People say going through college is the hard part, but it's actually leaving college that could leave you down in the dumps. When you're in school you get comfortable, and it can be a bit jarring entering the real world.
You're used to being graded and guided toward a better you. Once you've graduated it seems like you're expected to be wholesome and ready, but you're not. If you have recently graduated college and you find yourself sulking in your own self-pity, chances are you're doing one or more of these things.
1. You're comparing yourself.
With Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and plenty of other social media platforms, we have the timeline of people's lives at the tips of our feelings.
And while people are more often than not over exaggerating their lives, you're left believing you're the odd one out. You start wondering why you can't land a job like your friend posted about, or go to a different country like your other friend just blogged about.
All of this comparing doesn't get you anywhere but in a sad, dark place. Life's not a measurement of who does what the most. Everyone's life is and successes are different and do not always synchronize.
2. You're stressing about a job.
Most people wonder if the agonizing years spent on a specific subject in college will actually be put to use in the long run. The majority of your senior year was probably spent looking at applicable positions, and it was beyond frustrating to find out that the years you spent in college can't be applied to the years of experience you need for that entry-level job.
Maybe you didn't get as many internships or outside experience, but you had the drive to pursue the major, so you have to keep that same drive in order to put it to good use.
3. You feel pressured.
For some reason, having a degree is automatically linked with automatic success, and that's only partly true. Getting a degree is an amazing accomplishment, but it's wrong to assume that people are finished once they get a degree.
A degree no longer means instant stability, and some people find themselves even more confused than when they first started their undergrad. The idea of going to college, getting a bachelor's degree and then immediately buying a home and living happily ever after is not ideal anymore.
The journey to sustainable adulthood has a lot more pit-stops these days.
4. You don't know what you want to do.
Your emphasis is listed on your degree, but you should never be a counterpart to that. Sometimes people completely change gears and decide to do something other than what they studied because they just tapped into a different part of themselves.
Things change, people change, you've changed. Graduating should be uplifting, not a restraint on who you're supposed to be. And other people may disagree, but they weren't the ones taking the finals, pulling all-nighters and guzzling energy drinks. That was all you.
Depression is nothing to be ashamed of, but sometimes it is our misperception of certain life experiences that continues to make us spiral. Often, it's society's outdated outlook on college and its graduates that takes us for a loop. Things are changing, and we have to accept that we aren't living our lives by any book or guide.
College and graduating are just a chapter; there are plenty of other pages to flip through, and so many more things that will be worth highlighting.