ADHD

Back to school, back to managing Adult ADHD in the classroom

Today, I’m back to school. (In case I hadn’t fully mentioned this before, I’m a grad student, and I’m in my last semester before graduation right now.) This was my first day back to class since my ADHD diagnosis, and beginning to experiment with medication.

I have certain things I like to have for class…snacks, check. Spiral notebook and pen, check. Magazine for those moments when I feel like I’d rather launch into the hallways with no destination in mind. Amusingly, though I had these important items with me, I actually totally forgot to check both the time, and the classroom of the class. I remembered to check the classroom when I was at work…still didn’t know the time. As I was driving toward the school I had a little panic and called my sweetie…asked him to look it up. He was amused and looked it up for me…and the time I thought it was, was not too far off from the time it really was, so I was allllll set! I’ve done this before and sadly thought that the class was later than it actually was….oh dear…big frowny face…

This class is also taught by a professor that I really like, who really values student opinion and interaction so it’s easier to sit through her classes than some others. Small class too, always a bonus. So even though I was mentally very antsy, the discussion was fairly interesting, when I wasn’t busy snacking, lol.

This particular professor also appreciates my enthusiasm for unconventional research topics…as well as my willingness to play devil’s advocate, and entertain less convential opinions. It’s nice to know you’re going into a situation where you, just the way you are, are accepted. And please…as if you aren’t going to encounter some characters in grad school…right?

After class, I felt I should BRIEFLY disclose to my professor some of what I am currently going through…not just because it’s SO FUN telling people you have a mental issue, lol, but actually because I am in the middle of a medication change and tomorrow may be upping some dosages…and our first assignment is due in a few days. I know it’s possible that my brain might be in a funny place for a few days, and I know that a) this professor is pretty cool and b) all professors typically prefer you letting them know about issues ahead of time instead of using what looks like excuses after the fact…even if they think your issue is weird. So after explaining the situation she says “yeah, don’t take this the wrong way, but let’s just say that you being diagnosed with ADHD is not particularly surprising”…said with a smile. Then she said “I totally get it, I’m bipolar and went through some funky times while I was writing my dissertation and they were adjusting my med levels. Some days it was like there were holes in my brain and I couldn’t think of words…so I totally get it. If anything comes up just let me know, and thanks for giving me a heads up.” She also said “you made it this far without a diagnosis, you must be pretty resourceful, so congratulations, you must be doing something right”. Damn.

Flippin’ sweet.

Now…I don’t anticipate an issue with this particular assignment. But at least I know that the line of communication is open. Which is huge. So each Weds I will pack my snacks, my spiral notebook…and my hope is that with upping the meds a little, after a couple weeks I’ll just have a little more focus and a little less fidgeting in class. At least now I already know the date and location…one less set of details to keep track of.

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