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How Post-Graduate Depression Can Impact Transition From Campus Life To Adulthood: Op-Ed

As graduation season approaches for many, the idea of post-graduation depression looms closely behind. The day we toss our caps into the air and bid farewell to the halls of academia marks a monumental milestone in our lives. With the turn of a tassel, we transition from the sheltered confines of university life to the daunting realm of adulthood. 

However, for countless individuals, the period following graduation is not a time of excitement but rather one filled with uncertainty, anxiety, and a sense of loss. As the euphoria of commencement ceremonies fades away, the harsh reality of navigating the complexities of adult life sets in. 

The transition from student to full-fledged adult is a tumultuous journey to say the least, and it’s something that doesn’t exactly come with a blueprint. With so many different reasons as to why post-grad depression can settle in, it can become taxing to even begin to navigate. 

For some, it entails moving away from the familiar comforts of home, embarking on new adventures in unfamiliar cities or towns. For others, it involves delving headfirst into the competitive world of job hunting and career building, grappling with rejection and uncertainty at every turn.

That was my life.

And for me, like many others, the sting of post-graduation depression was compounded by some of my closest friends moving away to distant quarters of the country. 

It was kind of hard for me to grasp in the beginning. I mean, when I first moved to Atlanta for college in 2014, I had no plans of leaving after graduation. I was positive this was exactly that place I wanted to be. So, why would anyone else want to leave too? 

However, before I knew it, the once-familiar landscape of my college life was completely altered. Making new friends as an adult proved to be a daunting task, fraught with awkwardness and insecurity. 

Furthermore, the financial woes of student loan debt can be debilitating for anyone to handle, especially within the Black community. 

However,  despite all of these deterrents. It’s imperative to remember that you are not alone no matter how much you may feel like we are. 

Countless others have walked this path before, facing similar struggles and setbacks along the way. Seeking support from friends, family, or mental health professionals can provide solace and guidance during these times of cloudiness.  

Moreover, it’s crucial to cultivate self-compassion. Recognizing that setbacks and challenges are an inherent part of the journey. It’s easier said than done but embracing change, seeking out new experiences, and nurturing meaningful connections with others can help to alleviate feelings of isolation. 

Journaling has been a tremendous outlet for me personally. The act of jotting down thoughts and feelings can have a profound impact on your outlook and emotional well-being. 

Additionally, stepping out of your comfort zone by attending networking gatherings and utilizing platforms like Bumble for Friends can be useful in broadening your social circle post grad. 

As graduation season quickly approaches, remember to remain steadfast with courage and determination in whatever life throws at you. You’ve come too far to turn back now. 

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2024. 

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©2019 Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine

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