A very brief catch up session with a dear friend of mine sparked my longing to blog again. I know I rarely post anything (which I’m trying to change), but today’s conversation gave me the inspiration for tonight’s post. Now, mind you, that I actually have had the same conversation with at least two other very close friends of mine (which kind of made me feel less alone, but also intrigued me to explore this subject). All of them, in which have just graduated college just a couple of months ago. And as you could tell by my title, our rants and vent sessions were about uncertainty, depression, boredom, desperation, isolation, and most importantly (and this is the biggest one), fear. All are terrible and annoying emotions that are felt in the months you realize that you are done with school. So now what? I mean, your whole life, you’ve been focusing on getting your degree. You had one destination, one goal and for the past twenty or so years of your life, you had been on the one road heading straight towards it, guns blazing. Then you finally get there, you cross the finish line. You are then left with so many different paths. Options. And to some girls (especially me) it scares the hell out of them. Why? Indecisiveness and uncertainty. Those two words can drain your soul and suck the living life out of you because you can waste so much precious time thinking: What am I doing with my life? I am going to be happy? Should I be doing this? But I hate my job. I don’t want to do this forever…and the list of negative thoughts of a woman’s mind goes on.
And trust me, to whoever is reading this out there who can relate to this post grad crisis chaos, I just want to tell you that I’ve been there. And to some extent I’m still there. Alongside with my fellow companions, I have freaked out multiple times. One time in public (so embarrassing lol) but as I have calmed down (thank goodness), stepped back, analyzed and of course ranted about it with my friends, I have come upon making this very short guide in post grad crisis survival. The contents of this survival guide stemmed from advice from my loving parents, talking to
older wiser people, my own recollections and observations, and of course some spiritual guidance. Hope this helps!
1.) Just accept it.
You don’t know what to do, and that’s completely okay. You can’t change uncertainty, you just can’t. So why continue to freak out about it. You’re just wasting time that could be spent on discovering, exploring and figuring out who you are and what you want to do. Accept the fact that you have no clue yet, and use your time and energy to get one. If you cannot accept your symptoms of your post grad crisis then DO SOMETHING about it! Change your perspective. Keep applying, do some research, talk to some people, put yourself out there. Take some time off and travel. The more you focus on what you can do instead of what you can’t do, the more you’ll feel better.
2.) Look ahead, even though you don’t know where that is or what’s there.
Who says a person needs to know exactly what’s going on and when it’s exactly going to happen in order to progress in life? Whoever said that must have not heard of Maya Angelou, John Nash or even MLK Jr. for that matter. Each of these individuals went through both physical and psychological complexities in their lifetime and still made a name for themselves in history. Okay, okay, so you may argue that their life crisis is incomparable to yours. You don’t live in an abusive discriminatory environment or suffer from a mental illness. But you know what, that is exactly my point. If they can survive their trials, you can survive this one. So look ahead and get ahead, because unlike them (who had worse problems), the only thing now that is getting in the way of your progress is yourself.
3.) Surround yourself with busy-ness
Instead of moping around, feeling depressed or sad that you aren’t where you wanted to be, take yourself to places you want to be! It’s as simple as answering this question: What makes you happy? Figure that out and surround yourself in everything and anything that makes you feel so. Because once you do, you’ll figure out what you want to do and most of all, you’ll find your passion. And passion, my friends, is what differentiates excitement from boredom. It drives ambition and encourages motivation. You’ll never work a day in your life.
4.) Take risks
We’re young and at our prime. Someone once told me that the age that we are at right now (20’s and I guess up to our 30s) is when we are the most creative, innovative, motivated, ambitious and driven. So why not take risks? We have our whole lives to fail, then learn, then succeed. Our time is now. Try something new or go for your dreams even though you are afraid of rejection or failure, because right now, what do you have got to lose? I mean, we just graduated just a few months ago, so the answer, theoretically is: nothing. We have absolutely have nothing to lose. Maybe some money and a little pride, but all of that can be replenished once we take the right risk and succeed.
5.) Just because you’ve reached one destination, doesn’t mean it’s the end of the road.
Best part about finishing school: you gained back hours in your day from not having to study for a midterm or write a final paper. Therefore, you have the option and the time to do whatever you want! Make goals, have plans, create more destinations (literally! Take a year off and travel if you must!). Again, to some (and me), too many options and not knowing which destination to stick with is just a disaster waiting to happen. But who says a person is limited to one goal? Now that we have a degree, we are all capable of doing something great with our lives and if it takes a few changed routes and destinations then so be it. The beauty of not being restricted to a single road that leads to a single destination (the academic road we’ve been on for the past 16 or so years) is that we can alter our journey however we want in order to find our true calling. We’ll find out where we belong. And that, my fellow post grad survivors, is when the crisis will end.