I am currently on academic probation at school, and I had to drop last semester because I tried to kill myself. I was hospitalized for almost a week, and missed so much that I withdrew for medical reasons. I was so afraid that I would fail out of college that I just needed a break.
I re-petitioned for college entry, and I will either be going back this fall or spring semester. I am really afraid that when I go back, I may still fail out, and I just don't want that to happen!
Okay, here's a brief description of my learning difficulties. Well, first, I can't concentrate during classes. I can hear and see everything the teacher is talking about, but none of it processes. I also forget everything. I've tried taking notes, but halfway through, I space out, and stop taking the notes. So, note taking doesn't work either.
When I read through the materials, I don't remember anything that I read, even if I read it multiple times. My roommate recommended that I take notes on the reading as I go, I tried that, but that only helped slightly. I still just barely passed my exams and quizzes, which are the majority of my grades.
Does anyone have any suggestions to help me learn? I really don't want to fail out permanently
Have you tried using a tape recorder? I used one for 1 day, then it got stolen and I never got it back (even though I had my name and complete birthdate engraved in it)! Also, you could try asking for a student note-taker or ask the teacher/professor ect. if you can make a copy of his/her notes.
I know a bit about this, so here are some suggestions that you might consider:
If you have a documented learning disability, you should be able to get some accommodations for your problems. It's hard to say what these might be, but they often include extra time for tests and perhaps a notetaker or tutor.
Sit in the front of the room where you are least likely to be distracted.
Visit the teacher during his/her office hours and explain your situation--briefly. Show your enthusiasm for the class and the subject (instructors love this) and ask for some assistance or suggestions that the instructor may reasonably be able to provide. An outline of the lecture or more writing on the board might be of great help to you.
If you think that taping the lecture would be helpful, ask the instructor's permission. If you tape, don't stop taking notes! The tape is to supplement, not replace your notes.
Perhaps you might be able to look at someone's notes. This can be tricky, but turn on your charm.
There are tricks to effective text reading. Textbooks are organized in segments with headings, subheadings, summaries, study questions, etc. Use these aids to help you understand the content. Set reasonable goals for reading. Say that you will read for 15 minutes and then take a break. As your roommate suggested, make notes in the margins of your books or outline as you read. Active reading is more interesting and makes learning easier--for everyone.
Practice time management. Put your schedule in detail on paper and follow it. Be sure to include time to relax and socialize as well as to study.
Most colleges have a writing center or learning center. You should use any and all college services to their full extent.
Find a mentor from the faculty or staff. Successful students do this.
Finally, you must be your own advocate. Having a LD is tough, but I've seen students do well and walk away with a college degree in hand. You need to be resourceful. If something isn't working, you need to try another strategy. A lot of college students have fears and issues to overcome, so you're not alone in this. Good luck.
Have you always had a problem with focusing and note taking. Since this is college this is definately a huge difference from high school.
All the onus is on you to keep up with the teacher and not the other way around.
- are you registered for the correct course of your interest or is it a 'requirement' before you get to the course you really want? Sometime disinterest plays a role in whether your attention is there or not.
- buddy up with someone (if possible), maybe you can go for coffee after and discuss the class and notes.
- ask for supporting web pages / reference books - which sometimes give a person a more tangible information than verbal.
- the taperecord sounds good, but you'll have to have it close to the instructor otherwise that same background sound will distract you.
- if in doubt, see a physician to determine is tests are required.
Last edited by moreinfoneeded; 09-08-2005 at 05:17 PM.
Do you use visualization? Maybe search around for right brained/left brained thinkers tests and see if any of the cues from the test fit your style. If you find that you are more visual, you can come up with a plan that lets you learn what you need to learn with some modifications. Just an idea.
Are you sure you haven't got a depression? Your attempted suicide sounds worrying.
I have had considerable problems with learning how to drive a car and even language studies although I have a talent for languages. I was recently diagnosed with a depression and my psychiatrist confirmed that depressions can cause LDs, concentration problems not to mention anxiety. I have recently started medication and have already noticed learning improvements although it hasn't reached its full effect by far. I suggest you have tests done to determine whether you have got a depression or not. Depression among students is nothing unusual. The university I was studying at had even a full-time employed psychiatrist.
You haven't mentioned how you performed in high school. Did you already have LDs there?
I know exactly how you are feeling and how frustrating and worrying your situation is. I hope you will be able to overcome your problems and wish you success with your studies.
Hi, it's bleeding, I have a different loginname now. I posted this one originally a while back, but anyway...still having the problem. I DO have depression, and have been treating it since last April. I am now on 30 mg. of Lexapro. My doctor had me on 80 mg. Strattera for ADD, but to no avail...it did nothing for me....so now I am completely stumped as to what exactly to do. What kind of other ADD medications are out there that work?
Hey, I think you may just be getting bored in your classes and you are depressed. By reading what you write, you sound like a really bright girl and I wouldn't imagine that you would have difficulties because of problems with learning but rather because you either find the class incredibly boring or because your depression prevents you from realizing your potential(or a combination of the two factors). Some of the things about depression is that it can cause memory and attention problems that can interfere with your ability to learn and memorize(which is a lot of college is about), so treating that however you can will help you improve(No doubt in my opinion).
I was the same way as you, I think. I failed most of my classes(well, I dropped mid-way) because I didn't feel like going and partly because of depression. I didn't really realize how important my studies were to my future success, and coming directly out of high school where I laxed out so much in class because it was so terribly easy didn't really help matters - after deciding to drop out, that only added to whatever depression that I had(and I had suicidal thoughts, but it never materialized). You sound like you sort of seem to be the same way...... so, I think it might be the boredom of classes - you definitely sound intelligent enough to learn. Maybe I'm mistakingly judging a book by it's cover(your writing), but I think you definitely have the ability to learn if you applied yourself.
There is a learning disability called Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD). It is considered a receptive learning disability...meaning that an affected individual has a difficult time understanding spoken language.
I can understand very little of lecture style speech...especially if I do not have a frame of reference for what the orator is speaking on. If someone switches topics quickly during conversation I won't process it correctly either (I say "what" A LOT...my husband keeps telling me to get my hearing checked again but I can hear fine...I just have a great deal of trouble translating what was said).
I also have a very difficult time understanding conversation or reading if there is any type of background noise (outside of "white noise" I find fans, air conditioners, dryers etc...relaxing and they help me to focus better...not sure why).
I am easily distracted and have a short attention span anyway so not being able to understand what is being said causes me to lose interest very quickly.
Even in things that appeal to me (I've gotten very frustrated during movies, live stage productions, tae kwon do class when the instructor speaks etc...I try desperately to figure out what is being said but it's jumbled so I give up).
Taking notes never helped me because they ended up only pieces of information and never complete ideas. I couldn't process enough to write down anything that made sense. Listening to tapes is a nightmare because I have taken to watching people's mouths when they talk...I can figure out some of what people are saying by watching them talk (takes a different part of the brain to decipher this way). It's also far easier to understand people who are dramatic and use their hands a lot when they talk.
The best way I've found to learn is to have someone help me one on one (my husband is AWESOME at this...one of those natural teacher types ). I have poor reading comprehension too so although I can get the gist of something I can rarely answer specific questions unless it has to do with the general idea (I've gotten good at guessing ).
I wish I had some good advice but I really don't. I do know what it's like to have a learning disorder though. I posted this before but I'll say it again...I used to think that I was just stupid and couldn't learn but discovered recently (I'm 29) that I just learn differently .
Don't give up on yourself...find a way and enlist some help.
Start eating fish every day. Canned wild salmon anchovies and sardines especially. This is literally brain food. Your brain is 60% fat and needs to get its essential fatty acids Omega 3 every day. They are highest in these fish.
Studies have been done on depression and fish oil and determined that 1000mg of EPA, an omega 3 fatty acid relieves depression better than medication. I tried anti-depressants and they didn't help very much. The fish oil I use is the only brand in North America that contains the same amount of EPA used in the studies. It has helped me a lot. It's called Omega Joy by Genuine Health. You get it at health food stores or the genuine health web site. The caps are enterically coated, causing no burping or aftertaste or odour and contain no mercury or toxins. You take 2 capsules a day for the depression dose. People in the studies felt better in a week, and further improved over time.
You may have attention deficit disorder (ADD) which is treatable through medication and/or accommodations. See if there are facilities at your school that could test you or if your parent(s) could have you tested. I am an elementary special needs teacher and it is a very common disorder but easily treatable. Also, my brother was diagnosed with it as a teen, went on meds. which helped a great deal with focus and concentration, then was eligible for special accommodations (tutors, extra time on exams, etc.) in college. Get tested, if you don't have it, no harm done, right?