of college. ADHD symptoms are often not observed until college for several reasons:
- The rigid structure of high school can help mitigate ADHD symptoms
- Students often have difficulty with the self-imposed structure in college
- Parents provide structure to the student when they live at home
Finding a new doctor
Students should consider switching to a doctor in their new college town if:
- They need a new medication or a change to an existing dosage
- The Student is planning on staying in area after they graduate
- There is an ADHD specialist in the area with experience in college age students
Recommendations for Scholarly Success
- Always attend “live” lectures. Online/televised classes can be used as supplement.
- Use small study groups with a maximum of five participants.
- Meet regularly with TAs and professors.
- Review tests and class notes.
- Seek accommodations such as tutoring.
- Apply through college’s Office of Student Disability Services (OSDS) to receive special assistance with instructions, extended time on tests, quiet testing locations, and help with notes.
Recommendations for Personal Success
- Have a structured study schedule and take breaks every 30-60 minutes.
- Seek stress reducing outlets such as intramural sports, social clubs, yoga, or support groups.
- Exercise regularly. For adults with ADHD, it’s a healthy way to burn off excess energy.
- Eat Well our diet should be rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. It should also include whole grains, lean protein, and healthy oils (olive oil, for example).
- Get as much sleep as possible, and set a sleep schedule.