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Dear Wendy

Stuck with school and thus my future

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  • This topic has 37 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 11 months ago by avatarcdobbs71.
Viewing 12 posts - 25 through 36 (of 38 total)
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  • #830598 Reply

    The things you are mentioning having trouble putting down affect the reward center of the brain. That’s why you are finding this so difficult. You aren’t getting the same reward from something more mundane and boring like school work.

    Have you tried doing school work before the game or video? I’ve personally found it is more difficult to stop than to put off starting. A similar situation for myself is that I find it easier to eat no cookies or popcorn than to eat some and then stop. So know what you want to get done in the evening and do it then start with a game or video. I think it is hard to stop once you get going on those. They are designed to keep you playing or watching. A good game will leaving you feeling challenged and wanting to try one more time. A good show ends with a cliffhanger leaving you needing to watch one more.

    Don’t come home and jump right into the electronics. Hold them off. Relax in some other way and then do the school work that needs to be done. Then go for the electronics.Set yourself an achievable goal then move on to electronics. What absolutely must be done for school tomorrow? Pick that and do it. Anything else that is needing done in the next day? Do it and then move on to electronics. If nothing is absolutely urgent then choose one or two things that will take time to get done. If you have a report assigned sit down and decide what materials you are going to need to complete it and either go get them or put them on a grocery list or put them on hold at the library. If you’ve already gotten your materials then start reading them. Set an amount to complete in a day. Before finishing for the day try to write at least one paragraph of the report. If you have something with a daily assignment, something like math, do it first and get it out of the way. That will feel good.

    Save the things that stimulate the reward center of the brain for last. The thing about rewards is that they leave you wanting more and more and more. Rewards are fleeting. Getting rewarded feels good but then the good feeling is over and you need another reward. If you can understand how that works and then be in control of it you can keep it from ruling your life. The trouble with rewards, other than they can make you want more and more, is that they don’t leave you happy.

    #830652 Reply

    Oh man I can so relate, this was me all through my schooling. It was like my brain wouldn’t switch on until it was right down to the wire and then suddenly I could focus and get it done. I still struggle with it now but I do as Skyblossom says and give myself rewards AFTER the task is complete. Cleaning needs doing? I tell myself to just get it done then I can watch that TV show I’ve been wanting to see. Boring work stuff that has to be done? Do it then have a 15 minute breather on a youtube video or something. If necessary I’d write out a to do list and figure out what I could reasonably do before my brain switched off. You have to retrain yourself to manage your tasks in a way that works for how you operate. Write out what you need to do, work it into manageable chunks then give yourself time to enjoy something. Your grades and your stress levels will thank you.

    #830664 Reply

    You need an official diagnosis. In college, there are lots of resources you can get to help you, but they won’t give it to you unless you have documentation. It’s not a crutch. It’s you getting resources for a situation that’s outside your control.

    Your parents view of this is like if they knew you couldn’t see well and chose to not get you an eye exam because they didn’t want you to rely on glasses as a “crutch.”

    I think people assume counseling is just therapy. But I have students who see counselors for things like test anxiety, and they teach them skills to help them concentrate better on tests and not forget stuff.

    If things are as bad as you say and you’re as frustrated as you say, then I would say not to dismiss ideas unless you’ve tried them.

    #832363 Reply
    avatarAlexander Walker

    Thank you all for your responses when I mentioned my dyslexia, it was not to say that that was the issue, but just how it kind of started, and that I had the IEP as a crutch before, I’m definitely getting tested now I have an appointment for two weeks from today, I’ll let you know the conclusion of that. But I agree more with this being a personality thing, I’m going to look into getting a therapist, @Odie I looked into 504’s as well but they just straight up denied, and as for a todo list… I have several, I used to get motivated by like new notebooks or like whiteboards, but it wears off. I do not blame the doctors, I do not blame the school, I believe this is an issue I have, and I know I need to tackle it, what I do not know… Is how? so that’s kind of my follow up question, what can I do?

    #832364 Reply

    Right, you need a coach to get to know you and tell you how.

    #832366 Reply
    avatarAlexander Walker

    OK, so I just found the third page of everything, and wow… I’m really glad I came to this website, thank all of you, that definitely answered my previous inquiry, I really appreciate what all of you said, I will definitely try a lot of the things mentioned, in fact, I think I’m going to go clean right now, then try to get some work done. One hell of a day to have a snow day, also a great opportunity to catch up.

    #832367 Reply

    The cleaning sounds like procrastination, just sayin.

    #832368 Reply

    I agree with the others- doctor’s appointment, perhaps a cognitive behavioural therapist to help you re-learn more productive patterns.

    A big part of your working life will be spent doing a large percentage of mundane and non-rewarding tasks and a small percent of highly rewarding tasks (at least for me, and I really love what I do). You need to be able to motivate yourself to get the boring work done.

    Start using rewards *after* you complete something. It sounds like you know how to create to do lists- but do you know how to prioritize them, to schedule them? Make schedules that mean something to you, then use the things you really want to do as rewards for getting the stuff done. Sprinkle the tasks you dislike inbetween the ones you like.

    And yes, cleaning is procrastination in your case. You can clean once you do the urgent and important tasks on your list. Ange was just using cleaning as an example of something she dislikes and has to motivate herself to do.

    #832370 Reply

    I agree with all of the above. I think the whole just doing the mundane or non rewarding stuff also comes with maturity. I am not calling you immature, you seem to have a pretty intelligent brain in there, but of course you are just younger and therefore haven’t mastered some skills yet. Do I want to get on my hands and knees and scrub the floors, no, do I like it, no, do I sometimes put it off (especially in this weather when i can just say they will get gross again), yes, but, I you just learn it has to be done so you suck it up and do it. Of course just saying that doesn’t solve it, but with more adult responsibility comes the realization that you just HAVE to do things. Right now you have risks with a low GPA, college being at risk, BUT you haven’t really truly felt the blow out of NOT doing something and the bad it can cause. If I DON’T do my work, I will lose my job, my money, a roof over my head. Those are things you just haven’t dealt with yet because they haven’t had a chance to happen in your life.

    BUT, bad things are on the verge of happening if you don’t change your mentality so you do need to get your butt in gear before you risk not getting into college, losing out on financial aid you might require that could keep you out of college, stuff like that.

    Perhaps that understanding of how later these things can impact you in a huge way, which I do believe are starting to grasp, will help a bit.

    #832371 Reply
    avatarAlexander Walker

    Oh I know, seriously. I’m cleaning to create a better environment to work, I’m also setting up a desk, in a room with an old desktop so I can better focus, and not be around the computer with all my games on it. I really am not procrastinating by cleaning. I wrote an email to all of my teachers within the time since my last reply, stating that I am frustrated and need to catch up and asked what I could do to catch up, and asked for there understanding that I am behind in literally every other class I am in as well, and asked for them to check up on me, and to be patient with me. Of course, I said that with more contentious words, but the premise is the same. and @JD, I have an opportunity to get a job with a company that would pay $18.50 an hour at 16 that’s fantastic, it would also get me my associates in engineering for free, and I would get to work for their company through college and after with a lot of room for growth, that’s kinda what sparked this, “I really need to get my shit together.” thing, that’s not to say that I didn’t care before, I just don’t want to lose this opportunity. Ok, now I’m going to go clean and turn off my computer as to not get further distracted, thank all of you, seriously. and please forgive my spotty grammar.

    #832414 Reply

    If you can handle IB, you can handle college. I was always a procrastinator in high school (also IB), though I never shrugged my shoulders and turned assignments in late, and my grades were good. I remember a biology paper I wrote in HS received a great grade with a comment from the teacher about how I had submitted college work and had so much *potential* to be a great student. It wasn’t until I was a college senior in harder classes that my habits came back to bite me — my grades did suffer a few times, but overall I did well in college. Law school was finally hard enough that I had to buckle down and learn better study habits.

    A lot of my habits were rooted in boredom, I think. I’ve always liked learning, but often didn’t like the classroom setting — it was boring for me to be talked at! I’m not a procrastinator at work, though. I generally like my job, feel motivated getting paid (rather than paying to go to school), and really like having a professional reputation for being reliable/dependable.

    So, I don’t think the same habits will necessarily follow you through life — that has not been the case for me — but it’s probably better to fix this now than get burned down the road.

    Can you have study groups with friends? In college, my friends and I would meet at the library to study quietly for our own classes (independently but together).

    #832440 Reply

    Alexander, you sound like my son. Yeah, I am *that* old.

    He has Inattentive ADD. Not ADHD. He was (is) the dreamy kid whose mind would wander out the classroom window…but only sometimes. If it was a class that interested him, or a project, or fencing, he could focus like a laser. There was some talk of his being dyslexic when he was younger as some of his traits of ADD mimicked dyslexia and I am mildly dyslexic (so sayeth my childhood medical records)

    I think you need to get properly evaluated and diagnosed. So, maybe a therapist to help kick start that. School counselors? I started with school counselors for my son then went onto therapists for diagnostic evaluations and coping skills.

    He would do exactly what you did in a semester – have horrible grades then, in the last quarter pull incredible grades and wind up with a respectable GPA for that semester. I would have to kick start him also, like your parents… but once we figured out what was going on with him… he was (is) able to recognize when he is drifting (procrastinating) and pull himself back on track.

    Don’t give up – there are a number of reasons that staying on track is difficult – find the answer…it takes time… but once you do find it you will feel so much better.


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