I graduated: Now what?

As expected, the post-graduation feels suddenly appeared and like a giant wave, they knocked me down. My friends who graduated prior to me warned me of the watershed approaching. They told me it could hit shortly after graduation or it could take a few weeks for me to fully process the reality that I’m no longer a college student.

Upon graduation, I knew I hit my final moments but I didn’t want to accept it of course. I still see myself decorating my room when I lived in an apartment complex my sophomore year. When I finished, I went for a walk around campus and I thought to myself that college would last forever.

Sometimes it’s hard to realize and appreciate the small moments that almost seemed insignificant at first but now that time passed, you wish you could go back to it. Even walking to the tech at 7 at night to work on assignments brings strong emotions.

To me, I looked at graduation like ‘That’s it, no more fun’ and let the blues congest.

There are a few personal articles shared from college graduates about when the ‘post-college depression’ hit and how it affected them.

According to an article done by Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez for The Washington Post, she opened up about her post-graduation depression and discussed research done by different therapists on young adults. One of the therapists, Sheryl Ziegler, a Colorado psychologist and licensed professional counselor, mentions that loneliness, deep depression, lack of motivation to get a job, and insecurity take over.

“They have a sense that everyone has it together but them, which causes them to further isolate themselves.” Ziegler said.

Social media is a huge cause of this type of perspective and it helps cloud the mind with more negativity.

I’m aware that once I break this barrier, my perspective will turn into ‘I’m getting ready to start another, unexpected chapter to create and cherish’.

I need to break this barrier and I will but the key is learning to make sure I don’t fall backward when an opportunity goes south or the unsure thoughts sneak up.

From what I noticed during the transition of seeking and landing a job is that remaining positive and active is pivotal.

My professors and my parents advised me to spend a couple weeks to relax then pound on the job hunt.

I discovered that trying to find a job is no piece of cake and my dream job won’t come to me just because I put it out there in the Universe I’m looking for employment. Big shocker.

At first I didn’t apply too much pressure into the hunting and a large part of that stemmed from not accepting my time at Temple is done. The more I let the funk in, the more I procrastinated on things.

I still shed a few tears but it kind of hit me that if I keep this up, I’ll push myself further away from achieving anything. While battling the barrier, I got a part-time job near my parent’s house to make pocket money and I went on a beautiful vacation to Italy for about two weeks. Not too much else to share but it’s better than sitting at home all day doing nothing. I created an account on Indeed and consistently checked for openings.

Being aggressive and confident pair well together because even if I didn’t get the job, it allowed me to qualify for an interview and put my foot in the door.

I also reached out to a few people I networked with at Temple and let them know that I’m seeking opportunities. With a degree in journalism, my field is highly competitive and it can be easy to forget how many people want the same type of job as me. We all have that goal to make it the top and make a name for ourselves as writers.

It’s a little scary but channeling these thoughts into motivation instead of feeling inferior really works out in the long run. Just like many other recent college students, while we want to accomplish big things, we need to remind ourselves there isn’t a huge rush. It shouldn’t be the biggest concern of who gets what job after only searching for ‘x’ amount of time because we each have our own journey to take.

I share the same goals as being happy and successful but there are a handful of goals that only affect me. They may not happen right away but these goals will eventually become the real thing.

I tell myself I’m going to rise to the top as time goes on and the more I fight for it, the more I gain. I’m not expecting it all to happen right away and I shouldn’t be discouraged if it happens quickly for some of my friends. Half of my friends aren’t even in the same field as me but even if they were, I should support them and allow this to inspire me.

If I had to sum up everything I tried to convey, it’s that watching over my mental health during this transition is my main priority but I need to get away from the barrier for my mental health to grow.

To recent students and students who graduated a couple years ago, it’ll all work out in the end. I wish everyone the best of luck with their future and that they continue to chase after their dreams.

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