Using Your Senior Year of High School to Prepare for College

Health Writer

As teens with ADHD near the age going off to college, fears and apprehensions may begin to take over. Living on their own and being responsible for taking care of themselves and studying for classes may seem overwhelming. Taking the senior year of high school to begin preparing for the college years can make a big difference and set up a pattern of success.

The following are steps high school seniors can take while living at home to prepare themselves for living in a college situation and for developing independence

  1. Discover your personal learning style. People learn in different ways, understanding your learning style can improve both your retention and understanding of subjects being taught.

  2. Begin to take over your daily activities. If you are not already, do your own laundry. Shop for personal grooming items, such as toothpaste, shampoo, razors. Get up each morning with an alarm clock. Learning to do these things while still being at home creates a safety net in case of mistakes, but allows you to feel confident that you will be able to care for yourself when away from home.

  3. Begin to advocate for yourself in school. Speak with your teachers about what learning aids help you. Attend IEP or Section 504 meetings. By understanding your needs during the last year of high school and working toward getting those needs met, you will be ready to take on this role at college instead of leaning on parents to help.

  1. Develop a system of using a daily organizer. In high school, parents and teachers may help you to keep schoolwork organized and prioritized. Once you reach college, this task will fall on you. Beginning to take over this task while still at home will allow you to work through your weak areas and give you practice for when you no longer have parents to organize your work.

  2. Keep a journal of what works for you and what doesn't. Learn to recognize when strategies are not working and discuss ways you can make changes to better utilize your personal skills and strengths.

  3. Practice breaking projects down into smaller tasks. Becoming overwhelmed with a large project is a major obstacle to completing schoolwork. Each time you receive an assignment, practice listing the steps needed to complete it and work through the steps. This skill will help immensely when you are at college and given large term papers or research papers to complete.

  4. Learn the laws associated with Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act and find out how they apply to your situation and diagnosis.

  1. Learn stress-reducing exercises. The first year away from home and in college is a stressful experience. Learning stress reduction techniques and strategies to deal with stress before you get there can help you better cope.

  2. Recognize your learning difficulties and develop strategies to overcome them. Experiment with different strategies to improve learning and organization. Write down what has worked and what does not work.

  3. Develop a plan for your life. Although plans can change, and often do, having a broad plan and vision for your life can help you to focus your efforts.