LD Independent Living

How LD students succeed in college?

Part 1: Be prepared for independent living in college

If you are already in college, you should have already learned these skills. If you haven’t you need to catch up quickly. For some students there is no problem. Others are confused by the number of choices they need to make.

1. Meals: At home your parent or at your school told you when to come to meals and they often gave you the meal without your needing to choose what to eat. In College, you need to choose WHEN TO EAT. When you create your weekly Time management schedule, put all your meals on the chart and stick to the schedule unless you have another clear plan, like eating with friends or going to a program where a meal is served.

WHERE TO EAT:. In some schools, there are many choices. In other schools, it is easier. There might be one dining hall with set times for meals.  If you aren’t sure where to go, ask someone who is not a freshman, where they’d suggest. Eat there unless you make another choice.

WHAT TO EAT: It is important to eat HEALTHY food. Poor food choices can make your learning problems worse. Eat protein at every meal. This could be eggs, cereal with milk, yoghurt, or other choices for breakfast.Be sure to add fruit juice or a piece of fruit.  Do not eat doughnuts, pastries, or sugar-coated cereal.

For lunch and dinner, you should eat protein such as meat, cheese, cottage cheese. You need to add a vegetable and salad or two vegetables. For snacks during the day, fruit is a good choice. If you have questions, ask someone for advice. You can also remember meals you ate at home and eat similar meals now. Do not skip meals.

It is also important to DRINK 8 CUPS OF WATER EVERY DAY. If the glasses are large, they might hold 2 cups of water. This means you need 4 glasses of water.

2. Another important area of healthy living is GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP. When you don’t get at least eight hours of sleep, your learning problems get worse and you will experience anxiety. If you like to stay up late, then it is important to sleep late and never register for early classes. In your Time management chart, be sure you include at least 8 hours of sleep. Many students need nine hours. Ask yourself how much sleep you got at home.

3. EXERCISE IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT. All students need exercise. It helps you get blood and oxygen to your brain and you are more alert and ready to learn. ADD/ADHD students need it even more. With exercise, you will have fewer problems with hyperactivity. One person said that when he couldn’t focus on his studies, he exercised vigorously until he began to sweat. Then his mind cleared up and he was able to concentrate.

It would be wise to exercise regularly every single day. Then add exercise before class and during study breaks. You might walk fast, jog, run, jump rope, dance, use gym equipment, etc. Choose the exercise you are most likely to do regularly.

4. What about medicines? If you are taking any meds, you need to put the times to take your pills on your schedule and stick to it. Some students don’t know what to do when they run out. Their parents always took care of getting the medicine.

First, check the bottle to see if you can get refills. If so, take the bottle to a nearby drugstore. They can even contact the store where your medicine was bought before to get information about insurance. Your parents should have gone over this with you before you left home. If they didn’t or you don’t remember, call home and ask. Ask them if you have insurance that pays all or part of the cost of prescription medicine.

If you have no more refills, you can always take your bottle – with your name and doctor on it – to the school clinic. A doctor there can write you a prescription. Be sure you understand how many refills you can get. Take this to a nearby drugstore to fill the prescription.

3. WASHING CLOTHES: Hopefully you learned to wash your clothes at home. If not, find the laundry room in your dormitory. If you need help, ask other students there what to do. Generally, you can buy your own detergent at a store (cheaper) or buy it in small packages in the laundry room (convenient but expensive.) In most laundry rooms you need a large supply of quarters. You might need four or more quarters to wash clothes and perhaps even more for the dryer. Hopefully, all the clothes you brought to college can be machine washed. Clothes like a suit may need dry cleaning. Ask someone where the nearest dry cleaner is if you need one.

I read one story of a student who didn’t know how to wash clothes, so when his clothes got dirty he went out and bought new clothes. I also know of a student) who just kept wearing his dirty clothes over and ove.r Theylooked awful and smelled worse. They took the clothes home for holidays so their mother could wash them. People laugh when they hear stories like this.They won’t laugh if you ask them to help you learn how to do your laundry.

Never be afraid of asking questions. If you need help, ask someone.

For more information on a healthy lifestyle : Healthy eating        Drink Water 

Enough Sleep         Regular Exercise


To get organized, read    Get Organized:  It will suggest ways to Organize your goals, time, space, materials, and money

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