5 Secrets for Surviving Freshman Year with ADHD

Solid advice for (parents of) new college students with ADHD.

Parents, do you have a college freshman that you’re worried about? We asked our coaches what is the one piece of advice for a new college student to share with your student.

And a tip to get them to read it. Don’t them send a link to this page.  Instead, why not send it using good old-fashioned snail mail.  We’ve included it as a pdf to make it easier for you to print.

They may not read your email or pay attention to you on Facebook, but everyone loves getting letters, right?

Print out the PDF to mail to your student here: 5 Secrets to Surviving Freshman Year with ADHD


5 Secrets to Surviving Freshman Year with ADHD

  1. Give yourself a break. Take a smaller load of classes or do fewer extracurricular activities the first semester. Lightening your load will help ease the transition into the new responsibilities of college life.
  2. Advocate for yourself. If you don’t understand what is being taught, ask the professor for help (after class or during office hours). Check with student services about tutoring. Get together with classmates for group study.  Ask for help from someone who has previously taken the course.
  3. Don’t fall behind. The longer you wait to get help, the more difficult it is to catch up.  If you are running behind completing a paper or project, let the professor know – she will be more cooperative in working out a solution than if you wait until the deadline.
  4. Make ‘done’ your favorite four letter word.  Regardless of how long you spend working on a paper or project, it will never be perfect. Good enough allows it to be done! Just do it!
  5. Scout ahead for pitfalls.  Find a sophomore (ideally with ADD) at your school and ask him what he would have done differently if he’d had another shot at first year.

This is a new adventure in your life, work hard, play hard and enjoy it!  You can have fun and good marks as long as you keep up with the work “little bit by little bit.” Remember the tortoise won the race— all things in balance!


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  1. Denise

    Loved your idea of printing off the college advice and mailing it in snail mail with a letter
    to the college student. Students love mail, especially away from home for the first time.