Smoothing the Transition from Summer to College When You Have ADHD

For a student with ADHD, summer offers a calmer, slower pace, free from the demands of study and homework. Making the transition back into school can be difficult, particularly for college-bound students where the demands and stresses are much higher.

If you are in this group, below are some things you can do to ease the transition.

  • Have a plan and stick to it. Don’t leave any of the myriad transition details to chance or memory. If you need assistance following through, enlist friends or family for help.
  • Take care of the enrollment details early and be sure everything that might need to be filled out, signed, paid for and / or mailed is done. Using a checklist with tasks and due dates is a good idea to make sure these important but boring details don’t get overlooked.
  • Get your class selection and registration done early.  Courses you want to take can quickly fill up and you could be stuck making choices that are less appropriate for what you are trying to achieve in college.
  • Being an early bird is also important if you are planning to work while you go to school. Part time job openings typically go quickly in a college town. Research job openings and apply well in advance.
  • If you are attending college away from home, get to your college destination early so you can identify the essential elements of the neighborhood near your dormitory or apartment. This includes things like grocery store, laundromat and bank. Also identify the public transportation routes and schedules available to and from the campus.
  • Get your living space organized early so you won’t feel oppressed and paralyzed by the clutter that inevitably comes when first moving into a new dwelling.
  • Get your computer, printer and Internet connection set up and working. You want to hit the ground running once classes start and not be bogged down trying to diagnose and fix technology problems.
  • Take your schedule to the campus bookstore and find your textbooks before the first week of classes, when it becomes a madhouse.

Parents can play a key role in getting their college-bound child organized before classes start.  Working with your child to develop a  plan and checklist can make the transition go much more smoothly.

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