Welcome to my world of ADHD...

I am a 21-year-old senior at the University of Florida, and I was just diagnosed with ADHD a few months ago. I was not surprised when my doctor told me I had ADHD, but I was surprised to hear that girls like me often go undiagnosed. Girls often go undiagnosed because their symptoms or characteristics aren't as apparent as they are in boys. My doctor told me that girls hide it well because they are taught to play quietly and more calmly than boys. The more intelligent the girl or boy is, the less it will show in their school work. They are able to get by without anyone noticing. Little girls often show other symptoms than hyperactivity or poor attention span. Girls with ADHD often have stomach problems or headaches as a child.

All of this brings me back to my experience with ADHD. As a child, I was fairly quiet and always did well in school. I didn't seem to have any of the apparent symptoms of ADHD like hyperactivity or poor attention span, but looking back I remember being a little bored in school. I always did my homework, but I never brought home material to study, even throughout high school. I always did well in school without studying, so I never developed good study skills. I think this is what got me.

I began school at UF in 1996 and have managed to get through almost four years of college with a minimal amount of studying. I could not make myself study for an exam more than two days in advance. I would usually only study the night before exams. I also had a hard time working on projects and homework until they were due. I waited until the last minute to do anything. I just thought I was a procrastinator and really lazy when it came to school. My friends have always given me a hard time about how little I study, but I could never make myself sit down and study like they did. I still made decent grades, but they weren't as good as they were in high school. I just thought my high school must have been extremely easy. I continued to get by in school and even keep my scholarship all four years, but last semester I began to get frustrated. I had many projects and papers due all at once. Everything was beginning to build up and I couldn't get anything done. Someone suggested that I go to a doctor about ADD, and it had been suggested to me before, so I finally went to one.

After seeing a doctor and being diagnosed with ADHD, everything made sense. My migraines as a child, my poor study habits, my short attention span. My doctor prescribed Adderall, and I have seen amazing results since I've been taking it. My room was always extremely cluttered and messy. I usually keep it clean now and I am much more organized. This is how school felt, also. I can now begin working on projects and papers earlier, with out waiting until the last minute. My studying habits have greatly improved, as well as my grades. I spent the first three years of college just getting by, and this semester I made A's on three out of four midterms. This is my new world of ADHD, and it's not so bad.