BLOG: Post Uni Depression

This is what Katie (25) had to say about her experience and the challenges she faced after leaving University. 

There are infinite possibilities, and the only person who puts a limit on that is ourselves.

The transition to the working world post university is not without its challenges. A significant challenge for many is dealing with loneliness. You spend three plus years surrounded by your friends and suddenly that’s all gone; loneliness is bound to creep in. Another challenge is uncertainty about the future. This issue is also inevitable for some, as you spend years focused on exams and assignments and can forget about getting that all important work experience required for a job, alongside studying, working a job, spending time with family and friends etc.

Looking at “entry level” job applications once I graduated, several were calling for people with three plus years’ experience. This had me thinking “how am I going to secure employment if I need experience to get experience!?”

These challenges can leave you feeling stressed, anxious and pretty low; I know they left me feeling that way when I graduated from university two years ago. I was left wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life and I had a particularly stressful final semester so I felt I had to justify the stress somehow. I felt I had to justify the stress I experienced by going out and getting that dream job. Things did not go according to plan and it caused me immense stress and contributed to feelings of worthlessness that were hard to shake.

I felt alone in how I was feeling but then I stumbled across articles on the subject of post – graduate depression, something I didn’t know existed but upon reading articles on it, and immediately recognised the symptoms as things I had been feeling. People described feelings of anxiety and uncertainty, all feelings I could relate to.

It helps to feel you’re not alone. Another method that helped me to feel not so alone is reading stories about the people I admire, and it was nice to know that often they did not take the direct path to success, showing that the scenic route is just fine too. In addition to this, there are several people that don’t end up working in their degree sector. There are so many paths post – university. There is infinite possibilities and the only person that puts a limit on that is ourselves. There is more than one way to achieve success and as one very wise person said to me recently, everyone is on their own path; there is a path for all of us.

For this reason, you should never compare yourself to others. Concentrating on your own journey and planning what your next step should be is not only a productive way to spend your time, it also serves as a distraction from browsing social media where many young people compare their lives to others. The latter can be dangerous as it can lower your self worth, and it isn’t always an accurate picture of their life. What you see on social media isn’t always the truth!

I hope you all got some value out of reading my post and it has helped you in this time of uncertainty, so remember to keep your eyes on your end goal and work towards that. You may have to take some side roads to get there but that’s okay too. That’s what makes life interesting and as another very wise person said recently some of the most interesting people they have met are those in their 30s and 40s who have continued to reinvent themselves. This serves to show that there is no deadline on when you have to have things figured out by; life is not a college assignment. You can keep reinventing the wheel, as you might decide to go back to education or you might decide to travel the world. There are as many options as there is challenges, so always remember to have fun along the way.