Real talk for a moment: college is hard. It is nothing like high school and it’s hard. College with ADHD is a whole new level of challenging. It feels paralyzingly impossible at first. My first semester I was handed a syllabus for all six of my classes. With the reading and assignments for the whole semester. That I have to keep track of in that planner I never opened past the first week in September. And I have to read 450 pages a night. In an environment with 50 other people around. all. the. time. It took dropping out, coming back, getting on medication and serious dedication to actually feel like I wasn’t drowning.
It’s a learning curve and it takes a lot of patience to find what works for you. One significant change I made was in the way of organization. Sometimes I felt so terribly dumb and behind because I learned differently and struggled to stay organized. There is NOTHING wrong with taking charge of your education even if it is in a different manner than that of your peers.
On Pinterest I kept coming across “home management binders” and thought “college kids need this”. After searching and searching I couldn’t find one so I made my own. In this post I will give an outline of what I did to organize the important things in my life. I will include the printables in the future.
My binder has:
-A cute title page
-Tabs and sticky notes
-Bank Account Information
-A folder insert for important documents
First, I made a pretty front page so I would actually want to open it.
Flawless, I know.
I have tabs and sticky notes I use to mark/note anything throughout the binder. (Note: I ended up using these less than I thought I would. I realized later they were more for show 😉
I also keep a master list of my class schedule in my binder. The first few weeks of the semester it’s helpful to have the class times, room numbers and professors names. I also keep their e-mail/office hours written down here so it’s easy to reference.
I rent my textbooks and I frequently forget where they’re from and when to return them. I have learned the hard way that the “late fee” is not a joke. I keep this list of my rented books and when they’re due so at the end of the semester I am not scrambling to return them.
This is the first year I don’t have a meal plan so grocery shopping and cooking is all new to me. However, I generally eat the same things on a daily basis. I wrote out a general shopping list to have so I can plan ahead for cost, where to shop, etc.
Every Sunday I take the time to plan our my meals so I know what to buy or the ensure I won’t be making any last minute stops for food.
I have multiple bank accounts and I lose track of things easily so it is helpful for me to have all of this information in one place.
I have a pocket to keep all of my important things. I have my check books, my passport, my passport pictures, my social security card. I also have two envelopes one for my checks and cash to go into my account and one for tips from work.
My organizational system is ALWAYS changing but this is how I keep my most important documents and information straight. Other management binders might include a calendar, a planner or an assignment list. I have a very specific calendar system that I may share in the future- so I don’t keep that in my binder.
How do you you stay organized? How do you manage ADHD in college?