My Post-Graduation Depression

 

2013, was the year I decided that pursuing higher education would save me from the world of struggle and generational challenges that cycled through my family. Food insecurity, utility burdens, and stress were common battles in my household and to disrupt these experiences, I decided that school was my ticket to gaining social mobility and starting a new cycle in my family focused on living to thrive vs. living to survive.

In 2017, I became a first-generation college graduate. I was the first of my family to obtain a college degree a moment that would be “life-changing”, especially for my future endeavors and family.

If only I knew then what I know now.

With nothing going as “planned” I hit a major depression. I felt derailed, that perhaps, I didn’t do enough to “make it” as soon as a graduated college. The pressure was applied in every way, shape, and fashion with people asking me about the next steps that I couldn’t answer.


When my undergraduate graduation day came I was filled with mixed emotions and extremely sad partially due to some personal issues I was working through. Dealing with these mixed emotions and my own personal battles regarding my next chapter, I was in a big funk.

I didn’t want to speak to people, go on social media or pretend like everything was okay when my mood was: “I’m just trying to figure some s*** out”. I would be stuck in this mood for a whole year and a half. When I did come out of the hole it was to speak with my mentors and close friends about how to evolve through pain and maneuver pass my life roadblocks. Some of the best advice I received during this time was to seek therapy and to work through my challenges one day at a time.

What I realized in this space is that:

1. You must work on your issues at your own pace.

2. Seeking professional help is important in order to effectively overcome anything in your life you may perceive as an obstacle.

3. You're not alone. Just because you feel like your problem is isolated and you are the only person experiencing this situation, remember that there is someone out there who can relate. I say this not so you can mope in struggle tears, it’s so that you can thrive through your struggle along with someone who understands your journey if you so choose to share a piece of your experience.

4, Your community is important in your transitional space. Who will speak to, pour into and receive energy from during this time matters. The more positive energy you have around you the more positivity you will feed into your soul.

In my transitional space, I relied a lot on my community and peers I felt closest to me who inspired and allowed me to explore every emotion. If I needed to rant I could rant (healthy rants of course), cry it all out and then get my shit in order. It allowed me to not to ignore what I was feeling and where I was mentally. Looking back at it, I understand how this has helped me maneuver the new paths.

Although, it was stressful and at times sad I was able to come to terms with what I needed. I encourage anyone who is going through a post-graduation depression to figure out what IT is that they need in order to be supported through this journey.