It’s your college graduation day. You’re probably excited, anxious, nervous, or all of the above. The emotions are running 100 miles per hour. You look back on your journey through college and feel proud. You’ve passed your classes, made lifelong friends, and created memories that will last forever. You’ve checked off everything you needed to do to get to this point. But what happens when the excitement fades and adulthood comes full force?
Unfortunately, not everyone will graduate with a full-time job, in their career, with great pay and benefits. Some may even experience going into post-grad depression, which is a lot more common than people like to talk about. You’ve been trained to be a student your entire life, so it’s not an easy transition trying to figure out what happens next. If you feel you are going through post-grad depression, here is some real-life information about what it is and how to overcome it.
Knowing the symptoms
Post-grad depression will make you feel hopeless about your future. Nothing seems to work out for you, you’re not doing what you love, and you’re confused about everything in life. It will have you in the bed with no motivation to get up most days. You feel alone, and maybe even angry that everyone else seems to be successful. You start to compare yourself and possibly even obsessing over what your peers are doing. Post-grad depression is a mental illness and should be taken seriously. Not much information or reports have been shared on this topic. However, if your sadness has grown and doesn’t go away after just a day or two, you should address it.
After you have recognized the way you’re feeling, begin doing small things that will help you start to overcome it. It could be as small as writing one positive affirmation in a place where you can see it consistently. Make it a goal to get up every day and read it over and over. Add more affirmations to your list that align with your career, goals, and plans for your future. Also, finding an outlet to release your negative thoughts and feelings is helpful as well. Choose a soothing hobby like reading, writing, cooking, painting, or even exercising for at least an hour a week. While you’re building yourself back up, having a hobby will get you out of your head for a little while. You could also do these with a trusted friend to help you heal from the loneliness.
While you continue to set goals for yourself and your future, write down all of your accomplishments. Take note of everything you’ve done up to this point. You didn’t achieve this huge accomplishment of receiving your degree just for it to end here. Everything happens for a reason, and you will find your purpose.
If you get to a point where you need more help overcoming post-grad depression, don’t be afraid to try therapy. Having a therapist during this time is a great way to talk about what you’re feeling and getting much-needed understanding. Doing therapy sessions consistently will place you on a path to healing and getting your motivation back up. Outside of seeing a therapist, make sure to surround yourself around positive influences as well. You need other people you love and trust to be a guiding light out of the darkness. Having negative people around during this time will only keep you in this place. Set boundaries with certain people you may need time away from while you work on yourself.
Experiencing post-grad depression is real for many people and is hard to deal with when you’re supposed to be celebrating your new transition in life. However, you will make it out of this and continue on your journey to your purpose. Choose not to succumb to the sadness and pain, and come out of it a fighter knowing your time is coming.