Stories from the Edge: ADHD and homework

Editor’s Note:  Stories from the Edge are real life accounts about how an ADHD coach works – as told by the student receiving the coaching.  This is the second installment from Kelsey Peterson who is a junior at Parson’s School of Design.  You can read her first post here.  We asked Kelsey to tell us what she’s working on this month with her coach.

One thing I’m struggling with this month that my coach is helping me with is balance with my homework.

Handling the reading load for my classes is challenging

I am taking one design class and three lecture style classes. Even though the lecture classes are very interesting and I love going to them getting the reading done for them is hard. They all assign a lot of reading and I’m trying to schedule my weeks to block out time to do them. It’s easy for me to do my design homework and forget about the reading until the morning of that class or the night before.

Using a day planner to make time in my schedule for reading

My coach has been helping me look at my planner and assign blocks of time throughout the week to go to Starbucks or the library and read. It’s been going better but still hard to stick to my schedule at times. During the day my friends and I are all out going to class or hanging out in a similar neighborhood in Manhattan so it’s hard not to meet up and get a coffee with my friends in between classes instead of doing the reading. So I have been trying to balance time with my friends with homework.

Basically I came up with a game plan for one of my classes that meets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On Tuesdays we have a lecture and on Wednesdays a discussion class about the readings. So my new schedule is that I go to the lecture on Tuesday and do the reading right after so that the reading makes more sense to me and I’m still thinking about and digesting the lecture. This has been working really good and I’m still experimenting with the other classes and when the best time to get the reading for them is done.

When I look at my day planner with my coach I make sure to schedule things appropriately, for example I try hard to plan on doing my homework in the morning because I have mostly afternoon class and I like to hangout with my friends and my boyfriend after six. I don’t have time to hangout with my friends every evening but for the most part I’ve discovered what works best for me is to get up early and do as much as I can – and then after six have fun and relax.

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