Post Graduation Depression
What is Post graduation Depression?
Post graduation depression is a psychological phenomenon that happens to many students shortly after they obtain their university diplomas. Despite the challenges of academia, being a university student is the perfect opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery where students start to experience more independence, create new meaningful relationships, participate in insightful university clubs, attend enlightening conferences, etc. Academic life is a perfect opportunity to be constantly stimulated with ongoing fun and exciting activities. Once students graduate, and probably move back home, there are no more fun activities. Most of their university friends live away. There is no more adrenaline rush of meeting research paper deadlines. Accordingly, students shift from overstimulating activities at university to a stagnant life at home.
Besides, students had been ‘programmed’ and adapted to a prolonged education system, where adjusting to activities outside the educational realm is far from the comfort zone. This uncomfortable feeling is very akin to the sensation of retirement depression, where people spend most of their lives working and feel that they are contributing to society to a sudden loss of work experience.
The loss of the university life experience tends to make students feel deeply sad and lack motivation to do other activities. This situation can be worsened by two factors. First, when the student applies for several job applications and receives no return. Second, when a student perceives many of his friends starting interesting working positions. Though sharing new careers through social media can be motivating, it can also trigger recently graduated students to feelings of dissatisfaction and add to their despair.
Healthy Ways to Overcome Post graduation Depression
If you are going through post graduation depression, you need to realize that this depressive episode is highly common among recent graduates. Being able to relate to other people who are experiencing the same struggle as you helps in accepting and minimizing your sadness regarding the loss of the excitement of academic life.
Don’t pursue another degree just to escape post graduation depression. Running away from the torture of post graduation depression through the pursuit of another degree is a 'procrastination' of another episode of post graduation depression in the future. If you want to pursue another degree, it needs to be done out of professional goals and a planned vision.
If you feel that comparing your circumstances with the academic or professional accomplishments of your acquaintances or what you see through social media is worsening your post graduation depression, stop comparing! People tend to share only the bright side of their lives, like getting prestigious job positions, promotions, passing reputable exams, etc. Every person you compare yourself to has a context you are not aware of. Probably if you knew the whole picture, you would feel more grateful for your actual situation.
If you feel like you did not have a chance to develop your professional skills during university, now is the perfect time to apply for internships or volunteer in organizations where you can learn life skills that were not taught at university. These can be soft skills like effective communication and empathy.
Apply as much as you can for potential jobs you aspire to, but realize that the process of application and recruitment requires patience. While waiting for an answer from the recruiter, you can develop professional skills like answering interview questions, learning how to upgrade your CV, and forming more connections that can guide you to the position you aspire to hold.
To conclude, if you are experiencing post graduation depression, we know how draining and overwhelming it can be. The good news is that this depressive episode is momentary. The fact you were able to overcome the distress of academia is a guarantee that you will also succeed in managing post graduation depression and achieve your future goals. You got this!
The article represents the views of the blogger and not that of LEED Initiative.