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  #1  
Old 03-16-11, 03:53 PM
aarzack aarzack is offline
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Unhappy Some Help? Advice? Anything??

Hello everyone,

This is actually my first post here at the forums. I am a 20 year old Government and Politics major at the University of Maryland. I was diagnosed with ADD/General Anxiety when I was very young, and had I always assumed I "grew out of it."

Here is a little back story: (skip ahead if you want!)

Three years into college however, I'm doing so-so. I have always been a successful student, and I've always been told by my therapists and doctors that I'm pretty intelligent. But in college, I've never been able to donate even an ounce of my time to studying for exams. I always get B level grades, but I know that if I study I can succeed. I can honestly say that, no matter how much I prepare for a night of studying, I'm up doing something else in 15 minutes without fail.

I'm not a partier, and I'm certainly not lazy. My family can't afford school on their own, so I pay for my housing with a 25-hour a week job. I also take care of my own groceries, gas, insurance, etc.

I'm active in school, and have successfully gotten published along side my professor as an undergraduate researcher. In addition, I've served as a liaison to the city council, and was recently appointed as a city official on the College Park rent board. In my sophomore year, I founded Books Across Borders to help fill libraries in third world countries. Needless to say, I'm not a deadbeat.


So, in an attempt to figure out why I can never stay on top of school work, or commit my self to studying (no matter how hard I try, I always end up cleaning or using the internet, cooking, etc. ), I signed up to meet with a psychiatrist. She said I was a classic case of ADD/ADHD, and my history sort of "verifies it." She prescribed me 10mg IR tabs of Dextroamphetamine Sulfate.

And it's helping! I'm studying well, focusing on my work, and feeling confident in my ability to pump out quality school work. I feel as though this will be my best semester yet.

BUT now my anxiety is kicking in, and telling me that my sub-par GPA and lackluster academic performance has ruined all chances I have of pursuing my career goals. I used to want to go to Law school, but recently delved into the field of Urban Planning and Design. Ideally, I would like to go to graduate school and look for work in government or a firm.

My college GPA is a solid 2.8. Just under 3 (which was my MINIMUM when I came into school.) I'm not one of those kids that has a heart attack over their GPA, but I just feel as though I've ruined my chances of pursuing my dreams. I'm not sure that I can raise it to a 3.0 before I graduate (3 semesters left including this one). I've considered staying an extra year to boost myself, but my anxiety is telling me that all hope is lost.

I'm super sorry for the huge post, but I'm lost and new to this whole "focus" thing. Can someone tell me if I'm just freaking out or not?

I feel like I've been on auto-pilot for two and a half years, and now that I finally have focus and perspective, I'm having to deal with mess I made of my life.

Is there anyone out there???
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Old 03-16-11, 05:40 PM
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Re: Some Help? Advice? Anything??

Hi and welcome to the forums! Have you considered talking to your psychiatrist about your anxiety? ADHD and anxiety often go hand-in-hand together and your anxiety may need to addressed medically. I don't think you've ruined your chances. 3 semesters is definitely enough time to get your GPA to at least a 3.0. Have confidence in yourself! You can do it!
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Old 03-16-11, 05:57 PM
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Re: Some Help? Advice? Anything??

There's hope out there. For what it's worth, I'm in graduate school for Mental Health Counseling, and finished my undergrad with a 2.8. Granted, I'm going to a for-profit school that has a philosophy of accepting everyone then booting people who don't hack it. I don't know about your field, maybe there are for-profit programs in that field?
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Old 03-17-11, 01:46 PM
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TygerSan TygerSan is offline
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Re: Some Help? Advice? Anything??

I have *absolutely* no clue about graduate programs in your field. I do know about them in the sciences, though, and know people who've successfully gotten into very good programs with similar GPA and decent GRE scores. My general experience is that while GPA might help you out in getting into grad school, it's not nearly as important as it was in getting into college, especially if you have real-world experience in your chosen field (in the case of the sciences, research experience).

You also almost always need recommendation letters, and those and the interview are two very important components of getting into grad school. I'd definitely talk to people in the field and see what's realistic, and whether the extra semester might be worth it, but in general, I wouldn't count yourself out just yet.

Also, though self disclosure is tricky, and I'd say most of us would say unadvisable, there is a school of thought that says that mentioning your new diagnosis in your personal statement in a way that makes clear that you've overcome some obstacles and came out on top (i.e., increase in grades), could work in your favor.
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