If you are an adult with ADHD and want to pursue college, you might feel like it will be difficult to graduate. Adult ADHD counseling is one tool available to help adults with ADHD have a positive and successful college experience.
With a formal diagnosis of ADHD, you have more resources at your disposal, one of which is your college's disability services. Many people with ADHD or other conditions want to hide their condition, which often leads to them not utilizing the available services that could increase their college success. Your counselor can contact disability services to tell them what accommodations you need for assignments and tests. For example, you might need extra time on tests and quizzes. Instructors might allow you to get up and walk around for a few minutes outside the classroom as long as you don't take any notes with you. Some people with ADHD do better in the classroom environment if they have a fidget toy, which could help them make it through a lengthy lecture or exam.
A counselor can teach you study skills that might keep you more focused so you can retain information and stay consistent with completing assignments. Part of good study skills will be allowing yourself more time to study and breaking study sessions into smaller chunks. People with ADHD may find it is difficult to study for extended periods without losing focus. Once you recognize your unique attention span, you can schedule study sessions based on your needs. If you dedicate an hour to studying a subject, you might study for 10-15 minutes and take a 5-minute break. During your break, you might want to exercise or do some other physical activity that helps diminish hyperactivity before returning to another 10-15 minute session of studying.
Counselors can give you strategies to take notes that make sense and increase your focus on the material. Some people with ADHD might benefit from technology, such as audio recordings or dictation software. This allows them to replay the lesson when they are more focused or they can go back and fill in gaps in their notes. Having adequate space to take notes is also valuable for those with ADHD. Your counselor will likely recommend you use a large notebook or binder for each class so you have many blank pages and are not squeezing information into a small space. The most important aspect of note-taking with ADHD is developing an organizational strategy that works best for your needs. This could include color-coding information by using different colored pens, adding symbols to information, or using organizational software for notes.
Seeking counseling if you are an adult with ADHD is one of the first steps to a successful college career. There are various techniques and accommodations that can make college easier and increase your chance of graduation. For more information on adult ADHD counseling, contact a professional near you.