Tips to stay sane post-graduation
Firstly, congratulations on graduating! – And welcome to limbo! It’s a strange period, punctuated by career uncertainty and financial freefall. Do I stick with my part-time job? Do I move back home? We’ve compiled a list of tips to stay sane post-graduation. Stay in school kids. Forever.
Keeping your hands busy and your mind focused is important when dealing with post-university deflation. You’ve gone from always having things to do, to having very little to occupy yourself with, so it’s good to have a little list of things that you want to have achieved throughout the day, week, month or year.
Having a to-do list, whether it be long or short, will help ground you when you find yourself thinking I am so bored or there’s nothing to do.
Be wary of your moods
Graduating is a great achievement, but it can also present its problems. It’s the whole, now what? situation. It has been proven that one in four *graduates and undergrads will or have experienced mental health issues due to their studies or lack of according to YouGov. It isn’t until after you have finally finished with university that this help and support that you knew was there but didn’t use, has been suddenly removed without much notice or thought.
Cutting down on your alcohol intake and actually spending time looking after yourself is so important. Even if it is just a 5-minute workout video or eating a little healthier each day, these little things soon add up.
Have a short term and long-term plan
If you have a plan, you might find that you are more at ease with doing nothing. Doing nothing doesn’t mean nothing in a literal sense. It means doing work and jobs that don’t directly relate to your studies or future career. Making a short-term plan – i.e. working as a waitress/waiter for a year while you earn the money to get you toward your next step is a good place to start.
As for a long-term plan, there is nothing saying that being organised in your day to day, immediate future will not change. So, your plan for the future might alter slightly too. Don’t set expectations too high of yourself as you may get disheartened and this can lead to you going backwards instead of forwards. Your long-term plan might just be to get yourself into a stable job and be happy, it doesn’t have to be too elaborate or detailed.
Build a network outside of your university life
Keeping in touch with friends from home is a crucial part of staying sane. It will allow you to feel grounded and gain a sense of normality back into your life. Get back in touch with those who you once were close with, or those who have also finished university and will be feeling very similar to yourself.
Post-grad depression is a real thing so don’t let yourself get discouraged if you do feel a little down and confused about what you are doing with your life. Most graduates feel the same so reach out to your peers and talk about it, so don’t suffer in silence. Everything happens for a reason and it will all work out soon, but for now just enjoy the freedom of not being tied to anything major and celebrate that you have just graduated!