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ADHD and the Student Brain

Posted by Alexandra Van Rijn on

It’s debilitating.
I’m everywhere.
I’m 8 things at once.
9 things.
My internet won’t load 
And I should’ve done this
Last night
When I couldn’t 
Or maybe before when I
Actually said I would.
I’m not
Uninterested and I
What I do it's just
Hard when I love
Everything else just as 
And everything else is new
I don’t know what it's like
To sit down and do what
I like but not
Think about how there’s
Something else I may like better
But it's only when I stop and switch
That I regret the twitches
And ticks that make me 
Take more interest in the fly in the room
That can’t make it out the 
My pet rats are drinking and its making 
I’m so hungry right now
But all I can think about is the
Pizza I ordered yesterday
When I skipped class
Like I'm skipping now
Because sleep is all I can
Do consecutively
It’s like my brain gets bored
No my brain actually gets bored
And it even gets bored of the things
It distracts itself from 
From the things I was
Originally doing
I’m speaking like I’m thinking
Cause thoughts come faster than
Words are spoken 
And all I can think is how
This will be read
Or heard
Because your brain
Is different than mine
But this makes sense to me
I wrote this instead of
Doing homework
My class is in 6 minutes
4 minutes
but my internet won’t work
and I will be put on the spot
when my assignment isn’t done
but it's an excuse if I tell them
I did something else instead
But is it my fault if my brain
Doesn’t know when to start 
Or stop and one task
Is two because they’re both
Happening at the same time
And the distraction becomes the
Next task which is stopped by
The next fly tapping on my window,
I don’t even know how to end this,
Only when my class starts.



There is no easy way to introduce this topic, and there is definitely no easy way to talk about it. This illness has been completely romanticized (along with many others) through film, literature, and media. It has created an extremely difficult environment for people with ADHD to search for help, learn how to cope, and even truly understand themselves. As you may have noticed in the poem above, I make my way through a few common things I experience myself. Below you will find a few tips for people with ADHD. Please bare in mind that these are only suggestions and will not all work for you. Everyone interacts differently and understands their ADHD differently, below are just a few things I want to point out generally, and will be a starting point in finding a way for yourself or your friends to cope.

  1. Figure it out.
    This is the hardest one. Whether or not ADHD is something you’re been struggling with for awhile, or you were just recently diagnosed, and otherwise unaware of your specific challenges, the first thing you need to do, and something you will need to continue to do is figure yourself out. Figure out what makes you tick, what distracts you, when you’re focused, what motivates you, what discourages you. You need to know yourself to succeed.
  2. Write it down.
    Make a chart. Make a vision board. Make sure you have a concrete list that you are aware of that you can refer to. Its okay to give into distractions and impulsivities, but we need to realize what they are and make sure it won’t impeded our ability to succeed in our day to day lives (ex: going to a movie instead of studying for a test). Know your goals and your obstacles so you can plan towards success.
  3. Speak to your doctor.
    Medication may not be right for you and that’s okay. There are many other ways to manage ADHD and what is right for you may not be right for someone else. Your doctor is for more than just an access to a prescription. They will be able to give you guidance on how to proceed if moving away or towards medication.
  4. Counseling.
    The scariest word on the planet. But one of the most helpful. Even if you decide to take medication, having lived with ADHD for a lifetime and been unaware, you may also be faced with the task of breaking bad habits. Medication is never 100% of the answer, and counselors will be able to provide you with specific tips and tricks so you can partner with your medication or with your brain in order to continue on the path to success.
  5. Speak with your teachers, professors, employers, friends.
    None of us want our mental health to be an excuse and it doesn’t have to be. By opening up the conversation, they will not only be aware of your struggles, but will be able to offer help when needed. This is not always easy to do, but any doctor you see will be happy to provide a note for you.
  6. Take breaks and take care.
    You will need breaks. Between studying, long work hours, classes, and mundane hangouts with friends. You will need breaks, and it is okay that you have to take them. Instead of getting frustrated, think of it as a reward. 
  7. Be open. Be patient.
    It’s easy to get frustrated with yourself, and it will happen. Always remember that this is a challenge, and it will be, however, you will succeed. As difficult as it may be to admit, ADHD is a gift, in a weird form. It makes YOU who you are. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to have this gift and be able to function as easily as others in a classroom or work setting (and many others). Regardless, it is just another part of yourself you must learn to understand. Like a birthmark, it will be there with you forever, and you will learn that it is just as much a part of you. Self love and embrace your unique perfections, instead of thinking of them as inconvenient imperfections.

Written by Campus Rep Madi Banks 

Edited by Executive Assistant Addie Van Rijn

1 comment

  • I absolutely loved this poem. I was very recently diagnosed and have been struggling a bit with realizing how much of me was defined by my illness…. thank you for providing me with something to relate to, I’ve never read anything else this similar to my thought patterns. :) Makes me feel not as alone knowing I’m not the only one who’s so torn between distractions. Wish I could afford the ADHD awareness clothing line, I’m proud of what I am and the guidance I strive to lend to my friends when they’re struggling with illness themselves. Again, thank you for writing this article. Means more than you know.

    Kayla on

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