For a number of students, the month of September has induced a feeling of excitement and anxiousness.
Ecstatic to finally explore life outside the walls of their parents house, incoming first years have flocked to social media to express their excitement for the approaching Freshers week. Like proud aunties and uncles, we gave these students guides on where to get the cheapest booze and sent them off with our best wishes as they embarked on a new chapter in their life.
This week, many young adults will finally move out of their nests and get their first taste of freedom. At the sametime, another group has already moved back in with a sense of bittersweetness.
Universities proclaim that the majority of their graduates land entry-level roles into their dream profession straight after graduation, yet it has become apparent that this is not the gospel truth.
For many graduates, the taste of adulthood has left them in a state of confusion and despair.
“Post university depression has hit me hard,” an anonymous sufferer, tells The Common Sense Network “For years from primary to university, everything has been structured. Now that I’ve finished, it’s hard to adjust to not having that structure anymore”
Indeed similar sentiments have been shared by other new graduates. University is the perfect blend of the freedom that adulthood offers and the stability that comes with student life. You may not have to wake up everyday at 8am for class but your routines in university are still very much structured.
49% of graduates report that their mental wellbeing declined after leaving universityStudent Minds
Thus when numerous adults leave university and finally take their first steps into the unpredictability that is life, they are quickly thrown into a state of shock.
The constant rejection emails and the financial uncertainty that follows, is enough to severely impact one’s mental health.
In a survey co-produced with City Mental Health alliance, Student Minds found that 49% of graduates believe that their mental health has declined after leaving university, while a further 40% reported feeling socially isolated.
How to manage Post-Grad Depression
Currently research on post-graduate depression is lacking thus it is not surprising that 87% of students and recent graduates alike are calling for more awareness.
In the meantime, those experiencing post-university depression are encouraged to:
- Talk to others – whether it be a friends and family or a counselor. Discussing your issues regarding the transition from university to the real world with someone, can oftentimes relieve the feeling of loneliness.
- Maintain a routine – it is helpful to establish some kind of structure to your day, wake up at a the same time, factor in daily exercise and healthy eating into your lifestyle.
- Take regular breaks from social media – It is easy for us to fall into the trap of comparison when our feed is clogged up with celebratory posts by our friends and family. This can be further detrimental to our well being thus taking a step back from social media from time to time is a must!
Be resilient and kind to yourself, adjusting to life after university is difficult but it is important to remember that it won’t last forever.