A few months ago, I graduated from Temple University. I must admit that it was bitter-sweet for me. I graduated earlier than expected, therefore a lot of the people I had grown close with weren't at the ceremony with me. Honestly, if it weren't for the money that I saved from graduating early, I probably would have stayed the extra semester for the experiences I'm currently missing out on. Some days it's hard and others I'm glad that college is over. I feel differently about it each day. It's strange for me to not have anything to do. I can go to sleep whenever I want to. I can wake up whenever I want to. I don't have to set alarms. But..something is missing. I'm not as happy as I thought I would be. Maybe it's the lack of structure. Or maybe it's because I'm not as busy as I used to be. Most of the time, I feel purposeless...like I'm wasting my life one day at a time. I wonder if I should get a part-time job to take up some time or if I should invest all of my time into my music career. This might not be everyone's experience, but if it is...let's call this phenomenon the post-grad blues.
If you're suffering from the post-grad blues, let's work through it together:
1. Create your own structure. Set a daily alarm to wake up at a specific time (Mine is 10:30am). Then...separate your day based upon the things that you want to accomplish and/or what's important to you. I love singing and writing/making music, therefore I always dedicate a part of my day to this. It also helps to create lists! The more I check off, the more accomplished I feel! This helps with the purposeless feeling.
2. Don't compare yourself to others. One of your friends may be graduating with a full-time job and one of your other friends could be taking a year off before going back to school. We are all different and therefore choose different routes. Take comfort in knowing that if you didn't get that job, there was a reason for it. Most likely, there's something better for you out there! Be confident in your journey and focus instead on your lane rather than who's driving beside you. I promise you'll be happier this way. Be sure of who you are and what you will accomplish!!
3. Don't let your expectations get you down. We all have this idea of what our lives will be like. We'll graduate college and then all of a sudden *BAM* we're actual adults and everything will fall into place. LOL! Most likely, your life will be nothing like you imagined it would be...and that perfectly okay! We make plans for ourselves knowing that we're not always in control of our lives. You can't force someone to hire you or make that person fall in love with you. So, if you can't change it...don't beat yourself up over it. Forget about those deadlines you set for yourself and just live each day to the fullest.
4. Be selfish. Take this time to learn more about yourself and what you want in life. Do the things that bring you the most joy and let go of the things that stress you out. You're young, you don't need complications. Celebrate and love yourself! You'll find a joy which no one can get rid of!
5. Pick up a new hobby. Hey, now that you have a little bit more free time, you can read that book you've been putting off for the past few months. You can buy that sketch book and draw more! Find those things that bring you happiness. This new hobby will come in handy when you need to free your mind.
6. Be social. Spend time with your friends, go to the bar, volunteer at that animal shelter. Fight the urge to feel sorry for yourself. Go out there and create the happiness that you seek.
There are plenty of things that you can do to combat the post-grad blues. These are just a few of the many ways you can help alleviate it. But, remember that graduating in itself is a HUGE deal. Don't let your expectations overshadow this huge accomplishment. And remember...just keep moving forward.