Yes it is a real thing.
After spending 4 years of fun, fun, and education at the University of New Hampshire, reality kicked in after I ended my lease in my off-campus apartment. I didn’t have a full-time job offer at the end of my studies, I searched and searched, applied for hundreds of positions and was turned down by almost all of them. Failure shouldn’t discourage you, especially since we graduated from college amid a global pandemic. Yes, it’s really overwhelming to me that while I’ve applied for 20 jobs a day since graduating, I still don’t have a 9-5 full-time job with perks, but on the plus side, I’ve built a lot of resilience from this experience . As I write this blog, I have had 9 interviews in the past 2 weeks, no vacancy in sight. It feels like a failure, but it’s not quite there yet because there is still hope. It’s okay to get discouraged and keep falling, but dust yourself off and keep putting yourself out there.
Here is the advice I am going to give you to help fight postgraduate depression:
- Avoid Social Media: Watching your friends who are still in college move in, go to the tailgates and see your favorite dining rooms, may not be the best thing you can see right now. One more piece of advice … Snapchat Memories will break your heart for saving something from bachelor’s …or they can make you smile. For me, I haven’t watched them because they make me miss college even more than I already do.
- Find professional help: Talking to your friends doesn’t always help you feel better. If you feel like talking to a therapist would help you better, there is no harm in giving it a try! Therapy has many benefits, even if you don’t notice them right away. You can learn to develop coping skills, you can talk through your thoughts and emotions, and there is NO judgment! (https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-therapy#takeaway)
- Find a hobby: Whether you’re baking, walking around, or trying to get into a new yoga position, you can find something to keep you from not being in college!
- Create goals: This will help you look forward to something in the future that you need to work towards. These goals can be money-based, work-based, vacation-based, really anything!
- Practice mindfulness: If you haven’t tried mindfulness during your time at UNH, then I recommend you give it a try! There are many advantages ( https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858) for meditation, it increases your self-esteem, reduces your negativity and relieves your anxiety. If you’re not sure where to start, you can find an easy five-minute meditation practice for beginners on YouTube. There are many! Find out which one you like the most and start there!
- Surround yourself with animals: Now that we’re not in the company of Pet Partners (https://petpartners.org/) and tuna the wildcat (https://www.instagram.com/tuna_the_wildcat/) During graduation week we need to find other ways to relieve stress. I suggest volunteering at an animal shelter, looking at cute animal photos online, or asking to pet random dogs on the street.
You are not alone, please remember. Contact your favorite professor and see if he has time to catch up on a zoom. Or if it is feasible, drive past the campus, grab your favorite meal at one of the downtown restaurants, and just live in the moment. This postgraduate depression will go away, it’s just a matter of time.
Thank You For Reading!