It's one of those things where you think, "that'll never happen to me," especially since most people don't talk about it. Who knew that it was a real thing that happens to so many graduates. Post graduate depression is a thing and it is alive, ready to attack your lively personality, all of your goals, hopes and dreams.
Graduating in May, I knew that I had life all figured out. Graduation was the best time of my life. I had internships, experience and that piece of paper that cost me tons of loans and took me four years to complete. I just knew that the universe would be in my favor because I tried so hard.
A month after graduation, I accepted an entry level position, which was exciting. I just knew that I would not be like everyone else who graduated with a communications or journalism degree. I would get my start straight out of college, I wouldn't struggle and, most importantly, I would be getting paid.
While filling out the paper work for my new position, life slapped me in the face with cold hands. I felt like I was entering a new rim of life that I could not prepare for. Starting in my field was supposed to be everything I wanted it to be. It was supposed to be empowering because I didn't have to go to retail or fast food, but almost two weeks in, I hated my job.
Finally receiving a degree was supposed to be the most joyous, enthusiast and rewarding moment of my life. A constant reminder that going to school was worth all the trouble. Looking around at what I landed felt like a pitty job and something that anyone could have gotten chosen for. I didn't feel fulfilled or special. I felt regular. The last thing a person that has just graduated wants to feel is regular.
As the days went on, feeling as though they ran together, I couldn't find motivation or inspiration to do anything. I didn't care about anything from my appearance, my relationships with others or even my career.
Post-Grad depression is real, normal and you're not alone. If you're going through this phase, it's important to recognize what you're going through and how to make it better for yourself.
1. If you're feeling alone, find a support system.
I mean, find real people who understand your real problems. Don't talk to people about your problems if you have the slightest doubt that they will understand you. You have to communicate to people who can relate because they've been there and done that. They can motivate you and push you on how to get through this phase, and remind you who you really are.
2. If you're feeling unmotivated, make a to-do list.
If you're depressed, you're usually not motivated to do anything. You're probably in your room all day, scrolling through social media, wishing that life was different for you. You can't mope forever so when you feel like you've had enough, make a to-do list of things you want to accomplish. Start with some goals that you know you want to accomplish in the future and just write them down.
3. If you're feeling stuck, get a journal.
Journaling is good for the soul! People don't realize how releasing and comforting writing all your thoughts onto paper can be. You can say whatever you want, however you want without being criticized. Get a journal and release all of your thoughts, emotions and worries. The first step to getting better is literally releasing the pain you've built up to be able to move forward.
4. If you're not feeling like yourself, just get it together!
For me, I felt boring, I missed my friends and I just had no motivation to do anything. What helped me was that I would take things step by step. I would just do little things like my make-up and taking pictures of myself. Going out to eat, going to the mall, even going outside in my neighborhood to get exercise made me feel a little more alive. Find what works for you and get back to the things that you used to do to improve your mental health.
Post-Grad life is hard and there's nothing that can be done to prepare for this emotionally. From college to adulting is a huge change and the only thing you can do is take it on full force. It's OK to take time to plan to take your life and authentic self back. The uncertainty will not last forever.