Completing my last assignment and finishing university back in May was such a massive relief and weight off my shoulders… or so I thought. I do not think anything could have prepared me for the next chapter. There has been great parts but there is also something that a lot of graduates do not seem to speak about because of its negative connotations: post-university depression.
Once I moved back home, it was quite a shock. I felt as though my independence slipped away as I no longer had my own space. My friends from university were suddenly spread across the country, almost as if the last three years never happened – time flies by! The pandemic stole the last year of socialising with these people, making the transition from university to graduate life ever more challenging. I began immediately searching for graduate roles to take my mind off the overwhelming sadness of not being at university anymore with amazing friends, lecturers and on a beautiful rural campus.
Maybe a holiday might help
It was not easy. It felt like constant rejection from employers but after seeking help from University’s Employability service, my applications massively improved. In the midst of this, I went on holiday with my partner for a much-needed break. You would think that this would distract me but unfortunately, I was still struggling with the sadness of leaving university and feeling very isolated. I kept questioning whether it was normal feel this way, even after two-three months into graduate life.
The beginning of the next chapter
Eventually, my mood lifted - I landed my first professional role as an employer took a chance on me. I was over the moon. After recently starting this job however, I still miss university quite a lot so I am finding ways of coping with this such as arranging to meet friends from university when I can.
Reflecting on the past & moving forward
I remember starting university and dreading it due to the overwhelming homesickness that ensued. I was so attached to being at home but university brought out my social, confident side. It was such a great adventure - going to events, meeting new people and even accepting my sexuality. I became a lot more comfortable in my own skin and I will never forget the positive impact that university had on me.
Not every student feels this way when they graduate but I think it is important to share how I have felt and to say to you that if you are feeling this way, you are not alone. It is completely normal and it is okay to talk about it. We need to remove this taboo!