Post-graduation depression

By Michelle DeShon, Opinion Editor

Congratulations, you’ve made it through college. It’s a huge accomplishment for anyone. It’s the initial step in the pursuit of a career that will bring you closer to your life’s goals.

This is the time to get a job where you actually look forward to going into work because you love what you do. And, hopefully, you don’t have to work in the food industry, living paycheck to paycheck while struggling to pay your bills anymore. If you haven’t already, you finally get to think about moving out of your parents’ house and have the freedom you’ve been craving.

But what happens right after we walk the stage and get that diploma?

College provides our lives with stability and a predictable schedule. After graduation, many of us are left with expectations so high that disappointment is inevitable. We feel that we automatically deserve the job of our dreams that will allow us a comfortable disposable income.

These extremely high expectations can actually lead to post-graduation depression in students.

We put too much pressure on ourselves. We assume that a college degree means you have to get your dream job instantly and work towards checking off the next thing on your life’s big to-do list.

Slow down and realize how great this time of your life can be.

We’ve all skipped class at least once and when you get a serious job, you can’t just choose when to show up. You will not be able to keep a job if you keep this habit up.

While in college, many students work at least part-time, sometimes even full-time hours, while taking classes full-time. We become used to doing homework after a full day of classes and work. What happens when you graduate and work full-time, and then have free time after work for something other than homework? Chances are you forgot what it was like to have a hobby during college, so try to reconnect with your hobbies that you’re passionate toward.

An article on, “No Job? How New Grads Can Cope With Depression,” suggests that students should consider what the job market is like and how far down they have to start when getting hired in their area of study. The biggest issue is not having realistic goals.

Instead of focusing on your GPA or résumé specifically, think about the times you worked hard to overcome obstacles, and use that to motivate you,” said author Hannah Webster. “Remind yourself that this is just another challenge to meet, and you have overcome challenges in the past.” Focusing on your accomplishments will build your confidence during your search for your dream job.

I urge you to be realistic in your post-graduation job search. No job is above you. Keep all of your doors open.

Always seek help for depression. This is the first step on the path to recovery. Contact UA’s Counseling & Testing Center at Simmons Hall 306 if you need help. They may be able to lead you to another counseling program for after graduation.