Failed Plans? When Post-Grad Depression Hits
Graduating from college is supposed to be a special moment in your life. A point in time where your life officially starts. You’re bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to take on the world and all that comes along with being a graduate. You’ve developed your five-year blueprint with all intentions to see it completely through. After putting in a lot of hard work to achieve the goal of graduating from college it is now time to join the competitive job market in search for your dream job.
The dream job that will set you up for financial stability, that gives you the fancy title and the corner office spot. The dream job that was “promised” to you as a child that would come once your degree was in your hand.
But then reality hits you like a brick wall when your dream job is not within your grasp and the goals on your five-year blueprint are not being accomplished within the time frame you once expected. The depression and disappoint sets in and you have no clue on what your next move should be. You feel stuck, at a loss and bamboozled into working to get a degree that does not seem to hold any weight within the “real world”. Two years ago I was in this exact space in life. Angry, frustrated and confused as to why I could not seem to accomplish the goals I had set for myself post-graduation.
I was constantly applying for jobs, but they all required a minimum of two to five years of experience. From there I was left with working a minimum wage position that barely covered the needs of my household. I was constantly being quizzed by my family on what my next steps were but I could not give an answer. I was stuck and had no clue on what to do to remove myself from that space. Eventually depression set in and I was feeling hopeless - I felt I was the only college graduate who was in this space in life until I began reading more about it online learning more about the term post graduate depression.
Attempting to transition from college to the regular everyday life is difficult and is a common cause for depression among young adults. Due to the lack of experience within their field many graduates find themselves drifting between temporary jobs until they are able to finally land a job within their field. If searching for a job isn’t hard enough most young graduates have to move back home due to the low amount of funds.
Going to college gives you the opportunity to form your own identity - leaving your hometown to develop a new life for yourself. Then suddenly you are forced back and you are left wondering if you have taken several steps back in life while trying to figure out which path to take next. In many situations, it is easy to just fall into the arms of postgraduate depression, but it is up to you to decide not to allow it to overtake your mind and spirit.
It is important for a young graduate to attempt to develop a healthy lifestyle for their sanity. Meet up with old friends, find new hobbies, and find who you are outside of the walls of your university. Build new connections with your family and find the small joys in life. It is always vital to learn to trust and love the journey that you are on in life. Though it may seem as if the walls are closing in on you and there is nowhere to turn - you must continue to push through. Five-year plans are great guidelines in life, but understand that sometimes things do not go as planned and that’s okay.
Trust the process and know that everything will be fine. Most importantly know that you are not alone. There are several others who are feeling the way you may be feeling as a young graduate. Know that it is okay to be frustrated and to at times feel down. However, you can not allow it to consume you. So take a breath and believe that this too shall pass.