Around this time last year, I was neck deep in some serious confusion, fear, and self-doubt. I was one year into a MSc degree in Neuroscience, and had a ton of work left to do. I seriously doubted if I would ever finish what I started, and I was even less convinced that I would complete the program within the two years that was encouraged by the University. I was told that it was pretty common for students to extend an extra semester or two, just to give yourself enough room to do a good job. Of course, most of the students in question didn’t have kids to distract them at home, nor did they have ADHD. I had both, so I was convinced I was doomed.
Around the same time last year, an amazing and unexpected thing happened to me. I was the winner of a scholarship that provided me with a year of ADHD coaching. Working one-on-one with a coach was an incredible experience, and I learned how to prioritize and schedule tasks. More importantly, I learned how to take care of myself, how to be nice to myself, and how to be self-aware. I learned that my ADHD didn’t need to define me, and that a good timeline can be the most valuable weapon in the face of a graduate committee.
So here I am today, and I have finished my Master’s degree. Best of all, I finished the greatest accomplishment of my life ON TIME. People with ADHD probably don’t realize how amazing that really is, but for someone who has a perpetual problem with lateness and time management that is a miracle. Pardon me while I bask in the glory of my own punctuality.
…Ahh…it feels so good.
Over the next few weeks I plan on blogging about some of my biggest lessons that I learned over the course of my graduate work. They will most likely be focused on issues that people with ADHD struggle with. However, they will most likely apply to anyone in the University setting. It will most like apply to anyone who has ever tried to stay organized, and failed. It will probably help anyone who has to be productive in their life. Who know, it might even help you.
For now, I want to leave you with one thing: Believe in your goals. They are absolutely possible. You just need the right plan, the right people, and the right perspective. When (not if, WHEN) you stumble, crash and burn, remind yourself that it’s okay. EVERYONE fails sometimes. If you were successful right away, how would you ever grow? How would you learn from your mistakes? How would you gain the perspective you’ll need to get you through the times ahead? Keep your head up, pick yourself off the ground, and learn from your mistakes. Most of all, keep moving toward your goals. They’re closer than you think.