We’ve all heard the plethora of clichés: “University is the best few years of your life”, “enjoy it while it lasts”, “make the most out of it”.
Students may roll their eyes when parents and relatives say it, but they are right. University is a major turning point in a lot of young people’s lives. After years of new experiences and adventures, you are transformed from a nervous teenager into an ambitious young adult who is ready to tackle the real world, right?
Standing shoulder to shoulder with your classmates wearing mortarboards and clutching certificates showcasing years of hard work, hangovers and amazing experiences, you’re wondering whether you can go back and do it all over again. You all go your separate ways and suddenly the real world just got really scary. Whether you bag yourself a job straight away, slip into further study or panic about what to do with the rest of your life, your life is changing direction.
Statistics show that one in four students suffer from depression during their studies, but no official figures exist for graduates in post-university transition. Once you’ve come down from your graduation high, reality often hits hard. Working 9-5 five days a week is actually really exhausting. Trading your new-found independence and responsibility for moving in back home due to a lack of funds feels like an unnatural step back. You already miss your student loan. And how are you supposed to ever go out during the week again?
It may take some getting used to, but your life is far from over. Believe it or not, it is just beginning. Here are some tips on how to beat the post-graduation blues and start a new chapter in your life.
It’s natural to feel a sense of loss after university. Instead of endlessly flicking through your photo albums on Facebook, channel your energy into something positive.
Structure your days
This is easy enough for those with a job, but not so easy for those still hunting. It is important to stay motivated and productive. The last thing you want is to not see the point in getting out of bed every day.
Stay in touch
You and friends may have gone your separate ways, but that doesn’t mean your friendships are over. Coming to terms with that fact that your bestie no longer lives in the room next door is hard. Don’t avoid talking to friends because you’re bummed out by all the exciting things they’re doing. Be happy for your friends and let their success spur you on to do the same.
Setting realistic goals is a great way to avoid feeling lost. These can be as small as telling your mum that you’ll be doing your own laundry to aiming to move out within a year.
Don’t stop learning
You don’t have to put the books down just because you’re no longer a student. You may be a graduate, but as a twenty-something entering the world of work, you’ve still got a hell of a lot to learn. Whether it’s something to add to your CV or a new hobby, learning something new gives a wonderful sense of achievement.
So hang in there – it’s something everyone goes through. Your twenties are all about finding your feet, so give things time to fall into place.
Do you have any advice on how to beat the graduation blues? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: woodleywonderworks / Flickr