Unlocking the Power of ADHD: Embracing Individuality and Thriving in the Cardinal Nation

Madison Martin shares what she has learned through her AP Seminar project this year


carrie ravenscroft

“My experience of coming to terms with my ADHD during lockdown. watercolour on paper, A3.”

A look into ADHD from a child's perspective

Advisor’s Note: This article was written by an AP Seminar student as part of a “Make a Difference” project. For the AP Seminar Performance Tasks that are scored by College Board, students spend their year researching and writing about real-world, complex issues. After the AP test, students choose one of the topics they studied and do something to raise awareness about the issue to shed light on it as a way to make even a small difference. Students have a variety of options including developing websites, creating posters, starting social media campaigns, writing letters, and, this year, writing articles for Cardinal Nation. Madison Martin chose to share her issue in Cardinal Nation. Here is Madison’s submission.


Hey there, fellow Cardinals! Today, we’re diving into a topic that hits close to home for many of us: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. This unique neurodevelopmental disorder affects individuals of all ages and genders. Buckle up and join me on this enlightening journey as we explore the world of ADHD, address common misconceptions, and uncover strategies for success! 

(Fig 1) Studying for anyone can be difficult, but with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) it can seem near impossible. Here is a look into the mind of a student with ADHD ( Mary Grace Heartlein)

Understanding ADHD: A Roller Coaster Ride of Focus

Imagine sitting in class, your mind buzzing with energy and curiosity, but struggling to focus on the teacher’s words. You may find yourself doodling on your notebook or fidgeting in your seat, simply because staying still feels like an impossible task. Welcome to the world of ADHD!

ADHD comes with a host of symptoms, like having a fast-paced mind, being easily distracted, and feeling restless. One fellow student named Layla describes here experience this way: “I’ve always been the one bouncing off the walls, finding it challenging to sit still or concentrate for long periods. It’s like having a mental amusement park inside my head!”


Addressing Misconceptions: Breaking Free from the Stereotypes

(Fig 2) By Michelle Frank, Psy.D.

Now, let’s debunk some myths that surround ADHD. One common misconception is that ADHD is caused by bad parenting or laziness. Nothing could be further from the truth! ADHD is a complex condition influenced by various factors, such as genetics and brain chemistry.

Another myth is that ADHD only affects children.

“I used to think ADHD was just a childhood thing,” says Bobby, a MHS senior who was diagnosed with ADHD during his sophomore year says. “Little did I know that it could follow you into adulthood. Understanding this helped me embrace my uniqueness and seek support.”

Finally the last myth is that ADHD is only prominent in boys. However, as shown in figure 2, statistics show that both boys and girls can have ADHD.

Strategies for Success: Navigating the ADHD Maze

So, how can individuals with ADHD conquer the challenges they face? Let’s explore some practical strategies for success:

Ride the Rhythm of Routine: Establishing a consistent daily routine can be a game-changer. Think of it as your personalized roadmap, helping you stay organized and focused on your goals.

Funneling Focus: Tackling large tasks can be overwhelming. Break them down into bite-sized chunks, and celebrate each milestone along the way. Remember, every journey starts with a single step!

Unleashing the Power of Visuals: Embrace the power of visual aids! Sticky notes, colorful calendars, and electronic reminders can be your best friends, helping you stay on track and manage your time effectively. 

(Fig. 3) Alice (The mini ADHD coach)

Advocacy and Support: Joining Forces in the Cardinal Nation

In Mentor, we believe in supporting one another. If you or someone you know is navigating the world of ADHD, there are local resources and organizations eager to lend a helping hand. Check out groups like CHADD or local support networks that offer guidance and understanding. Remember, you’re never alone on this roller coaster ride!

Creating an Inclusive Environment: The Cardinal Family

Finally, let’s discuss how we can foster an inclusive environment for individuals with ADHD. Imagine a world where we replace judgment with understanding and embrace diversity in all its forms. Let’s educate ourselves, spread awareness, and practice empathy. Together, we can build a Cardinal Family that celebrates each unique journey, including those affected by ADHD.

Conclusion: Unlock Your Cardinal Potential

As we conclude our journey into the world of ADHD, remember that ADHD is not a limitation; it’s a superpower waiting to be harnessed. Embrace your unique strengths, seek support when needed, and know that you have a community here in the Cardinal Nation that believes in you.

So, fellow Cardinals, let’s unlock our Cardinal potential by embracing individuality, dispelling myths, and advocating for increased awareness of ADHD. Together, we can create a supportive, inclusive community where every voice is heard and every journey is celebrated. Get ready to soar high, because the Cardinal Nation is cheering you on, one success at a time!