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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

“Isn’t ADHD something you get diagnosed with as a child?” As I began to ponder the idea that I may be struggling with something more than my already diagnosed anxiety and depression, I couldn’t stop thinking of the fact that I was 21.

Girl Holding Her Knees
Breanna Coon / Her Campus

Everything was so hard for me to accomplish — but I thought my struggles were normal or just another symptom of my anxiety. I couldn’t get work done on time — and it wasn’t so much procrastination as I was so overwhelmed by the tasks that I needed to do that I would sit in silence for hours upon hours focusing on things that didn’t matter, and then a few hours before something was due, I would try and finish it with the small amount of time I had left. I couldn’t focus in class; every noise made me lose my train of thought, a student getting up and moving during class was even worse. I haven’t taken valuable notes during a class, except for maybe a handful of times in my whole life, as I would get distracted and just doodle all over my pages. I constantly bounced my legs if I had to sit still for long periods of time. The worst symptom though was not being able to pay attention to my husband. He would talk and I would lose focus, or I would think of something to say — of course, I didn’t want to interrupt him, so instead, I just stopped listening to him as I knew if I paid attention to him and what he was saying, I would forget what I wanted to say. Since getting diagnosed, there are what seems like a thousand other things that have greatly impacted my life that can also be correlated to my struggle with ADHD. 

Anna Schultz-Girl On Computer Stress
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

I’m one of the lucky ones though. There are many adults — and a lot of women — who go undiagnosed and struggle even more once getting into the workforce, losing many jobs and not maintaining relationships, to the point that the diagnosis is life-saving to them. Thankfully, I have a semester left of college to try and figure out how to cope with the struggles that I deal with before I have to try and push myself into the workforce. 

As I’m writing this, I’ve had to pull my focus back in many, many times. I have the windows open and every sound I hear pulls my attention away from writing this and pushes it to whatever is going on outside. Even if my windows weren’t open, the notifications on my phone or the noises from my dogs would be distracting me. And the thing is, now I have to work on accepting that this and everything else I struggle with is okay and that just because this isn’t everyone’s normal, it’s my normal.  

Darby is a Senior at UCF studying Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Anthropology. Darby was born and raised in Kentucky but decided to make the move to Orlando in the Fall of 2017. When she isn't studying and writing, she can typically be found playing video games with her husband, worrying about life after college, or playing with her dogs.
UCF Contributor