-May 20, 2017- was the happiest day of my life. I graduated from college with my B.S in Psychology. I worked so hard for that moment and I basked in every emotion I felt. After all of the pictures, partying, gifts, and congratulations… real life set in. I was not going to grad school in the fall and I did not have my ‘Dream Job’…. Don’t get me wrong I was very blessed to have a mom who looked out for me and got me a job until I could get on my feet. I was grateful beyond words however…I still fell into depression. At first everything was great I enjoyed my summer as a fresh college grad and did some traveling. I was happy and living the life ..... However, by the time August rolled around and school as starting back up I was still on the job search. I was applying to places left and right spending hours upon hours on Indeed and Glassdoor filling out applications. I let finding a job consume me and it literally drained the life out of me. Seeing other people post about getting jobs, going to grad school, buying houses, whatever... only made it worse. Comparison is truly the thief of joy. I was questioning myself and God …Was I not good enough? Was I not experienced enough? Why couldn’t I get a simple Administrative or Research job? Why is it taking so long for me to hear back from employers? Blah, Blah, Blah....I was praying for a job and worrying at the same time. That doesn't even make sense.
On the eve of my 25th birthday I spent time reflecting on who I am and who I want to be as a person. Someone who constantly doubts their abilities and talks down on themselves is NOT who I am nor is it who I will be. I literally had to tell myself to SNAP OUT OF IT!
My journey isn’t supposed to mirror 'Jane' who got a job right after graduation or 'John' who was getting his master’s degree right after undergrad. There was no way I was going to grad school right after undergrad I was too burnt out and I wanted to build my resume. Once I was able to accept that this journey isn't a one size fits all deal, I became less stressed and depressed. On my 25th birthday my mom wrote in my birthday card 'enjoy the present and stop worrying so much about the future.' She was right! (per usual) I was someone who constantly obsessed about the future. I had a timeline of things I wanted to get done (career & education wise) and when I tell you none of that has been accomplished.
Note: (I am not saying don’t set goals! I am simply saying don’t put so much pressure on establishing a future that you don’t enjoy what’s in front of you!)
Now I can sit back and LMAO at all the pressure I put on myself for no reason. I spent most of my life (20 years to be exact) in school, I think I deserve a break for a year or two to live! Also, the time I am taking has given me a chance to do some research on what I want to do in life. I changed my mind about what route I want to take when it comes to obtaining my Master’s and Ph.D. Imagine how pissed I would be if I came to this conclusion while in my second semester of grad school. smh.
So now I am walking into the next chapter of my life happy and stress free. Whatever happens…happens.
For all my recent and upcoming graduates who aren’t 100% on what the hell you are doing next remember:
1. Your journey isn’t going to mirror your peers. STOP comparing yourself to others.
2. Do what works best for YOU. Your aunty and ‘nem can offer all the unsolicited advice they want, but unless they’ve walked a mile in your shoes they don’t know what is 100% best for you. (I had plenty of family members telling me what I should've, could've, and would've done if I did this, this, and this....and they weren't even shooting with me in the gym! They were barely watching from the sidelines!)
3. You are not alone! Many people won’t admit it but we are all lost and trying to find our way. So many of us are suffering from post-grad depression in silence. But since everyone looks like they have their ish together on social media *rolls eyes* we don’t speak up.
4. Lastly, lean on your support system that’s what they are there for!
-If you’ve suffered from post-grad depression how did you overcome it? What advice would you offer a recent or upcoming grad? Comment below!
I want to leave you all with a quote from one of my favs:
"You ain't never gon' be happy 'til you love yourz"
-Jermaine "J.cole" Cole, from the song Love Yourz (2014 Forest Hills Drive)