Many times we’ve been told that college is supposed to be the best years of our lives, but they fail to warn us of what comes next. Post- graduation depression, although not a diagnosable mental illness, is very real and not talked about enough. It’s hard to say whose to blame or what causes post – grad depression. It can be society for placing such huge pressures on the youth, or college for not fully preparing us for what’s to come. The high of graduation can soon be weighed down by loneliness, confusion, not finding a job and the uncertainty of the future.
Post grad depression has a way of creeping up within weeks or even a full year or two after college. According to a 2015 scientific study by Paola Pedrelli in Acad Psychiatry, “among college students, mental health problems are not only common, but they often persist for several years. 60 percent of those who had a mental health problem at baseline continued to report at least one mental health problem two years later.”
Here are signs that you are experiencing post-grad depression.
You Feel Like Life is Going Nowhere
After graduation, it can feel as if your life has slowed down. Most of the time you find yourself in a situation where you are back living with your parents or struggling to find a job, feeling trapped. No matter what you do it seems like everyone else is moving full steam ahead, while you’re still trying to find your place in the world. We are taught that just because we have a degree, that we are set and will automatically find a job after college. That is not always the case.
This can be incredibly aggravating especially for those who had a really great and fast paced college experience. During this time it’s important to give yourself a few pick me ups throughout the week such as going out with friends, hanging out with family and also taking multiple self- care days. Planning different activities for yourself helps keep a positive mindset.
You Have Absolutely No Motivation
Now that you’re not obligated to get up for class every morning, it can be easier to stay in bed and watch Netflix all day. If you still haven’t found a job, this can bring about some serious self- doubt. You start to question your education and if you’re even meant to work in your field. Working a job you hate or not having a job at all can diminish your creativity, and leave you with little to no motivation.
The job hunt is a tedious task, but it’s important to see it through. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to hurry up and succeed, and set small goals for yourself. Apply for a job a day, go to the gym, or focus on further honing your craft.
You Feel Alone All the Time
One of the most drastic changes after graduating college is going from constantly being around your friends and people you know, to being on your own. Over the past 4 years we develop a daily routine in college, and become accustomed to the environment we’re in. We lose that support system that we had, causing us to feel alone. Even though now we have facetime and phone calls that can’t take the place of face to face interaction.
If you’re lacking for college friends and family nearby, try creating a new group of friends. Look to your coworkers to help you further your career and create possible new friendships.
Post- grad depression can be tough to get through, and can affect you in many ways. It’s important to not let the pressures of the real world hinder you in anyway. Always try to keep a positive mindset, and surround yourself with people who will show you constant love and support.
Are you suffering from post- grad depression? Talk to someone or contact a depression hotline. Also follow MEFeater on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.