Archived ADDvice Newsletters
Each month, ADDvice will provide
tips, tools, and strategies to help you live well despite
your ADD. Many of our readers are parents of high school students
who are or will be soon off to college. In this issue, we
discuss ADD-Friendly ways to make the process of moving from
home to dorm easier on everyone. Our guest writer, Judi Jerome,
LICSW, LADC of MINDFULNESS MATTERS COACHING
is an expert on this topic. You can visit her website at www.judijerome.com
You stand in your bedroom staring at the empty trunk, suitcases,
and stacks of boxes. While looking around, you mentally see
all your other stuff scattered about the house and wonder
how you can fit your whole life into these restrictive receptacles
to bring to a dorm room that is the size of your parents'
walk-in closet. AND, you are most likely going to be sharing
that little room with another person and another set of personal
People with AD/HD often pack for a weekend and take enough
for 10 days. Visual overload is a common challenge for ADDers.
Choosing is difficult and feeling safe and comfortable with
those choices even more difficult. Common positive traits
of AD/HD, such as excitement, exuberance, energy, and rush
of ideas, when packing, can lead to over-stimulation and just
as you grab for the gusto of life, you grab for too many clothes,
shoes, blank CDs, and school supplies.
Mixed feelings about leaving home can lead to wanting to
bring everything you own with you. You will slowly be making
your room at college into a home that will reflect who you
are as a college student. Your High School persona will be
left behind with many of your possessions.
"Well, I decided by looking at the pile of crap
I was going to bring and then decided what I could REALLY
do without. First pack the essentials like hangers, soap,
shampoo, sheets, towels, etc. Then pack clothes, but just
the ones you really wear and leave the rest behind. After
the first year I figured out that I only need to bring 2 weeks
worth of clothes and that is it." - Jessica Breen, University
of New Hampshire
Before you go on your spending spree at "Bed Bath and
Beyond" and "Linens N Things", coordinate with
your roommate what you each will be bringing. No need for
two coffee makers, mini-microwaves, or mini-fridges. Cut down
the number of boxes to 3-4 big ones and use 3-4 "stackable
milk crates". You are sharing a small closet and your
dresser will also be small, so the trunk and ONE suitcase
will be used as storage, but they will also take up space.
The school will give you a list of things to bring. Many
of them are just suggestions and you do not need to bring
everything on the list. Make a pile, or better yet, a list
of the "must haves" and then "maybes".
Pack the "maybes" away in a box for you parents
to mail to you, or if you're close by, to pick up if you find
you really need them.
- How many pairs of jeans do you really need, or actually
wear? Same goes for tee shirts and sweaters.
- If your mother tells you to bring something you never
wear because you look good in it, don't.
- Leave your most expensive jewelry at home!
- Laptops take up less room then desktops.
- Bring a printer, surge protector, LAN cable and CD notebook-binder
- Burn mixes of your favorite songs instead of bringing
ALL your CDs.
- Yes, you need to bring a land phone in addition to your
- Photographs of family and friends can be scanned into
your computer and used as a screen saver.
- Leave your stereo at home. Your computer plays music.
Small external speakers for your computer can be bought
but are not a necessity.
- A good sturdy backpack.
- There won't be much time for TV, but someone always has
one, so don't bother! Plus, it is a great way to meet your
Stash your flattened boxes in the back of the closet to avoid
the supermarket search at the end of the year. Your suitcase
is great for storing your extra set of clean sheets and towels
and can be kept under your bed, or in your closet. Your trunk
is a very useful table top as well as a great place to store
seasonal clothes and jackets. Lofts are in! Check with your
RA to make sure they're allowed. The local Home Depot can
help you with building a loft. It doubles the available space
on your side of the room.
"I bought separate legal pads for note taking and
folders for handouts to bring to each class. I bought a huge
notebook, put dividers in it for each class and put absolutely
everything into it! I put a date on everything. All of my
syllabi, tests, quizzes, homework, handouts, labs, etc, all
get put in according to class and in order of dates. Before
a test, I rip the notes out of the pad, punch holes in them
(but you can also buy legal pads with 3 holes) and integrate
them into my binder. Everything for each class is then together
and in the right order for studying." - Jessica Breen,
University of New Hampshire
Colored file folders are very helpful, as are different
colored legal pads. On your computer, in My Documents, create
a folder for each class you take to save your papers and research
in. At the end of each semester, you can burn the folders
onto a CD/DVD for storage and start fresh. Remember to back
up all your computer work as you go along, and watch out for
those computer viruses!
They may also be useful in helping you better understand
and deal with your AD/HD
and the College Student: A Guide for High School and College
Students with Attention Deficit Disorder
Edited by Patricia O. Quinn, M.D.
for College Students With Add or Ld
by Kathleen G. Nadeau, Ph.D.
Ways to Organize Your Life
by Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D. and Judith Kolberg
A new issue in the Focus
- Achieving Your Goal
This 32 page downloadable booklet contains articles for
students and parents focusing on how to successfully make
the transition and deal with the various issues that arise
at college for those with ADHD. Click
here to learn more/order
to College - Passport to Success Video
This exciting video offers advice from experts as well as
students, who have found the keys to successfully address
their ADHD often after some painful lessons (24 minutes).
Order Both the
Video and Focus & Save
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