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Coping with Post-Graduation Stress

There are many medical diagnoses for post-graduation stress disorder, as the transition from college to the real world overwhelms graduates when it comes to making bigger life choices after leaving college campuses. Though not all post-graduation stress disorders are felt in the extreme, it can be mentally and emotionally draining if students are unprepared for a new chapter in life. To help you enter into the “real world” a bit more confidently and alleviate some anxiety, we’ve come up with some tips below on coping with post-graduation stress so that you’re able to spend less time worrying and more time focusing on prospective goals.

Keep Things in Perspective

You are not the only recent graduate who has ever faced some stress and uncertainty after graduating from college. There are many others in your similar circumstance, and many others who have come before you have successfully navigated that period of time right after college. Try to keep things in perspective when your anxiety builds with questions such as, “What are your plans now?” If you’re worried about your finances, you are certainly not alone. Many young professionals who are years into their careers worry about their actual income versus their targeted income. However, excuse is not a justified reason in spending beyond your means. Stick to a budget so that you are not adding credit card debt to the list of things that are already anxiety-provoking.

Even with a job that correlates to your field of study, most graduates deviate to a completely different line of work, later down the road. Many young professionals change their career choices once they’ve been exposed to a particular field, whether it is because they realized that career wasn’t for them or they decided to pursue a more rewarding field. Indecisiveness is permissible, as long as you are active in pursuing work in varied disciplines.

Confront the Future

Don’t make excuses for why you haven’t figured out your goals yet- spend your time thinking about your next move. At some point, you’ll need to confront the future, and it’s probably better to do so sooner rather than later, especially when employers pay attention to large gaps in employment history. Do a bit of self-reflection. We’ve established that being temporarily indecisive is understandable, but staying in a rut won’t help you leave your parents’ basement or that low-paying part-time job.

If you haven’t done so already, think about the kinds of things you could do with the major you chose in college. While many college students end up in careers unrelated to their majors, the obvious route you should start off on in your job search will be related to your field of study. Finding a job isn’t a science and sometimes it does take a while to find that perfect fit, so don’t feel discouraged if you’re not getting immediate calls back about your job applications and position queries. Try to think about what your goals are for your life after college, but also be very realistic. Most entry-level jobs come with entry-level salaries, but even CEOs start somewhere. Confront the future confidently and with common sense as well.

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Last Reviewed: November 2019