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Has anyone here ever felt too scared or too inadequate for college?

ashleyhope1259ashleyhope1259 0 replies1 threads New Member
So I’m 20 years old and I suffer from adhd, as well as other emotional disorders. I’ve always had issues throughout my highschool education and I left public school when I was 14 and transferred to homeschooling. I thought having more control over my curriculum and my time of study would make it easier on me, but it didn’t. I ignored my studies for almost 2 years before I skimmed through everything and I graduated when I was 17. My credentials look nice on paper but I didn’t really give myself the time to absorb information and actually learn from my schoolwork. So I’ve always felt like college would just be far stretch for me. I’ve tried a handful of times to apply and I always bailed out before I ever even jumped in. It’s been almost 4 years since I’ve graduated and honestly I want to further my education. I’ve spent all this time just working dead end jobs and trying to make ends meet, I don’t see how I’m more comfortable with living check by check like this. All of this time and energy and exhaustion has been put towards jobs and bosses that I know are only temporary and i know that if I just tried I could put the same time and effort towards something so much bigger and so much more beneficial to myself. But when I think of my level of intelligence, it always stops me. Has anyone else ever dealt with something like this? How can I pull myself out of this rut of feeling insecure and inadequate?
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Replies to: Has anyone here ever felt too scared or too inadequate for college?

  • happymomof1happymomof1 30768 replies197 threads Senior Member
    You can contact the admissions office at the community college closest to where you live, and talk with the counselors there about your options. You can start slow and easy with just one or two classes at a time, and as you build up your confidence you can start taking a heavier courseload.
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  • StPaulDadStPaulDad 593 replies4 threads Member
    edited June 2
    It pretty common for people who are not in step with their high school classes to feel that their time off has left them unready to get back into school. There are lots of reasons why people don't roll straight thru from HS to college: health problems, money problems, didn't value it at the time, wanted to go to the military or failed at school once before.

    Whatever the reason, confidence is not an easy thing to just summon when needed. But you can build it over time, and community college is a great place for that. Many students are on the so-called non-traditional path, it's usually affordable and there are courses at many levels of difficulty to so you find an appropriate level to start at. Follow the advice of @happymomof1 and talk to the CC people near you. They'll be happy to welcome you in and get you started.
    edited June 2
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  • MWolfMWolf 2608 replies14 threads Senior Member
    I'll third the recommendation to start with a community college for all the reasons @happymomof1 and @StPaulDad wrote. I am absolutely certain that you will be able to deal with the classes there, and the great thing about a CC is that, after two years you can either walk away with an associate's degree, or transfer to a four year college, and finish your bachelor's degree.

    Another great thing about community colleges is that they are full of people who have had extremely interesting lives. There are kids who just graduated high school, people your age who are doing their associates as they work, people who are going back to school after years or decades, and have done all sorts of things, and even some retirees who are taking classes for the joy of learning. Just getting to know your fellow students will be an enriching experience.

    CC professors are some of the best teaching faculty in the country. People apply for jobs at community colleges because they absolutely love teaching, and love teaching non-traditional students. You could ask for no better people as your teachers.

    Go for it!
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14507 replies106 threads Forum Champion
    I also agree...start at Community College to gauge how you are doing academically. The cost will be lower if you don't do well. If you do do well, then you can cost effectively get credits and then transfer after 2 years.
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  • Boxcar101Boxcar101 60 replies0 threads Junior Member
    A surprising amount of college is just showing up and doing the work. Day-in, day out.

    It's very rare that people fail because they weren't smart enough. Usually they just stop trying. They don't study or turn in work.

    If you go to class, do what is asked of you, spend the amount of time necessary to prepare for test, you are almost guaranteed a B at the very least.
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  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 7904 replies84 threads Senior Member
    I think Boxcar may be over-egging it a bit (I have both taken and taught college classes that require more than prepping for the test to get a B!) but s/he is right that the biggest part is showing up and doing the work.

    And everybody saying start with CC is right! CC is the unsung hero of the US university system. You will not be the only 'mature' student, you will not be the only student getting used to being in a classroom after a long time away, you will not be the only student who is scared and racked with self-doubt- and you will be with students who all pushed past all those things, and have a reason for being there. You can start by taking a class or two to get into the swing of it. The counselors are great about helping you choose classes that will fulfill the requirements for continuing on to a 4 year degree, so that option stays available as long as you want it to.

    One piece of advice: being able to 'skim everything' and pass says that you have plenty of ability - but what you may not have developed the muscles for working through something academic when it gets hard. At some point you will most likely find yourself in a class that is actually hard for you to get your head around. This is part of what Boxcar was talking about- it's when people give up. Don't!

    At the first whiff of trouble*- you don't understand the reading, you don't get the homework, a poor mark on a quiz, anything- start pulling in every source of support you can find: prof or TA hours? tutorials? study group with other students in the class? Online study guides? **everything** Read ahead, so that you have done the reading for class *before* the lecture. Do all the possible exercises. etc. It won't be easy- but the prize is oh, so worth it: the feeling you will have inside you when you master something that was genuinely difficult for you is wonderful- as is the realization that you really can do hard things.

    Finally, *lots* of people doubt their abilities- and it's almost never the people who should doubt their abilities that do! If you can get your HS schoolwork done the way you described you are more than able for the academics of college.

    *first check and make sure that you have the necessary background for the class (especially true for math, where even have missed one concept from a pre-req can mess you up). If that's the problem, switch out for the recommended pre-req class.
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  • MassmommMassmomm 4228 replies85 threads Senior Member
    The only way to build confidence is to build skills. So start small. Take one class at your local community college (and it can be something you would consider remedial.) Work hard in that class and build from there. Make sure your ADHD is well-managed--make lists, keep a calendar, take meds if necessary, talk therapy. Set yourself up for success.

    And don't forget to spend time thinking about what you want from life. What do you know you're good at? What are you drawn toward? (Art, numbers, music, nature, food?) You can build a life from these.
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