Tips for College Students with ADD

If you have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), life may often feel disorganized and chaotic. As a college student balancing multiple classes and homework assignments, organization is crucial. Refocus by implementing some of these tips from FHSS below. 

1. Develop a Routine

In a Universe article from 2012, David Bowman, a former BYU student from Kansas City, Mo. who has ADD, told a reporter about the impact it had on his life as a student. “It affects pretty much every aspect of my life,” Bowman said. “I struggle with organizational things and keeping track of assignments and spacing out in class.”

If you are experiencing similar frustrations, try approaching each week with a detailed schedule. This schedule should include all of your classes, time dedicated to studying and doing homework, upcoming tests and assignments to prepare for and free time.

Upcoming assignments

Knowing that you have scheduled free time for yourself everyday may help you focus better on schoolwork during the times you have reserved for that specifically.

ADDitude Magazine suggests studying away from your apartment or dorm where there are less distractions. You may find that once you are home for the day it is difficult to get yourself to leave again just to go study. Plan accordingly. If you study productively at the library, schedule your homework time while you are still on campus. Determine what study place works best for you.

2. Make your smart phone work for you

There is a time to utilize the numberless resources on your phone, and there is a time to set it aside. Let’s face it – most of us have an ongoing love-hate relationship with our smart phones. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. According to a 2013 study, the average American unlocks their phone 110 times a day! If you have trouble with focusing on tasks and are easily distracted, you must learn how to make your phone work for you, not you for it.

Smart phones have many features that can help keep you organized. Setting alarms can remind you to turn in your paper before midnight or go to that extra credit lecture. Putting your weekly calendar into your phone is a great way to keep it accessible and set alerts. The voice recording feature can serve as a back up if you happen to zone out in class. Try recording lectures and listening to them later. You should also consider turning your phone to airplane mode while you study and attend class to minimize potential distractions.

smart phone tips

3. Exercise for at least 20 minutes a day

From a study done by the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Georgia we can see that even just 20 minutes of exercise has a positive effect on the brain’s memory functions and it’s ability to process information. Brain chemicals are released during exercise that help increase focus.

4. Use Campus Resources

Utilize the assistance available to you. BYU’s Accessibility Center, located in 2170 Wilkinson Student Center, offers a variety of services for students with ADD including things like the accessibility lab and distraction reduced exam rooms. These services can often be overlooked by students. 

The Accessibility Center also offers evaluations for students who believe they may have problems with attention. To be evaluated by the Accessibility Center there are several steps you must take. 

What helps you stay focused when you study?

Feature Image courtesy of Canva

Devoted FHSS Benefactor Mary Lou Fulton Passes Away

Fulton PhotoA rare few have left a legacy so deep and expansive, and one that spans the decades, as Mary Lou Fulton. As a devoted supporter of student achievement at Brigham Young University, Fulton’s generous support and impact on higher education will be greatly missed. The Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology reported that she passed away the first of October at age 82. She was one of the greatest benefactors of the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences and Brigham Young University. Through the endowment established in her name, she touched many students’ and faculty members’ lives with her commitment to excellence and appreciation for scholarship.

Along with her husband, Ira R. Fulton, she generously endowed four chairs in Mary Lou’s name at BYU. The Mary Lou Fulton Endowed Chair in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences provides meaningful research and educational experiences for students, faculty, and children. The chair was established by her husband in 2004 in recognition of her example.

The Arizona native always maintained an enthusiasm for lifting others and promoting academic pursuits. In 1999, her and her husband’s first gift to BYU came as renovation help for the neuroscience labs located in the Spencer W. Kimball Tower. Since then, they have donated in excess of $50 million to Brigham Young University.

What the Fulton Chair Does

The Mary Lou Fulton Chair in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences funds activities that contribute to the holistic education of students and faculty alike in these six ways:

  1. Annual Conference: This BYU initiative encourages hand’s on research and creative scholarship for undergraduate
    1504-31 069 1504-31 FHSS Fulton Poster Conference April 9, 2015 Photo by Aaron Cornia © BYU PHOTO 2015 All Rights Reserved  (801)422-7322
    Photo by Aaron Cornia
    © BYU PHOTO 2015
    All Rights Reserved

    students who receive personal mentoring from faculty. Opportunities may include study abroad, internships, and service projects.

  2. Professorships: Established scholars with a track record of excellence in teaching and research receive a Mary Lou Fulton Professorship for five years.
  3. Internship Grants: Current undergraduate and graduate students who are declared majors in a program in the College of FHSS apply for an internship grant of up to$1,600.
  4. Conference Participation Grants: This award can be used to pay for students expenses (travel, meals, lodging, etc.) regarding participation in professional academic conferences.
  5. Mentored Learning Grants: These fellowships are dispensed based upon peer-reviewed applications and enable faculty to involve undergraduates with unique research and publication opportunities. Students in various disciplines benefit from direct interaction with faculty on significant projects.
  6. Young Scholar Awards: This award offers incentives and recognition for outstanding scholarly work by promising young faculty. Each award provides funds to hire one student to assist the faculty member in his or her research.

The Annual Mentored Student Research Conference is a full-day event, and is approaching its twelfth year in 2016. Both undergraduate and graduate students from all departments within the College of FHSS are invited to submit a research poster. The event is designed to create a platform for students to inform other students, faculty members, and the public.

Several faculty members from the College of FHSS have benefited from the Fulton’s generosity. A professorship is an investment in outstanding scholars. Through this award, faculty recipients extend invaluable learning opportunities–which funnel future success for undergraduate students towards securing jobs and completing degrees at the best graduate programs. In 2005, Arden Pope, professor of economics, received the Mary Lou Fulton Professorship from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. Pope, who teaches more than 600 students each year about the principles of environmental economics, said the Fulton Professorship is an important support to him and his students. “The Fulton Professorship has helped support several collaborative research efforts with scholars from various other universities and institutions,” Pope said.

Student Rebekah Purcell had this to say about her Fulton-funded experience in the British Library:

This experience…helped me realize how real my work is. I will never forget that feeling of accomplishment. I know that it is something that I will always hold on to as I keep pushing forward with my degree. [The Fulton’s] generous contribution [helped] me achieve this dream. I will always be so grateful for it.

Likewise, Wade Jacoby, professor of political science has felt the impact of the Mary Lou Fulton Professorship in Political Science. He said that with the assistance of research support from this professorship, he achieved an exceptionally productive year publishing content and organized a strong team of student research assistants. For him, 2014 was an outstanding year. “I published four journal articles. I also published a chapter in a book at Oxford University Press with a former BYU student, which he used to get into the PhD program at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island,” Jacoby said. During this time, Jacoby also co-authored a book for Cambridge University Press, in conjunction with colleagues from several top universities in the nation.

The Fultons at BYU

Nearly every college and department on BYU’s campus has felt the generous hands of Ira and Mary Lou Fulton. Among those include the Joseph F. Smith Building, the BYU Athletic Complex, the BYU Broadcasting Building, and the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni & Visitors Center. Other chairs begun to honor her legacy include the Mary Lou Fulton Chair in Theatre and Media Arts, the Mary Lou Fulton Chair in Health and Human Performance and the Mary Lou Fulton Chair of World Languages.

To find the imprint of Mary Lou Fulton’s hand at BYU is an easy task. To follow the impact of it for generations to come will not be so easy.

What kind of legacy would you like to leave at BYU?