Okay so, it’s not an official diagnosis but, “post-graduation blues” or “post-grad depression” is commonly used to describe the extreme sadness that recent college graduates experience after they leave behind the world they created during their college term. Though it has only been a few months since I walked across that stage I have something to tell you about this term that has become a real life reality check for me.
So first, let me tell you my expectations. I spent my last semester making the most of every single moment I had yet I was still counting down the days because after years filled of life-long memories, crazy nights with friends, occasional all-nighters for school, skipped meals and serious stress over exams, I was looking forward to a new, calmer life. I mean, I am 23 years old. I thought I was SO ready to start this ‘adulting’ thing. I earned a college degree, it was time for my big and fabulous life to begin, right? I thought I would have it all together, not right away but I really thought things would start to fall into place as soon as I held that degree in my hand. I would snag a 9 to 5, have way more money, have plenty of time to be with friends, family, have fun and have way less stress. I thought life would get a little simpler. Now that I am typing this I am laughing out loud.
Now let’s back it up, my college experience was truly the time of my life. I enjoyed high school but in college, I truly peaked. I found my place. I joined into the Greek life world, I grew closer with old friends, made new ones and even met the love of my life. I became a confident, better version of myself. My relationship with God became stronger. I even became a better student. I became wiser. Everything seemed to go as perfect as it could.
Then I walked across that stage and it was not only a huge celebration for me, but also for my family because I am the first in my immediate family to earn a college degree. So I was totally on an all time high for a little while, an adrenaline rush, woo-hoo, I earned my degree! The first couple of weeks really felt great and I thought life was going fabulous…but then I started to slowly lose myself….
It all of a sudden just hit me. I started to wake up and feel a knot in my stomach. I am not 5 or 10 minutes away from all of my best friends anymore. This isn’t just a break from school… I am never going back. I realize that no one cares about my sorority letters anymore. I am living with my parents, for who even knows how long. A lot has changed since I was in high school, including myself and the people I used to spend all of my time with. I don’t get to wake up to my roommate and talk about the latest gossip anymore or constantly have friends over whenever I feel like it. Instead I am coming home to eat dinner with my parents (love you Mom & Dad).
The blues… it just feels like I worked my whole life to get into college. Then I worked my booty off for four (for some people more) years to stay in college to earn a degree so I can make something of myself. All this hard work, not what? So now I am graduated and you know, life doesn’t seem so easy…it almost feels like all of the hard work I have put in my whole life isn’t even worth it, am I right?
You know it’s sad and maybe I am the only one that feels this way. Instead of growing angry with God, I have been praying a lot. I have been reflecting over these past few months and it has brought me to where I am tonight as I am writing this article.
As for me, right now I am just trying to accept that I am in a transitional period and that it may be a lot of change and it may even be depressing at times but there is a light at the end of this tunnel. What doesn’t make sense now, will eventually because everything happens for a reason. I am slowly starting to realize that fighting this stage isn’t going to change anything. All I can do is accept where I am, make the most of it and understand that it is temporary. This initial let down will pass.
However, I know that God has his timing with my life, so I am trying to be patient. His timing is perfect. Sometimes, life is a learning lesson.
So my main point
- You other recent college grads going through the same thing (I know you are out there) you are not alone but we will get through this. This will pass.
- For the students still in college and starting back school these next couple of weeks enjoy EVERY single second you have left and don’t rush it! You don’t have to be an adult quite yet. Trust me.
I am here to tell you I know it seems like life is happening too fast and you can’t get a grasp on it but it is all temporary. Work hard, keep your head up and know that you don’t have to have it all figured out right now. (Really though, does anyone ever have it all figured out?)
Also, here are a few verses that are helping me:
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Psalm 37:3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 107:8-9 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.