Managing ADHD During the School Year

Tips and tricks for students who are struggling with ADHD in school.

Managing ADHD During the School Year (Getty Images)

The beginning of the academic year has always been a struggle for me. When I was 6 I was diagnosed with ADHD, widely known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which can be quite a challenge to manage. Although, as I’m heading into my second year of college (and unmediated), I have learned to carry on with it, while getting A’s and B’s. 

Here are some ideas that could help someone you know who is struggling or for yourself.

The “F*ck it. Might as well” method

This is an efficient method of productivity to trick your mind into something you want to do. One example that you might use this method in is, let’s say you have a lot of homework to do. You keep setting your brain into a time setting, ignore that time and actually listen to your brain. Start with a small task work and work yourself up to the big tasks. I do this when it comes to important projects I have to do and it works.

Treat yourself after doing the work

Many people with ADHD or even neurotypical (people who behave by the norm) folks love getting a treat after finishing all of their hard work. No matter what you deserve to finish something that has been it’s your schedule. This is a peculiar method and insanely positive for someone’s mood to grow. Every time you finish your homework buy yourself a treat, go outside, and buy ice cream or DoorDash Popeyes. It’s important for people to treat themselves with little things even if it’s just food.

Stop procrastinating

People with ADHD are masters at task avoidance. And most people procrastinate—let’s not lie. In order to get over procrastination when it comes to ADHD, set small goals when it comes to school work or homework and level yourself up. Try not to stress yourself out, especially when it comes to midterms and finals week. Something many people do with ADHD is to remove distractions. For example, put your phone on silent and try to ignore its existence.

Make a schedule

When it comes to making a schedule, it’s important to understand where you stand in time and how you are the only one timing yourself. One of my therapists taught me this when I was younger and now I use it when it’s time for the school year. When it comes to doing essays and presentations I try doing them in advance, like a few days or so just so my train could brain itself on the date that it’s due, which makes it easier. And if you can’t manage that, try setting up a timer for at least an hour of doing work.

Fidgeting is normal. Keep something with you.

If you get anxious during your classes, that’s completely normal. Most people fidget with their fingers or bounce their legs to get the stress out of their systems. If you have the money for it, try buying a fidget toy that soothes you but at the same time doesn’t distract you or your classmates. I recommend getting a small stress ball or cube stress.

@kellybaums Whats your favorite way to slow down to become a human being instead of a human doing? #adhdtips #adhdsupport #adhdcoach #adhdinwomen #neurospicy ♬ original sound – Kelly B

Ana G. Valdes (she/her) is an Oakland-based journalist who covers culture and entertainment, films and TV shows.

Edited by Nykeya Woods

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