Updated: Dec 16, 2019
“Graduate blues” better know as graduate depression is the period of time after graduating where nothing seems to really be making sense.
Funnily enough I wrote about graduate depression for my final major project in my last year at university. At the time while I was researching this topic I thought “this is mad” but I felt disconnected towards the topic as I personally was not experiencing these things and honestly I didn’t think I would either.
Yet here I am, deep in the graduate blues.
No one talks about what happens after you walk across that stage, cap and gown on. No one mentions the empty feeling a couple days after your graduation and no one talks about the rejection emails that start to pile up in your inbox.
I graduated on the 19th July. It was a rainy day despite being summer and already I should’ve known that the following months would’ve been doom and gloom (pathetic fallacy). I didn’t have the best university experience so putting on the cap and gown gave me mixed feelings. One of relief and the other of “is this it?”. My graduation was underwhelming to say the least.
The funniest thing about my situation was that I had a grad job. I had managed to secure a grad job weeks before my graduation. In my head no one could tell me anything. I was clearly doing life the right way.
That is until 4 weeks later and I hated my job with every fibre in my body.
My friends and family would say that I am quite erratic. I would agree especially after the year that I’ve had thus far. If I start feeling a type of way about something, more time it means I’m ready to get the fuck… ASAP!
I didn’t want to start off my career with the vibe of “I’m only here to make my money and go” especially in the industry I was in. There had to be some sort of passion for what I was doing.
This passion I did not have.
Fair to say I left that job believing that if I could secure a grad job that easily, another one would fall into my lap the next day. I was humbled pretty quickly when my inbox became full of the same old “At this time we will not be progressing your application any further” (see how I have this shit memorised)
Did I mention that I was scammed by a business offering a “marketing” internship?
I wouldn’t want to expose a company (send us a message if you want to hear more lol) but lets just say that I thought I was being offered an amazing opportunity where in 6-8 months time, if I worked hard, I could be on a managerial level, to only find out that these “events” that I would be running entailed fundraising on the streets and hassling people for their coins.
Please be mindful of the types of businesses’ that you are applying to and please do your research.
I can laugh about that experience now but at the time you can imagine I was mentally drained.
Getting a masters will not solve all your problems! So if someone decides to tell you that they haven’t had any luck in the job department, please don’t open your mouth to tell them to go and get a masters. It is you that should go and do the masters. If you believe you're being helpful...you're not.
While researching this topic I found that over 50% of students face graduate depression months after graduating. Why isn’t this a discussion and why aren’t universities acting on this? I cannot speak on other universities but I know mine have only sent me emails to fill out stupid surveys.
Am I entitled for thinking that universities should be offering more to the students they’re sending off into the “real life world”? Maybe. But I am also the idiot that paid 27 thousand to go to university so…
While I cannot help everyone get through their graduate depression, I can give a few suggestions on how to make this experience a bit better.
Establish a routine! The first thing you’ll realise after graduation is a lack of routine. After a few weeks of lying in and catching up on sleep (fun fact: you can’t catch up on sleep, there’s no such thing) that you’ll start to feel a bit useless. Set an alarm and maintain a routine
Learning does not necessarily have to stop at graduation. Do an online course! Learn about the industry you want to work in, it will keep you busy
Go out!! You’ll go crazy if you stay in your house doing nothing but scrolling on your phone all day
“Comparison is the thief of joy” this one is easier said than done. Everyone moves at different speeds. Some of your friends may be working in their industry already, some may be in your position and some may even be like “fuck it, I’m doing a masters” Don’t watch the “after work drinks” snaps in envy. Your time is coming
Give yourself days off! Applying to jobs can be a very daunting experience. Especially when you spent hours on one application to get rejected the next day. Decide what days of the week you plan to apply to jobs, and do it in intervals. Don’t spend all day staring at Linkedin/ Indeed hoping the right job will come through (trust me, I’ve been doing it)
Overall, just be patient. Your time is coming!
I hope this post helps anyone who may be going through it. Trust me, you are not alone.
Feel free to shoot us a message if you would like to discuss anything mentioned in this post.
PS: Magnet.me is a website specially tailored to internships and graduate jobs (not many people have heard of it before, I used it to secure a great internship at an amazing digital advertising firm)