ADHD student

Almost everyone who has gotten to know me has said I’m very intelligent and I know this for a fact. My entire life has been in the pursuit of knowledge because I love learning with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Getting into college has been my goal for so long, I know that if I want to continue learning, college is the place for me. But I’m failing. I’m failing almost every single class I’m taking right now and it’s so bad that I don’t even know if I’ll be able to go to college for another semester. It’s that bad. I don’t know how I’m going to continue learning if my grades stay terrible. I want to go to grad school, maybe become a professor one day, but the organization and concentration part of it all is ruining my chances and it feels like some sick joke from the universe.


can you ask to record your lectures?

when i was in college i would record each lecture, so i could consentrate on listening without having to try and write it all down, just writing small notes on specific things i didn’t understand so i could ask the teacher at the end about them, then in the evening or at the weekend i would watch the lectures again, pausing it each time i needed to write down more detailed notes or stopping for a small break if i felt my concentration going, before starting the video again.

This worked really well for me, might be worth giving it a try :slightly_smiling_face:


my professors have recordings of the lectures available because of online school last year. My issue isn’t with retaining material, it’s with the showing that i learnt stuff part.


Welcome to the HowToADHD forums @Mandisa_Mudavanhu !

I worked at a university for the last 10 years. (I moved on to working at a hospital now.) The school I worked at would make accomodations for students who had diagnoses that included disabilities (physical or mental), learning disorders, autism/ASD, or ADHD. Typically, the accomodations would include note taking assistance or extra time on tests, but I remember hearing that some students got to use notes on tests, alternate assessments (such as responding to questions orally, instead of a written test).

Do you have an ADHD diagnosis? If so, have you notified the appropriate department at the school? (If you’re not sure who to go to, ask the Dean of Students Office.) Does your college make any such accomodations? What types of assistance or accommodations do you think would would help you?

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I have an ADHD diagnosis and I showed it to the office of disabilities and I’m in the process of getting accomodations for my finals (I have been since September) but I didn’t have them for the first 2 rounds of midterms so I failed those midterms and my grades are bad because of those


Public colleges and universities might be lenient towards a student with bad grades in one semester, particularly their first semester. The one I worked at would have extra academic counseling (at the very least) for students who struggled to get passing grades in their first semester. In one of my later semesters, I did very poorly and was put on academic probation. I was given the next semester to improve my performance, and I did.

Private colleges and universities might vary greatly. My dad got his MBA at Notre Dame, and he didn’t do well in his first year (grad students there have to earn a B average, I believe). He was put on academic probation and warned that if he had another semester of poor grades, he would be out of the program. Then, a miracle happened… our TV got broken when he didn’t have any money to fix or replace it, and then his grades shot right up!

As for me, when I was a full time student I had to repeat a lot of classes, then ran out of financial aid before I finished my degree. I then got a full time job at the school, which let me take a few more classes until life circumstances like the births of my 2 youngest kids and later a lot of job stress got in the way of taking my final classes. I also hadn’t been diagnosed with ADHD yet, so I had no accommodations, or even understanding of why I struggled so much in college. So, I still haven’t graduated.

Since you know you have ADHD, and you’re taking action to get assistance, that puts you in a better position than I was in. College is very different from K-12 school. You have to keep yourself accountable. People who succeed find strategies that work for them. For instance, I remember some people telling me that being part of a study group as the reason they were able to keep their grades up. That strategy might have worked for me, if I’d tried it, but I didn’t even consider it at the time I was enrolled.

Get accommodations available , maybe see an ADHD coach !

Good luck !

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@Mandisa_Mudavanhu my advice is to you is get careers counselling.

The world outside higher education is complex, changing, unpredictable.

We don’t know what the world will be like in 2030 !

I think employment can be the greatest challenge for a person with ADHD especially those undiagnosed , highly intelligent, highly educated.

I would recommend a careers counsellor or hit a book, join a support group.

However, if you get the correct support and talk to the right people, you could be very successful.

Unfortunately, higher education is not enough !

Good luck !


Welcome to the forums @Mandisa_Mudavanhu !

To be honest I think you are probably doing a lot better than I did when I was an undergrad. I struggled very hard with reading, very often needed to spend twice amount the time to go through every single textbook before the course started or I faced the danger of failing.

I happen to know a bit about how university works as well. My understanding is that most of the regulations may be more flexible than they appear. The university usually cares more about whether the students have truly learned the basic knowledge than formalities. For example if you are very unhappy with the midterms (and since they were also affected by the fact that accommodation couldn’t be arranged in time), I think most of the professors would be happy say, to allow you to retake the exams next term and relocating everything in the transcript accordingly. This may appear slightly better for grad school applications.

Most university professors put 90% of their minds on academic research. The lots of us would not mind if the students completed the course in the standard way or not because most professors know that they are not normal people either.

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