We thought that we would touch on something a little more serious on the site, and something that a lot of our peers are currently having to deal with – and that is the genuine depression and sadness that sets in after finishing university.
The transition from graduation to full time employment is something that (I personally feel) is’t spoken about enough, as I think that there is a lot of assumption that you should be completely and utterly fine once you finish. To some extent – that’s true. On the other side of the coin, no one really prepares you for the difficulties that you’re going to face. Here are a few things that I feel heavily contribute to the notion of post-uni depression:
- A lot of rejection
- Unhappiness in your job
- Loss of freedom
- Anxiety for the future
Firstly, I must start off by saying life after uni isn’t all doom and gloom, but it’s important to recognize that feeling super down in the dumps once you’ve graduated (and even if you are happily in full time employment) is normal, and that this transition stage is just a stepping stone.
I think we are fed a lot of sugar-coated promises at uni, and told that if we cite our essays well, join a society, and get a half-decent degree then we are so desirable and omg so clever you’re gonna be happy forever. Wrong.
I think the best way to describe uni is a bubble. A bubble full of your friends, a degree, and all the ‘adult’ things you’ve been doing like food shopping and washing your own clothes and paying bills. Once you graduate, that bubble is completely popped and you are exposed to the real world. Where bursaries and loans and your friends living round the corner just don’t exist. And it’s crap. And you feel like those 3 years of ‘adulting’ weren’t adulting at all. Not one bit.
As I said before, I think there’s 4 main contributors to feeling this sadness;
The Debt: This is something that everybody thinks that they’re prepared for, and something I thought I would be completely in control of. I’d bargain with myself saying that I’d be completely able to pay off all of my debts within the first couple of months working full time, and I can confirm that no matter how good you are with money – the debt is a long and lengthy process, so never ever ever try and kid yourself into thinking that it’s going to be swings and roundabouts. Realistic thinking!
A lot of rejection: Despite currently having a job and feeling extremely grateful for it, the rejection in the process to getting a job was so disheartening and it’s no wonder that the unemployment statistics are so high. Getting rejection e-mails and calls makes your heart drop every time you get one, and can really make you question your worth.
Unhappiness in your job: Whether this is a career driven job, or a part-time job just to fill the time while looking for something more permanent, it can still contribute to depressing feelings. You’ve spent the last 3 years at university not having to be part of the 9-5, and being able to jump from small part time jobs to something different if you didn’t like it. The career driven job hasn’t cracked up to what it was meant to be, and you’re feeling pretty shitty about yourself. It’s normal – full time work will be boring, and it will feel super sad not being able to go out for drinks mid-week, but just know you aren’t the only person feeling like this.
Loss of freedom: Unless you are in a good enough position to be earning, and living away from home as a graduate, you have joined the HUGE amount of people who have had to move home after uni, and unfortunately be living by mum and dad’s rules again. It’s not great. You can’t leave your room messy anymore and you can’t come back at 2am just in case you wake them. Your freedom goes completely.
Anxiety for the future: Just like the lovely Guy said, it’s time to find a purpose. It’s fine to be anxious about what awaits, but don’t let it take over what is happening now. See graduation as freeing, you are no longer in the clutches of education and it’s time to spread your wings, and adult to your full potential.
Just remember, you aren’t the only one who is feeling like you’re completely on your own, and if you want to have a bit of a cry about the whole thing, that’s good too. Just try and remember that this is not what you’re going to feel like for the rest of your life, and that this sadness is only temporary.
For an article similar to this, click here.