Throwback# Series – Final Thoughts
Let’s have a brief reflection of the essential points that I wish you can take from this Series. When I first started, I wanted not only to explain my path as a student but to help (in some way) people all over the world, that are trying to cope with ADHD and Dyslexia, to understand that it is possible to do anything you want.
The first take back, at least in my point of view, is for anyone trying to deal with such learning issues. Embrace it fully!!! Don’t try to hide it!! Now, I do know that its easier to say than to do it. In my case, one thing that really helped embrace it was the fact that I was diagnosed at an early age. So, I had time to understand and adopt all the necessary tools and strategies to work better. But I know that circumstances and contexts change. To anyone out there that doesn’t know what to do, I would suggest going to a Neuro-Pediatrician and finding a good therapist.
Before explaining my second point, I would like to highlight again that taking pills to study, should only be done if a doctor prescribes!! It is not for everyone to use! These pills are prescribed to people with real learning disabilities and real difficulties focusing. The second point is that taking pills to help you study doesn’t make you any less smart or capable of achieving what you want. Yes, some of these have side effects, but its a learning process. You get used to it, believe in me! One thing my doctor always recommended was doing group sports, like Karate, Volley, Basketball, etc., in the evening. Because it not only forces you to pay attention to the game, but also helps take the Ritalin out of your system so that you can sleep better.
Once you understand how the pills work or what is your best strategy to study, its relatively easy to organise everything. That is to sit down and know exactly what is a priority, what should be the next steps, etc… Which actually sheds some light into what you want to do in the future.
Now, one challenge that anyone with ADHD and Dyslexia has to face is learning languages. It’s really hard!! However, during my college years, I found that studying abroad helps a lot. First, because you have to get out of your comfort zone and face new challenges. Second, because you learn with other people, and you are forced to communicate in another language. Yes, of course, you WILL make some mistakes, but then you’ll learn with it. Thirdly, and I think most importantly, you discover and experience different ways of teaching, that may be easier for you to adapt. In my case, the way teaching takes place in Portugal was not helpful; I prefered having classes in the UK. That is because in Portugal, you sit down and hear the professor talking for one hour and a half, two times a week while explaining the materials. In the UK, you do have to listen to the professor explaining everything but only once a week for two hours, and you have to prepare to go to class, because its more of an independent learning process. At least, in my course, classes were more discussions and activities than lectures.
Another important thing is that writing a dissertation is not horrible. When I first started searching for masters, one of the most important criteria I used to chose the course was if doing a dissertation was compulsory. However, I think that no one should consider this. Simply, because doing a dissertation is actually fun, at least for me. Think of it as a puzzle, that you have to construct and then solve. And when doing so, write in the simplest way possible. That is, always think that the person reading it, may not be as informed as you are and may not understand the concepts that you do.
Now, before finishing off this post and closing this Series, here are some strategies I adopted to be more organised and to study better:
- When you sit down to study, take 10 minutes, in the beginning, to write down everything you have to do, and organise your day;
- Make lists for everything!! For example, a list with all of your homework or assessments or with the important dates to submit your work;
- Keep a calendar at all times with you, to remind you of the deadlines;
- Start any coursework as soon as possible, because you will take more time than everyone else;
- Use mindmaps and visual schemes to help summarise and organise whatever you are learning.
In conclusion, you can achieve anything you want, even if you have a lot of obstacles. Just focus and be as organised as you can. And think outside the box, so that you can understand others points of view.
Until today, I have faced a lot of issues and difficulties, but again you learn to deal with it. Simply ignore the opinions of others, and do what you have always been focusing on.