Hey everyone! I can safely say I’ve fully adjusted to the college life and am completely settled in. We’re almost done with our first semester here at Pitt, and I leave to go home for Thanksgiving next Monday. I haven’t felt homesick once and have found an amazing group of friends that I can already tell I’ll stay close with for a long time. We’re already discussing rooming situations for next year!
As for academics, I’m doing very well and have a big chemistry exam coming up this week — and yes, I’ve been studying extremely hard.
I’ll be honest. I thought classes in college (at least freshman year) would be a cakewalk. They’re not. Studying six hours a day is nothing out of the ordinary. But then again, a full day without studying isn’t either. A lot of it really depends on when your friends are studying/eating/watching TV, etc.
But having Tourette Syndrome, I have to try as hard as I can to stay away from the various distractions that exist at college. Time management is always a big thing in high school that teachers stress all the time. It’s an even bigger thing in college. I’d even go as far to say that it’s the most important factor of success.
If you don’t use your time wisely, you will not complete the work that has to be done. And in college, there are no small homework assignments, projects, extra credit grades, etc., to boost your average. Everything is based around exams. And for people with TS and other disorders, this can mean big trouble.
I tend to spend a lot of time at the library. If I go with friends, we’ll split up and go to different tables so that we can focus and avoid conversation. I also installed an add-on to my Chrome browser called “Morphine” which blocks and limits all the distracting websites that I go on such as Facebook, YouTube, ESPN, etc.
I have the ability to unblock them, but it’s much easier to stop yourself from unblocking them than from just opening your browser and hopping on Facebook to see what your friends are up to. Believe me, it definitely works.
As of right now, I haven’t found it necessary to get extra time on my exams, but if I do need it in the future, Pitt has a pretty good student disabilities center that can help me out with that. As far as those problems go, colleges are very accommodating most of the time.
College has been a great experience for me so far and I can’t wait to see what it brings in the future!