College mentoring can often be the “boost” a student needs for optimal success. Preparation for college usually consists of studying for SATs and ACTs, writing college essays, and keeping high school grades up. Few worry about college preparation otherwise other than finding the perfect shower tote and cool bedding. However, preparation regarding organization of work and schedules, memory strategies to help meet the demand of much larger work loads, meeting deadlines, and even social pitfalls is almost mandatory to help ensure a great GPA that first semester in college.
Even if the student does not have a learning issue or attention problem, being prepared is better than ideal. Trial and error on the student’s part often results in a GPA that the student spends the rest of their college career attempting to raise.
I have found that many students who have made it through high school with good grades without even really studying have difficulty when they get to college. Sometimes there has been an attention deficit that no one knew about. Or, on the other hand, there is a known attention deficit with ongoing problems or seemingly mastered problems. But achieving in college is a whole new ball game, and truly the start of professional life to come.
Having ADHD does not mean that the student has to have hyperactivity. Many times the student who is inattentive is not a behavior problem in school, and falls through the cracks. They may go unidentified. These can be the kids who seem to not work to their full potential, not spend much time on homework, cram the last minute for tests, and even seem “lazy” at times.
Students with attention problems may have problems with organization and memory, two important abilities for college. Without the ability to pay attention, focus, organize studying, remember assignments and memorize materials, making good grades is almost impossible. Fortunately, I have been able to identify many of these issues in college students through neuropsychological testing, and help turn grades around by suggesting accommodations and teaching useful strategies for memorization and organization. However, evaluating a student prior to college begins is ideal for a head start and to avoid playing catch up with grades. After a neuropsychological evaluation, she knows the student’s strengths and weaknesses and is able to help the student make the most of his or her educational experience. Many times college and high school students feel hope again, and see a brighter future ahead. They learn about themselves, how their own brain works, and begin taking control of their future and their adult lives.