3 Stress-Busting Tips for Learning with ADHD in College

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ADHD in college might sound like something you just don’t need. Let’s face it: college by itself is full of distractions. With the sports events, the clubs, and possibly a job, it’s hard enough to concentrate on your studies as it is. Adding ADHD to the mix just sounds overwhelming.

While it is true that time management can be a challenge in college, having ADHD does not have to make it impossible.

In this article, we outline some quick study tips to help make ADHD in college less of a distraction. College can be a fun time in your life to learn and grow as a person. Utilize these tips and others to maximize your college days to also learn how to manage ADHD well. 

ADHD in College Tip #1: Learn with Speed

Utilizing speed and repetition will revolutionize your learning process especially if you are dealing with ADHD in college. Learning with speed might sound contradictory, but it is actually a helpful practice. How it works is that you don’t let yourself get bogged down in studying large amounts of material. Instead focus on small chunks and read them quickly in repetition.

For instance, when you are trying to digest a book. Try three quick reads in the same time it would take you to read it once slowly. While you scan, take special note of headings and the first and last sentences of paragraphs. Doing this will help you to focus on the most important aspects of what you are studying. This helps you learn more in the long run.

ADHD in College Tip #2: Use Reviewing to Build Memory 

Building a solid memory is critical to finding success with ADHD in college. To help conceptualize this, remember that forming a solid memory is like making a roadway in a forest.

The first time you read something it’s like cutting down trees. The second time you read is like laying down gravel, and third, like paving. Each time you rehearse information you are actually building, establishing, and reinforcing neural pathways in your brain.

When you fail to repeat, or the repetitions happen at greater intervals, it’s like the path is being overgrown. The memory becomes less discernible and accessible. To be successful, you want to continue to go back over the material and the road you have already covered. With reviewing, you are continually building up on the memory of what you are learning.

ADHD in College Tip #3: Review Daily to Start

To find success with ADHD in college, you need to do more than just review. You need to review daily until you have a good handle on something new. You should both review the things you learn each day, once later in the day, and also review the things you learned previously on a daily basis.

An example of applying this to a real world scenario is for a student to do a daily review of all the day’s material (that’s two times the brain sees it in one day). Then over the next 4 days the student is to quickly glance back over the same material each day.

After 4 straight days of reviewing, your reviews can then be spaced out a bit more. After a couple weeks all you need to do is a quick glance and the memory is recalled and strengthened.

This assures that you are going through all your material at least four times, which is hardwiring the memory. This will have you actually remember what you learn, and in the long run, may actually save you the time you’d otherwise be spending pulling an all-nighter or having to retake a test. 

Finding Success with ADHD in College

Learning and focusing with ADHD in college can be a challenge, but by implementing these steps you may find it’s not as difficult at you think. Just remember to always test yourself to make sure you are learning the material. Don’t assume you know anything. Research is even finding that the act of testing is one of the most useful techniques in causing memories to form.

Finding success with ADHD in college might not come easy, but it can be rewarding if you devote time and effort to the processes. College can be a time full of distractions. With work and planning, ADHD doesn’t have to be one of them.