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Surviving University

As results day approaches, all A-Level students will be feeling the stress. Seemingly, their entire future hinges on the grades written on a piece of paper lurking ominously in that plain brown envelope. For students with ADHD, the stress can be crippling. Many will know that their ADHD has already impacted their results (I, for instance, dropped out of my English Literature A-Level a month before the exam). Additionally, many will experience severe Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) and see only failure in the near future. The key thing to remember is: YOU DID NOT FAIL – YOU OVERCAME!

If you do not get the results you had hoped for and still wish to pursue a university education, you will enter a process called 'Clearing'. This is where we want to help. Following the stress of A-Levels and waiting for results, The ADHD Advocate offers guidance and coaching to help ADHD students work through the emotional turmoil and RSD that they will be experiencing.

As someone with ADHD, it is important that whatever the next step in your life is, you are passionate about it. From personal experience, 'Clearing' is a process not often led by the student (especially an ADHD student suffering from RSD). Universities will offer you anything they can to secure you as a student. Our clearing program has been specifically designed to help ADHD students take control of this process and deal with universities on a level playing field.

Rebuilding self-esteem and learning to understand the natural consequences of ADHD are key elements in the success of an ADHD student moving forward into higher education. Therefore, they act as cornerstones of our clearing program. ADHD is not a limiting factor in academic success once it is understood, managed, and embraced. We hope to give ADHD students the confidence to achieve this.

Students should and will be encouraged to follow their hearts and not settle for second best. If you want to be at a city university, then it is important not to be pushed into a campus university just because everyone else is going there. The same is true for a course; I found myself studying for a degree in Politics because it was all I could get. This led to me taking a year away from university. It was only after this year that I realized I had been pushed away from my passions for other people’s ambitions and thus switched my degree to History. Following MY heart and MY ambitions was the best thing I ever did. Remember, when you open those results, YOU have options.

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