Graduating from college, for me, and I suspect, for most students, is bittersweet. After four years knee-deep in academia, I was tired of the once exciting dorm parties, I was disillusioned by studying subjects that did not necessarily have any real-world application, and I felt anxious about setting out into the real world. Then, graduation came round sooner than I thought. I found myself with a B.A. in English but no job, most of my friends had skipped town to move back home, and what had preoccupied my time for four years had suddenly disappeared. Even though I did finally find full-time work a few months after graduation, I entered a period of my life in which, for the first time, I felt palpably depressed. I don’t think this is an unusual phenomenon. Post-college blues perhaps affects most of us in one way or another. Here’s how I got out of my slump, and here’s how you can, too.
- Make an effort to become acquainted with the city you live in
One thing I had noticed once I graduated from college was that, even though I had lived in the same city for four years, I hardly knew it beyond the one mile radius that surrounded campus. Most universities create a student culture in which almost every social activity occurs on or close to campus. Once I graduated, getting to know my city’s restaurants, night life, and other cultural attractions like museums helped me discover life beyond the confines of college.
- Call or Skype your closest friends who’ve moved away at least once a week.
I’m the worst person when it comes to keeping in touch with friends who don’t live in the same place I do. Since most of my closest college buddies had moved elsewhere, I’ve figured out now that the main driving force behind my post-college blues was a feeling of isolation. Making an effort to call all your friends at least once a week is a great way to feel a continued sense of connection with your past.
- Take up hobbies that you had given up when you were too busy in school.
When I was in college, I always complained that I never had time to do anything but study. This, of course, wasn’t entirely true because I did spend a good portion of my time socializing and goofing around. Once I finished school, and even after I got a job, I still had several hours every day during which time I didn’t have anything to do. This provided me with ample opportunity to take up hobbies I had quit once I started college, like playing the piano, reading for fun, and writing poetry and short fiction.
- Join young professionals organizations.
Getting to know others who are in the same age group and same stage in life is also essential in overcoming that feeling of being all alone. Most cities and even small towns have young professional organizations which plan social events at restaurants, bars, theaters, etc. More than these organizations being a great way to make new friends, they are also a great way to network for better career opportunities.