Managing Stress, Studies, and ADHD

Kowther Qashou

June 2, 2017


University can be stressful for so many students, especially with the never-ending assignments. University can also be a curveball for First Years who are most likely fresh out of high school. While some students can manage their university, work, and social lives well, there are many students who struggle with that. Time management becomes an issue for students with ADHD due to everyday distractions and lack of focus.

If you are a student with ADHD or also have trouble managing your studies, then you will know exactly how much studying can be a struggle.

What is ADHD, exactly? Put quite simply, ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder) is categorised as a ‘behavioural disorder’ that affects behaviour or developmental learning. There are three main attributes to ADHD which are inattention, impulsivity, and overactivity. ADHD is quite common affecting around one in 20 adults.

Students with ADHD are at greater risk of depression and anxiety as stress can trigger the symptoms. To cope with stress and manage your studies, here are a few pointers that may help! Of course, each student might perform differently depending on their own time commitments and work load.

Start early. The ancient proverb. You’ve heard it from your family, friends, and even your lecturers. I’ll admit I’m guilty of leaving everything to the last minute, but chances are small distractions might set you back. 10 minutes on social media turns into an hour. We all know how it goes. Make use of the extra time by getting a head start.

Rest well, exercise, and eat well. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. A healthy body will also equal a healthy brain. This improves brain function and will make you more alert and improves concentration.

Organise your space. Whether it’s a digital or a physical space. A decluttered space equals a decluttered mind. Tidy your desk before you sit down to study.

Find the right study environment. Studying at home can be comfortable but distracting. Spaces with minimal noise levels such as libraries often work best.

Study with friends. Friends can be distracting but in addition to finding the right study environment, find the right study group or study buddy. I find that studying with people motivates me more. Think of it as a team effort. You’re all in this together.

Program your due dates. If, like me, you tend to mix up your dates and forget when things are due, writing them down or programming them into a calendar helps you keep track of when assignments are due.

Set a to-do list. The university’s website offers daily, weekly, and autumn session planners which you are able to download. To-do lists are great for organising what you need to and setting tasks based on priority.

Take breaks. For most students with ADHD, it is difficult to focus or work on tasks for a long time. Take small breaks every now and then, even for 10-15 minutes.

Reward yourself. Last but not least, reward yourself! Assignments and exams require hard work so reward your efforts. Rewards are also great motivators.

Good luck with your studies!


By Kowther Qashou.

Disability Services operate across each campus of Western Sydney University. Their team is made up of professional Disability Advisors and trained educational support staff that provide a stimulating environments and an Academic Integration Plans (AIP) for future and current students with disabilities, temporary injuries and chronic health conditions so that they can achieve their full academic potential. Some of the Disability services and facilities available include transcripts, videos and podcasts, alternative formats of course material, and access rooms to provide the students access to specialist assistive technology and adaptive equipment.

You can find out more about Disability Services by visiting or book an appointment by calling 9852 5199.

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