Graduation is looming, the pressure of living at home with parents and still being stuck in the same dead-end job you had before you left uni can seem like the biggest step backwards and seem very overwhelming.
The job market sucks, education is our comfort blanket; after all, 14 years of being told what to do and having a structure in your life can seem a blessing when you’ve suddenly stopped and think what is the reason of today?
It’s not as easy as people make it look being in the real world compared to the virtual reality of social networks either. Lisa may have a fab job she always wanted and you may see this with all the swanky food porn dishes she puts on Instagram that makes our mouth water but is money or success really the key to happiness? You don’t know what happens behind closed doors maybe nothing, but still people can feel down and struggle in different situations.
Talking is hard, it can be vulnerable, naive and portrayed in the wrong way, not everyone is a good talker, therefore people may not understand and that just causes frustration and loneliness. Giving a voice to those doubts and fears may be a place of optimism, give yourself your own little place of thoughtful thinking, distract yourself by looking and applying for jobs, apply to be a volunteer for a cause that’s close to your heart, go for walks, start running, just try anything that you think will make you feel more motivated and positive.
Do something rather than nothing.
Advice doesn’t hurt, join a group, talk to a councillor,the quote ‘you never know if you don’t try’, might be a cliche, but it can help dramatically with someone who is suffering depression, anxiety or just feels low at this time in life.
Post graduate depression suffers 1 in 4 post grads so please remember you aren’t the only one that thinks what the fuck are you doing with your life, you are never too old to find out what you want to do and/or get to your dream place of satisfaction, success of thoughts and happiness.
A recent article from the Guardian states “We’re just not very well designed for large changes, as post-university may be a time when many transitions happen at once, while also losing a support system of friends and tutors, it is unsurprising that this is a prime period for self-doubt”. Mike Burton, a psychiatrist, sees this post-university period as just one of many major life events that can bring about unease and anxiety.
University is a place for growth and finding who you are, then becoming disempowered once leaving is a shock to the system leaving you feel unnatural. The uncertainty of life can seem a negative thing but we need to recognise this as a new adventure, may be less colourful and more bland, but you make it how you want it.
I have to say, writing this post I honestly believe it has been one of the most daunting experiences I’ve gone through, but at least I’ve made progress in accepting the situation and I’m actually writing publicly about it. Making plans for your life and believing you are succeeding to getting catapulted back to square one feels like you just need to wing it, cross your fingers and hope for the best and it gives me the worst anxiety.
Mental health is a massive issue in the UK and around the World, and I believe it needs to be talked about more due to lack of articles of Post Graduate Depression discussed in the Media and this is one of the reasons why I have wrote this post to get through to other Post Graduates that they aren’t the only people.
Being a newly graduated twenty-something surely you are to feel the heat due to average student’s debt of being around the £25,000 grand mark and the cost of living in London being the 4th highest in the World.
Although this may be true, it doesn’t mean that if a graduate does manage to bag a job they love that they won’t be struggling with pressures of their own, it’s a big step and takes a lot to adjust in such a short time of being in the real world but it feels like we need to adjust naturally yet automatically.
Work is completely different on a social scale too, you don’t instantly make friends, it takes time for people from work to start socialising outside of work, and sometimes not at all, but just stick at it and if you feel it’s not for you, hang on to the job until you find a career you would fit in with more. I know it’s not that easy but at least it’s a goal that I find myself willing to take.
Leaving education for good is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, but surely it gets better. Only you can make a difference to your life nobody is going to save you from yourself, nobody knows what you want except you and nobody will be as sorry as you if you don’t get your own concept of success, so don’t give up.
If you’d like advice on mental health issues contact Mind or Samaritans for free advice.