1 more set and i'll be done for real this time

autistic studying advice

by an autistic undergrad

1) Don’t trust all study guides by NTs

Their brains are wired differently and some things that work for them won’t work for us. There’s a chance those tips and tricks won’t do anything for you, which might make you feel like a failure. You aren’t! If something doesn’t work, move on. It’s okay.

2) If you have executive dysfunction, laziness and lack of motivation is not your problem

When you struggle with executing tasks it may feel like you are lazy and aren’t motivated enough, but that’s not necessarily true! You might be hella motivated and still not be able to do a task. Trying to motivate yourself in that case will only make you more frustrated.

3) Get distractions out of the way

Little things that would not distract a neurotypical person might distract you, in which case you won’t be able to work to your full capacity. Build a sensory friendly environment with no noises, bright lights, bad smells, etc. Use ear plugs or music if you need to. Get stim toys if you stim a lot to concentrate. Good environment is very important and is probably the reason why you struggle at school/college/uni where your senses might be overstimulated.

4) If you tend to hyperfocus, learn when it happens

Hyperfocus can be incredibly useful for studying, so if it happens to you, try to identify when it happens. For me I tend to hyperfocus when there are absolutely no distractions (for me that often means when I have headphones on and I’m alone). Then replicate those factors to get more done.

5) Learn ways around executive dysfunction and limited energy

This is the most difficult part. Studying when you have problems with executing tasks and limited spoons (energy resources) is tough. Here’s how you can deal with it.

6) Understand your priorities

You will not be able to do as much as NTs do in one day. Deal with it now. Understand that simple tasks such as brushing your teeth or talking on the phone also require energy. So prioritize. Assume you can only do one thing today, the most important/urgent one, and do that first. Then the less important thing. And so on.

7) “Don’t half-ass things” is a lie

Half-ass things. Quarter-ass things. If you can only do one math problem today, do it. That will be one less math problem later. If you can only read a few pages of a textbook today, do it. It’s also easy to think “if I can’t write the essay and finish that project today, might as well do nothing”. That’s a lie too. Do a small thing but do something. Do something badly but still do it. You might be able to fix it later. There’s no shame in being disabled, no matter what society makes you think.

8) Do the most complicated thing first

If you have several tasks and one requires more executive functioning, do that first. Your planning skills are probably at best right after you wake up, before you have time to spend any energy. So that’s the best time to do tasks with many steps or to plan tasks ahead.

9) Rest and take breaks right

It’s important to take breaks in between work, but you have to do it right. You might be tempted to do something useful for a break to be productive - like take a walk or read a book or talk to someone. Do not, or at least do not unless you are absolutely sure. Switching to another task requires mental energy, so that will only deplete your energy sources.

For breaks, do something ridiculously easy. Go on social media. Listen to a song and sing along. Watch a YouTube video. Stim. Daydream. Even lay down and close your eyes for five minutes. Just don’t switch to tasks that also require energy.

10) Don’t try to learn by repetition

Studies show that learning by repetition doesn’t work for us. It will not help you make more connections in your brain. Instead, do different tasks. Read from a book. Write down important points from the book. Read them out loud. Try to repeat them without looking. Pretend to explain it to someone. Answer questions related to the material. Draw it. Watch a video about it. Make a mnemonic for it. Whatever. Just don’t sit there reading it again and again.

11) Be kind to yourself

Your energy levels and capabilities will fluctuate from day to day, and you can’t always know how it will turn out. On some days I can write an essay from scratch in one sitting. On others I struggle to make myself a cup of tea. That’s normal, and it’s not your fault. Blaming yourself for it will only upset you and make it less likely that you do at least something today.

Imagine it like this: you are playing a game, and the difficulty setting randomly switches every day. On some days it’s on easy and you get through five levels with no problems. On some days it’s on very difficult and you can’t even get to the first checkpoint. That’s okay. Say to yourself, “my abilities haven’t changed, the difficulty changed”. Today, just get to that checkpoint. Tomorrow you might get through five levels.

12) Learn from other autistic people

For any other problem you might come across, other autistic people are the best source of knowledge. Allistic parents, teachers, friends, mentors, etc are likely to not understand your problem at all, or give you bad advice. Instead consult the real autism experts - actually autistic people. There are plenty of us who got through school, college and/or uni. Reach out to them. They will help.

Good luck!

anonymous asked:

What is your advice for those studying who feel they are going to disappoint themselves? That I excel in other areas but academics has always been the 'story' I don't want to own. I'll put in work one day but struggle to the next -tuning in to all that I haven't done well/yet. This includes a lot of thinking about the studying I need to do. I have drive but feel low especially when I sit down to study for a good future. It's annoying cause I want to win for the part of me that knows I can do it.


I gave this a lot of thought. It sounds like you’re a very ambitious person (you excel in other areas, you have drive, you study for a good future, you want to win) and that’s amazing. Ambition is one of the things that’s hard to come by if you don’t have it in you and you just happen to have loads. 
That’s a great beginning for a great student!

In fact, I’ve worked out a little recipe: 


1 cup ambition

1 bowl curiosity (grated)

3 spoonful hard work

5 slices of humor

7 pieces of awe

9 chunks of bravery

11 roots of strategy


1 steamed essence of love

* good students (=who get results and enjoy studying)

From the looks of it, you have ambition and hard work, so I don’t need to tell you about these two. But why do you need all the others? 

To change your perspective. 
You told me that you feel like you’re going to disappoint yourself and that is not a good place to be at, at all. Especially as someone who dreams big. 
So, you need to re-assess your priorities. If you feel “I won’t make it” from the very beginning, you’re playing a game you can only lose. 
So ask yourself: what is “it” exactly? What won’t you make?
“It” is studying succesfully, but “studying” is such a huge word. It’s a bit like “doing sports”. “Doing sports” could mean anything: running, resting, jumping, swimming, diving, hitting, warming up, stretching, maneuvering, anything. 
So, when people say they want to “study”, they actually say they want to listen, read, view, review, process, write, understand, retain, organize, formulate, integrate, question, argue, illustrate, engage, explore, …you get the idea.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses and you will be better at some of these and worse at others, so beating yourself up, just because you’re not a perfect robot is straight up mean. Allow yourself room to grow. Don’t set your bar so high that you can’t possibly reach it - it will only frustrate and demoralize you.
Instead, learn to set up goals that you can reach and reach them. Trust me, the boost you get from a plan you conceived, assessed and followed through is incomparable. If you feel “I’ll let myself down with this plan”, change the plan. 
There is no shame in devoting more time to a subject and if others will be faster, congratulate them, but know that many won’t ever understand the subject on your level. They scraped through, good for them, but you will understand.

And here’s where the other ingredients come in: You called academics a ‘story’ and I think that’s a beautiful way to describe the fact that it, like the word “studying”, does not really exist on its own. It’s a multitude of actions, values, dreams and strategies, pressed into a single word. 
To many, academia is a stage they need to get through, so that they may be eligible for a good job that pays good money or a good job with lots of prestige or even a good job to help lots of people and that’s okay. 
But these people were always alien to me. They study, but it’s a mechanical process, without questioning, wondering or loving what you do. To many, if not most, this is what studying means and I think you might work under the misconception that this is, in fact, “studying”. 
If it was, I wouldn’t want to own this ‘story’ either, trust me. Grinding away at your desk, mindlessly burning facts into your brain, filling page after page with words that mean nothing to you? 

The way I see it, studying, real studying, is about something that means something to you. Something you connect with. Something that changes the way you look at the world. Something that gives your life reason, context, a history, a new dimension.

So how can you “real” study, and not “mechanical robot” study?

Well, you assemble your ingredients and start brewing your potion.
It’s like you’re cooking a stew. It’s already boiling, but the more ingredients you have, the better it will come out. 
So? How many ingredients do you have?

1 cup ambition … check

1 bowl curiosity (grated)… not clear 
Why is curiosity so important? Because it’s one of the things that makes us who we are and got us to where we are. You could live in a culture where schools or universities don’t even exist, but you’d still have questions. Why are we here? Who am I? How do I live a good life? What should I eat? How can I have fun? What is this water that’s falling from the sky? 
We live in a riddle and the more you like to poke at the edges of our reality with a stick, the more you’ll enjoy your time here. 
Here’s a post to help you cultivate this “philosophy of curiosity”: x

3 spoonful hard work… check

5 slices of humor… not clear
Humor? Why humor? Because life is freaking ridiculous and you need to be able to laugh at it, while engaging with it so deeply. Don’t become one of those who stop seeing the bright side, just because you’re exploring the dark side. Or one of those who abandon reality in favour of pure abstraction. Humor helps you to rejoin the living once you emerge from a study session and it helps to take life with a grain of salt. Laugh. Many of the things you’ll encounter will be funny and many won’t. You need to get through both, so laugh.
Have fun with learning. Here’s a post to help you with that: x
Most of all: learn to laugh at yourself. You make mistakes. Everyone does. So don’t be ashamed of them, but own up to it and make the failure yours. 
Boy, was I stupid at so many points of my life. And that’s okay. Because that’s how we grow.

7 pieces of awe… not clear
I don’t matter. You don’t matter. In roughly 100 years, both of our atoms will be flying all over the universe. We don’t have much time in these bodies, but we do have time. Take a moment to just appreciate that. You’re here. You’re alive. You get to make an impact on this world, no matter how small. You get to see the nightsky, burning with bodies a thousand times larger than you. You get to breathe in this air, get to read stories others made up, get to surf the internet, one of the biggest inventions of mankind. We’re small, but in our small, insignificant way, we’re amazing and so significant. Keep things in perspective, feel the earth moving under your feet, racing through the universe we know next to nothing about. 
It’s humbling and it makes you want to know more. 

9 chunks of bravery… not clear
It’s easy to fall into living a comfortable life, filled with day-to-day problems and earthly concerns, like, which IKEA lamp should I put in that corner? And it’s hard work to move beyond that sphere, to question your assumptions and the reality around you. It’s jarring, even painful at times, to acknowledge your lack of insight and to face a truth bigger than you can handle. Everybody knows that feeling of facing a math problem that you know has an answer, but it leaves you flatlined, frustrated and self-loathing. 
It takes courage to stand up to the unknown, to probe into it and to not know what you will find behind the veil. And then, when you have found it, it takes courage to accept the truth, no matter how discongruous it may be with the rest of your worldview. 
So, brace yourself for whatever you may find and attack whatever assumption crosses your way, so that you mustn’t accept half-truths others have chewed for you. 

11 roots of strategy… not clear
You might have the passion, but without a way to channel that passion, you’re running nowhere. This part is highly specific, as every subject and every student is different. You need to find the strategy that works best for you. What kind of workday leaves you satisfied at the end of the day? Experiment, try out recommendations, try different ways to approach knowledge and see which one works best for you. I’m 100% certain that the perfect way for you is out there, but you need to be at the helm of this and steer you brain troops into battle against the unknown.

1 steamed essence of love … not clear

This is the most vital ingredient and the one that it will take you a long time to acquire. Just as it happens in relationships or with cities or films or books, if you are compatible, the point will invariably come, where you will fall in love with each other. You will simply enjoy being around this person or object or subject matter, you will feel at home when navigating its complicated paths, you will want to understand it better, spend more time with it, give new meaning to it. 
And this is what you should aim for. Once you’ve fallen in love with a subject, you don’t need any other motivators. Just the subject itself is reward enough, because it’s fun, interesting and important and you wouldn’t part with it for the world. 

So, my fellow question asker, I hope I could help you to see “studying” in a new light. A light that, perhaps, inspired you to be the star of this story and to go out and fall in love with the world all over.
All the best!

As I am hilariously bad at keeping track of the fics I read for someone with a ficrec page as structured as this, I figured I’d like to take a minute to talk about some narry authors for the author appreciation week. Before I start I’d like to point out that I’m even worse at keeping track of the writers in this fandom, so I am about to leave out some incredibly talented people here and I don’t mean to make anyone upset by doing this. Send me a message if you want me to gush about you because I’ve probably read your stuff and just missed out on your tumblr.

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- All the Right Moves , by @cherrystreet : This is the third game in a row that Harry has been distracted by the noisy boy in the stands, five rows back.There’s really no reason that he should feel compelled to stare into the audience as frequently as he is, but he can’t help it. This boy is a nuisance. And he’s loud. Even from basketball court with nine other players running by him, shoes squeaking on the shiny hardwood floor, and thousands of cheering college students, Harry can hear this boy nearly shrieking, his laugh more like a cackle than anything.It’s seriously obnoxious.

Larry Uni- Basket-ball AU (17k) : a kind of Hate to love relationship, funny and cute,  with great smut (bottom Louis).

- Once every day your life starts again , by blackmustache : Somewhere in a non-specific not-too-distant future, Louis gets a mild case of amnesia and forgets he’s dating Nick. Nick has to remind him how the hell that happened.

Tomlinshaw amnesia AU (6k) : Really cute and nice fic, about their secret relationship . No smut.

- the magic that is you and me , by @mytinylou​ : This man who was a complete stranger only a few hours ago – who still is a complete stranger, really – has taken over his heart and mind and he wants to understand the way they orbit each other, the way they fit after barely any time has passed.  He feels like he’s just come alive, like a new part of him he didn’t know existed has suddenly been awakened, and he wants to feel this forever, wants to ride the high for the rest of his life.Or, the AU where Harry works at Jason Mraz’s avocado farm, Louis works for BuzzFeed, and they’ve only got a few hours to fall in love.

Larry AU (18k) : fluffy (oh god this end made me smile so hard), funny, no smut at all. To read for sad days !

- Love You (Goodbye), by @smollest-louis​ : an angsty 5+1 where harry and louis try to do goodbye all over again, but this time right.

Larry break-up AU (11k) : sooooo. Angsty yeah. Sad too. “bittersweet end” and all that. I didn’t cry (I did). (bottom Harry for the smut).

- Dust on the Road. , by Velvetoscar : Louis is definitely fine and Lottie is definitely crushing on her French teacher, and these two things have nothing to do with each other. Except they do. And Louis is not fine.

Larry Coffee-shop AU (18k) : Teacher Harry and artist Louis in a coffee-shop, add Lottie with the biggest crush ever, no smut … (but : I HATE IT WHEN FRENCH IS USED WITHOUT SOMEONE CORRECTING IT, this is absolutely awful, I want to cry).

- Ache To Know The Song He Sung , by anonymous :  Ogling hot men is a part of his job that Louis thoroughly enjoys. That is, if the ogling hadn’t been reduced to a bare minimum the second DJ Harry Styles set foot into Funky Payno and ruined every other man for Louis, ever. Or: Louis is a bartender and Harry is a DJ in a club in Barcelona. All they really need to do is get their shit together. Of course, that’s not what happens.

Larry clubbing AU (14k) : Jealousy, pinning, (OMG so much pinning), and dancing. Great smut (bottom Louis) and very fun ! (also hello side Ziam, I love you!)

- baby got blue eyes , by bottomlinsons (grimgrace) Harry has been working on a mural and has been struggling to find the right shade of blue. Until he meets Louis. (Essentially, a very silly take on what could have otherwise been an incredibly romantic tale!)

Larry Uni AU (5k) : funny and cute, with artist Harry, pinning, and no smut.

- Giving Me Excitations , by @juliusschmidt: Gemma’s BFF Louis joins the family on a beach weekend. Harry likes him so much.

Larry teenage AU (6.6k) with a lot of awkward boners and pinning, and no real smut. Funny !

Like always, you can find all my fic recs in my Masterspost!

People keep asking me why I made that post yesterday about not getting my hopes up for bellarke in season 2 because the writers don’t like the fans. It’s beginning to get exhausting explaining it to everyone or copy and pasting so much - so as a means of explanation I’ve put a conversation that me and Brianna had when she asked me about it under the read more. It’s moderately long, but I think it explains my reasoning for everything & current attitude towards the writers and primarily Jason.

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