College Up

🎉Congrat’s🎉  on your big decision: picking a college and your new home for the next four (to five) years and I am here to give you your ADHD college guide to succeed at the top of your game.

You’ve also volunteered for one of the grandest experiments in human nature. Humans have long struggled to find a balance between the pleasures of freedom and the comforts of structure.

During this time of continued changes, our homes have provided comfort from the threats of becoming sick. The vaccines, though, extend the promise of renewed freedoms. 

Many states are committed to getting all residents over the age of 15 vaccinated by mid-June. 

So that means that you and your fellow first-year students will join thousands of other newly vaccinated young adults who, through this long and trying time, share quite a bit in common. 

Just as you have been cooped up with your charming but nearly insufferable siblings, and not to mention your well-meaning caregivers, it’s easy to assume that you are ready to make plenty of memories and regrets of the like.

(P.S. Parents, I still have two teenagers at home, so I can relate to all of the above.)

Now, if you have ADHD… I know the struggles firsthand since I’ve done what you’re about to do.

I’m Christine Kotik, owner of CK ADHD Coaching & Consulting. I earned my BS at Case Western Reserve University, and my work at JST Coaching & Training focused specifically on guiding young adults with ADHD on their transitions to college.

I’ve been helping students like you since 2015 strengthen your confidence in your executive functioning and, as a result, to enjoy life a whole lot more.

I created this Zoom-based workshop to ensure that my students stack the odds in their favor to establish a firm footing and good habits in their first year of college.

These Tips Include:

✅  Mindset shift

✅  Breaking down how to write clear and concise papers

✅  How to study for exams

“It’s the things I wish I knew in that first semester …”

MIA ADHD Diagnoses

Packing clothes weren’t the only thing that I packed for college.

My high school success led me to believe that I knew how to prepare for an exam, how to write a paper, how to strike that balance between living it up and knuckling down. 

I didn’t. I didn’t have a clue. And, even in those simpler times, it wasn’t simple for me.

In fact, it was just shy of a trainwreck and fraught with the terror that I might not graduate! 

I needed my own college ADHD guide.

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Yeah, I made it

But I made it by being far less effective, less efficient, and it certainly was far less affordable! 

If I only had the strategy tools that I have now, I could have saved so much time, effort, and money.

Many (if not most) scholarships are good for eight semesters. I had to pay for a ninth semester of tuition, without the help of my scholarship, AND without financial aid!

The tuition, though, was just one cost I had to burden.

Not having the right tools came with emotional costs, too. 

The plague of self-doubt. The exhausting all-nighters. 

And the nagging, needling voice in my head that kept asking…

“Can’t you do any better? Are you sure you belong here?”

“If I only had the strategy tools that I have now, I could have saved to much time, effort, and money.” 

What They Don’t Tell You

My self-doubt aggravated my confusion about what college was supposed to be. 

That summer before college, dozens of my parents’ friends told me the same thing, “These are going to be the happiest years of your life.” 

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Let’s pause here. 

Let’s think about this statement for 5 seconds. 

I know. It’s ridiculous. As a college dean friend of mine says, 

“Of course it’s ridiculous, who wants life to peak at age 22?!?”

What they really should have told me was that college was going to be much, much different than high school. 

That I was responsible for managing my own work load. 

That professors expected deeper learning (and sometimes with little mercy). 

That I would need to balance academics, extracurriculars, work, AND my social life—which was completely different from high school—every single day. 

To be helpful, they might have mentioned that if I didn’t have a strategy, I better get one and fast.  

The ADHD College Guide

This is why I designed this workshop – to tell you all this and more, and to ensure you start college with a concrete plan of action

Now, maybe you’re one of the handful of students that already has an ADHD college guide, and if so, that is amazing and I’m excited for you! 

You’ve got everything you need to thrive socially, academically, and emotionally, which is something I didn’t figure out until I was in my 30’s.

Which, I now know, will always be a work in progress. 

Even if you do have your ADHD college guide and are all set, I still hope you’ll find value in these three lessons.

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First Lesson

Your four years as an undergrad are nearly guaranteed to be the most exciting years of your life—so far. 

They’re also likely to be the most challenging, too, and a far cry from high school.

So, what steps are you taking this summer to ensure you’re college-ready?

Second Lesson

When your experience doesn’t line up with your expectations, beware: that’s where trouble brews.

While Hollywood’s version of college life looks pretty amazing, it’s not the best measure of what your college life will be like.

Even though we know better, we carry images from popular culture around in our heads in the form of expectations. And did you know that the ADHD brain often pictures these expectations in Ultra High Definition?

So our visions play a massive, massive role in our sense of joy, satisfaction, or profound frustration.

When you have the right tools matching and guiding your college expectations with your college experience, you put the odds of happiness ever more in your favor.

How do you like the cards you’re holding? Would you like to add an ace up your sleeve?

Image of multiethnic group of happy young students walking outdoors. Looking aside.

Third Lesson

Starting college just might be the most disruptive transition in your life. 

Think about this fall, especially – with the last two years being what they have been for you, it is easy to say that no generation of college students has arrived on campus having been denied this much of the typical freedoms of their last two years than you…

So, I’m guessing you’re eager to make new friends and share a laugh together. 

To sit in a room with people you’re not related to, and have mind-bending conversations about the greatest thinkers in history. And go out, play intramural sports, and change the world.

Many of you, though, maybe only partly aware of how you’ll respond to everyday life, college-style—namely, lacking the structures you and your family put in place to ensure your high school success. 

So what’s your plan to keep your eyes on the prize? Do you have an ADHD college guide?

I hope you’ll stick with me, though, for just a couple more minutes.  

To sharpen your focus, try this brain hack: it’s called yawning. Yes… yawning, perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Mind Stretch

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 “Numerous neurochemicals are involved in the yawning experience, including dopamine, which activates oxtocin production in your hippocampus, areas essential for memory recall, voluntary control, and temperature regulation.”(source)  

 

Andrew Newburg, neuroscientist, co-author of Neurowisdom

Now that your brain’s re-energized a bit, let’s get to the punchline.

With most of my college-student clients, I start meeting with them after the disaster has struck. 

I’m brought in as a key member – and sometimes the only member of the clean-up crew. Because after oodles of pleading and cajoling give way to:

➡️  yelling

➡️  bitter silences 

➡️  doors slamming

➡️   nerves fraying.

 Most parents learn that the best thing they can do is to stay in the parenting lane, and not play project managers.

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I want YOU to be your own project manager, and that’s what this workshop’s about. 

This is about you building and maintaining strategies to manage your workload, stay focused, and see things through. 

I’m here to help you master the mindset, strategies, and skills you need to manage your most-exciting-version-of-you-so-far project.

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Summer 2021 Unleashed Potential Workshop 

Here is what you’ll learn: 

  • Treat course syllabi as your invitations to succeed
  • Work closely with other first-year college students (and some returning students, too) 
  • Build, follow, and fine-tune your weekly calendars – so you CAN enjoy those college perks you want to enjoy
  • Manage your stress and study effectively 
  • Ask for help from your advisor and other adults on campus – think Writing Center, Peer Tutors, and Disability Services. 

This last one: It’s a critical first-semester lesson. It might not seem like much to say: 

“I need help. Who should I talk to?”

But it is. Nearly all the kids are doing it, so you should, too.

Remember: You are not at college to go it alone. No one at college succeeds DIY style.

And, it’s important, so I’ll say it again: 

IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO GO IT ALONE. 

In fact, it’s your job as a student to learn the material, which is a lot easier to do once you learn how to learn the material. 

My Unleash Workshop puts these ideas into practice, and reflects my specific training in adolescents with ADHD. 

Comparable workshops—with heady price tags—are led by ADHD college guides lacking the adolescence angle or coaches/therapists for adolescents (but lack the ADHD component.)

To see just one example of my success with one of my college-aged clients, click the thumbnail to view the case study...

What this Workshop Gives You:

In this workshop, you’re given field-tested, focused ADHD college guidance skillsets that allow you to organize your time, minimize stress and enjoy your freedom.

 The Unleash workshop is a 2 hour session at the end of  July.

Once you’re at school, you’ll have the chance to:

🟥  Test your facility with new skillsets

🟨  Answer questions from members of your accountability group

🟩  And at our September rendezvous on Zoom, share examples of your success, and ask questions about areas where you want to improve.

WHEN WE’RE ACCOUNTABLE TO EACH OTHER, GREAT THINGS HAPPEN

Workshop Dates

 
Session 1
 July 28th – Wed: 6:00pm – 8:00pm ET
or 
Session 2
July 29th – Thurs: 12:00pm–2:00pm ET

***Saturday rendezvous in September: 60 min., date TBD