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Preparing for College for Young Adults with Tourette

Preparing for college can feel like an overwhelming process, especially for those with Tourette Syndrome and co-occurring conditions. Watch Tourette Association of America Rising Leaders Haley Carlton, Hayley Pennington, and Katie Allensworth discuss their experiences with choosing the right college, living with TS in college and helpful accommodations for college students with TS. 

About Haley Carlton

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Haley Carlton is a recent graduate of the University of Montevallo, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BS in Psychology. She is a Youth Ambassador Rising Leader for the Tourette Association of America and advocates for acceptance and understanding of Tourette Syndrome and its comorbidities.

Her Top 3 Tips for College:

1. Don’t worry about what others think.

2. Balance between school and activities is key.

3. Be yourself.

About Katie Allensworth

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Katie Allensworth is a Registered Nurse in Neuroscience Intensive Care at University Hospitals. She graduated from the University of Akron with a Bachelor in Science in Nursing in May 2019. She is a Rising Leader with the Tourette Association and an intern with the TAA.

About Hayley Pennington

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Hayley Pennington is 23 years old and from Virginia Beach, VA. She is a YA Rising Leader for the TAA. She graduated from Old Dominion University in 2019 with a B.S. in Psychology and is pursuing admission to Physician Assistant school.

Her Top 3 Tips for College:

1. Make sure you tell all of your professors at the beginning of the semester about your TS if you think it will affect your ability to succeed in the class. Then they can work with you right off the bat rather than trying to scramble before an exam.

2. Keep a planner. This is probably my MOST IMPORTANT tip! Even more than my tics, my OCD and anxiety were definitely a struggle to deal with in college, and keeping a detailed planner helped me so much. I went through every syllabus at the beginning of each semester and wrote down every single due date, exam date, etc. It was so helpful for me because I had everything that was due for every class compiled into one spot, so I didn’t have to go searching for a due date or have anxiety wondering if I was missing an assignment.

3. Study a little each day. I assigned one day of the week to each of my classes and would focus on reviewing material for just that one class. This was especially helpful when I was taking harder prerequisite classes for PA school, like organic chemistry, calculus, and anatomy & physiology. It saved me from feeling overwhelmed (which made my anxiety and tics MUCH worse) at the last minute to cram before an exam.