Looking back, there are certain things I wish I had done earlier in my academic career that would have made my life so much easier, and my time in the community college system and grad school would have both been much shorter and on time! I made a long list, feel free to add your own insights!
The first thing I would have done is to
go straight to the services for students with disabilities department at my first school and request accommodations like private test taking, maybe permission to record class lectures for when my mind couldn’t concentrate, etc…
I would have gotten a smartwatch as an assisted device earlier to keep my schedule, texts, emails, reminders on. It zaps my wrist lightly when my cell phone gets a new notification.
I would have asked the services for students with disabilities what forms I would need to turn in on the chance that I had to wipe a semester’s grades off my academic records with withdrawals due to hospitalization or illness and kept copies of those forms at home.
I would have gotten a whiteboard and a big felt pen to write daily, weekly, and monthly goals/deadlines.
I also would have used the time before and after class to practice socializing skills with my classmates. Knowing how to politely chit chat would have been very handy…it was a lesson I had to relearn later in life in my late-20’s after nearly a decade of solitude and silently staring at people’s shoes during class.
Learn from my mistakes, as I took longer than 5 years for my BA. I spent 3 years in the MA program before graduating, too…but that was partly due to mania-induced ambition. I now have more completed credits than my peers due to a mild mania-induced decision to switch into computer science without much background in it, and now my transcripts are more diverse than others with courses in a range of humanities and stem courses that went above and beyond what was needed for my degree. It’s half impressive and half the sad reality of a mild mania stalling an academic career and also a math class and computer algorithms class wrecked my gpa. So, my last piece of advice?
take your meds
and monitor your moods if you’re szA. Thank you, that was my TED Talk for the day lol bows