Services for Students with Disabilities

The following article is an exerpt from One Page at a Time: Getting Through College with ADHD by Phill Pappas. 

Include anything you want in your study routine. Seriously, anything, as long as it doesn't include TV. If the routine is consistent, it should work. All your routine must do is wake your brain up, get those gears moving, and then make it painfully obvious that the next thing you are going to do is study. That is it. The main aspects of a routine are:

  • Finding your study spots: the places where you work best
  • Doing the warm-up: what you do to get your brain moving
  • Execute: knowing what your plan of attack is for that session, and when it's time to start studying

When I lived in the dorms the first two years of college, I rarely studied at my desk. There were too many distractions. During this time, I frequented the library. I studied at two particular tables in the library. When I sat down at these tables, my mind knew what it was there to do. This is the main idea behind the study spot; it is a familiar place that triggers your mind into study mode. 

Doing warm-up involveds anything that, in a short amount of time, gets you ready to work. My warm-up was simple. Upon arriving at either the library or coffee shop, I would grab a drink, and sit down at my table. I'd take out my books and notebooks, and place them around me. This made the transition to studying easy. When it was time to work I could simply begin. Then I would start on that day's crossword puzzle, and I'd work on it until I felt I couldn't get any more answers. When I reached that point, I'd start studying -- the execution.

As you can see, this routine is simple. I'd go to a place that I was used to (an environment conducive to studying), I'd grab a drink (letting my brain know that we would not go thirsty throughout this tramautic experience), I'd set up my workspace (preparing tools necessary to study), I'd do a crossword (to get my mind warmed up), and when I couldn't get any further on the crossword I'd open a textbook or my notes. This routine readied my mind to get work done. 

You may do things differently. Maybe you prefer the basement of your house, where there is only one light bulb and complete silence. Maybe you like doing a Sudoku instead of a crossword, or reading the news gets your brain moving best. Whatever you prefer is fine. Find something that prepares you for the task at hand -- a cascade of events that once started is followed through to completion. When you find and implement your routine, it will become much easier to start studying.


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