Blog by Guest Author: Academic Underdogs
Graduating from university is undoubtedly a tremendous achievement, an occasion that needs to be celebrated, and most definitely remembered. Ultimately, a great sense of freedom and liberty comes when graduating; assessments and examinations have come to close, essay deadlines are a memory of the past, and you feel rather well-equipped with the necessary skills for a decent job. Ah, alas. Student debt eventually crops up, and finding your dream job is undeniably a tricky and lengthy process. Rejections from job applications pile up, you’ve been separated from your ‘uni-family’, probably living with your parents, and you begin to accept that the student days are officially over. This is of course a temporary phase that has a light at the end of the tunnel; starting a career, maybe moving to a near area and meeting lots more people! However, this does not diminish the struggle that many students face in reaching where they want to be.
So What Is Post Graduate Depression? And Is It Legitimate?
Reality certainly hits post-graduation, and many graduates begin to develop rather bleak emotions, and a hefty amount of stress, in other words, ‘post graduate depression’, also known as ‘graduation depression’. While post graduate depression is certainly not listed as an official mental health condition, it certainly carries a great amount of resonance, reliability and validity, yet is left unaddressed. Graduates can be left feeling isolated, with all their efforts and achievements being ignored, and rather unacknowledged.
For example, on average, claim to be experiencing a decline in mental wellbeing, while 40% describe themselves as ‘socially isolated’, and 44% believe their peers to be more successful than themselves after graduation.
Post graduate depression is evidently a prominent, great phenomenon, and most definitely legitimate, regardless of its unaddressed disposition. The vast majority of graduates – both past and present – can resonate with the post-graduate depression that bubbles under the surface, despite the ‘put-together’ front some may portray.
So Is Post Graduate Depression Permanent? Is It Curable?
Nothing is permanent, and post graduate depression is certainly no exception. Like with any big change coming to an end, such as university, time is required to adapt to the new, as well as the closing of the old. Graduation contains a great amount of uncertainty, whether or not you have a definite plan or not. The only way to escape post graduate depression, is to seek new, and bright opportunities. This does not necessarily have to be work-related, it can be anything from travelling, to undertaking a new hobby. It is important to remember that graduating is an immense achievement, and taking a break is far from a crime. Not following the traditional narrative of graduating from university, and landing a well-paid job, is completely commendable, and a great option. Your well-being and happiness is the biggest priority, regardless of what convention and traditional post-graduate routes may portray to you.
Time is on your side. Ultimately, pain, stress and upset is a debt paid off with time. It is important to recall the achievement of graduation, and to have faith in the straight-forward fact that nothing is permanent, and things are constantly changing. Following your own graduate narrative is fundamental, not the conventional narrative graduates repeatedly face.
If you are suffering from post-graduate depression please do not feel as though your feelings are invalid, it is an extremely difficult time especially within the COVID world today. If you are struggling there are many avenues available to help and support you: