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Although I haven’t walked across the stage just yet, I am growing conscious of my feelings that most college grads feel: Post Graduation Depression. The period between being a college student and adulthood. The scary transition that you don’t know where you are going or will end up at. Post Grad Depression has not been diagnosed as a mental illness, but it’s very real as that phase into a new life is never easy for everyone. 

What is Post Grad Depression?

Post Graduation Depression is a form of depression that recent college grads feel after they leave their universities and transition into young adulthood. That adulthood is finding a job, saving money, and establishing relationships. During this period of time, people find themselves lost or unsure of what to do with their lives. Some of the common symptoms reported are nervous, sad, and lonely feelings, loss of motivation, lack of sleep, or feeling as if you have failed at life. 

Why do we sometimes get Post Grad Depression?

While very common, Post Grad Depression is not reported or talked about enough in college students. No one talks about the period of time from when you first graduate to starting your first job and not having any sense of responsibility or direction for the time being. It’s almost like a limbo for some people. Many people become depressed after college due to:

  • Not securing a job offer

  • Moving away from their college friends that were once just a 5 minute drive away

  • Having to move back to your hometown

  • Not being able to establish romantic relationships

  • Self-doubt of your capabilities

  • Not feeling good enough for potential employers

  • Not knowing what you want to do with your degree

Another important struggle with post grad depression is identity crisis. Many people struggle with their identities after graduating. For the past nearly 20 years, your main priority has been school, tests, quizzes, and being the best student you can. After having your hand let go by the educational system, you sort of wander into a vast air of openness. What you knew for so long is now a fraction of who you are. Your identity has been made up of your major, classification, and student organization for four years, and it’s your time to recreate the details that come along with yourself.

What can we do to help this?

Post Grad Depression is known to get better with time and crossing goals off your lists, but here is some advice I’ve gathered from speaking with recent college graduates:

  • “Make sure to set some goals. Like finding a job, just start applying for jobs or use resources you’re not used to like linkedin. You’d be surprised how much it helps.” – Laura ‘19. Being able to shed the old skin and embrace the new is a major step to battling post grad depression as it allows for growth both professionally and personally. 

  • “I think I would say stay motivated, realize that you will get that job. It took me a while to find one, but I did and I wish I would have just kept motivating myself to not feel so down at the beginning. Also, start a new hobby or something to stay distracted or busy.” – Kam ‘20. Reinventing yourself is crucial for identity and self love. Job recruiters have stated in the past about having those hobbies or side businesses look great when applying for jobs. 

  • “Don’t stress! I still talk and see my college friends, like obviously it’s not every day or once every other day like it used to be, but we still snapchat and text each other all the time.” – Alyssa ‘20. While trying to make new friends might be hard, you won’t have to completely miss your college friends. Staying in touch regularly will make the bonds last. 

If you are experiencing severe depressive symptoms, please seek medical help and advice. Call the national suicide prevention hotline to speak with a crisis counselor for free: 1-800-273-8255

 

Thank you for visiting my page! I am a communications major looking to expand my experiences in writing. I have a passion for reporting on news and current events, but here I will be able to channel my creativity. Besides writing, my favorites consist of true crime, cats, and fitness. Hope you enjoy <3
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