Post graduation depression

Joy Nwagiriga

Graduating symbolises a leap into adulthood and sometimes the reality graduates have to deal with can be disappointing.

Post graduate depression is the common feeling used to describe the extreme sadness stress and impaired functioning graduates experience after they leave college.

While post-grad depression isn’t yet an official diagnosis like clinical depression,  it is a real condition for some university leavers. A study conducted by The Independent, found that 90 percent of British students believed that post graduate depression was a reality and 87 percent agreed that it needs more exposure.

Leaving the cocoon of university and into the real world can be a huge transition. The last 18 years of most students’ lives have revolved around education; a structured routine of security, friendships and learning. 

The sudden lack of structure, combined with the general lack of self direction, can send even the brightest of students into disarray. Graduates can also be lonely due to a lack of connection with friends. In many countries, people leave college in crippling debt and living with their parents.

“I got like three job interviews out of hundreds of applications,” said recent graduate, Demi.

Getting rejections from job applications and interviews can also take a toll on one’s self esteem. Depending on your course, experience or connections, you’ll have a post graduate experience that could hit hard.

Demi worked in retail after graduating and said she felt pressured by her colleagues who were leaving to graduate jobs. 

“I was feeling so overwhelmed by the pressure..not even the pressure anyone else was putting on me..it was pressure just knowing that even if you get the grade and do well and everything you can still be on your ass!”

“It’s such a huge change, even when I come home from work, I literally have nothing to do… no assignments, no exams, I’m just sleeping, waking and doing the same thing everyday five days a week.”

According to Cosmopolitan , 40 percent of graduates described themselves as feeling socially “isolated” and 49 percent said their mental well-being declined.

“A lot of myself was “I’m Demi and I go to DCU” when you don’t have that, I was really thinking what am I actually doing?” said Demi.

Post graduate depression has many symptoms such as, feeling like you’re struggling day-to-day to do basic tasks, decreased motivation, abnormally negative perspective, spending excessive in bed and/or substance abuse.

However graduate life doesn’t have to be daunting and there are ways to avoid and manage post graduate depression. It’s important to check in and take care of yourself.

Recent graduates need structure in their lives, so you should wake up and sleep at the same time every day. It’s also essential you eat three meals a day to prevent emotional eating.

Graduating is a huge achievement and the world has so much to offer. Post graduate depression is a natural stage in life nearly everyone has to go through, don’t let it bog you down.

Joy Nwagiriga

Image Credit: Pikrepo