For many, the ‘post-graduation blues’ are becoming all too frequent. However, it’s a rising issue that’s still not really spoken about. Why is that?
Well on the whole, it’s not guaranteed that the post-grad blues will effect everyone. Some people slip into another routine quick enough after graduation that they don’t realise the shift in life dynamics from being a student to being a worker. They have a whole new routine to anticipate, work around and fill their time with. But what happens if you find yourself moving back home, without work, and compromising your newfound independence?
Living with family
If this is the case for you, the first thing to do would be to discuss with your family how the house dynamic is going to work again. Just as you got used to living independently (eating whenever you wanted, coming and going as you pleased and having quiet spaces to study), your family will have adapted their life routines without you living there. It will definitely be a culture shock adjusting to living under family guidance again. It would be beneficial for everyone to sit down and talk about how you’ll contribute to to incomes or housework. If you put in a certain agreed amount of work, your parents might even let you live there rent free! (A long shot, but you can always hope).
Keeping in touch
It’s likely that in moving home, your friends from uni are now also on the other side of the country. This will be the weirdest feeling; the mismatched little family that you’ve lived and learned with for the past two or more years will now be further away than ever. Make sure you keep in contact! Group Skype calls or messaging are obviously the easiest ways, but definitely arrange to actually meet up with them. If you’re all from different corners of the country, pick a city to meet in the middle at.
Likewise, your school friends in your hometown may also have moved back home too. Arrange to meet up with these people as well; it’s a great opportunity to finally catch up now none of you have uni deadlines to keep to, and you’ll realise that not much has actually changed in your friendships. If they’re feeling a bit left behind like you are, take this opportunity to have a good old fashioned rant to them. Your situations may be scarily similar! It’s important to keep these friendships. There would be nothing worse than moving home and realising that the only person in a similar age range to yourself is your 16 year old little brother. Your sanity would be out the window in seconds. Not ideal.
Part time jobs for quick cash
Utilise all this spare time wisely. Look for part time jobs on the side. If you’re at home because you haven’t yet found a career that you specifically studied for, then at least do some job hunting for money and experience whilst you’re waiting for an opportunity to arise. Food service jobs are easy to get started on and will build your confidence massively, and jobs in retail often pay a lot more than you’d expect. Even basic office work will help you, as it will get you used to that professional environment you could be working in, in a few years time! Take as many shifts as you can. Gain experience in different fields. And use the fact that you’re living at home to your advantage…you can save so much money!
Decorate, decorate, decorate…
Sometimes though, a fresh new environment might have you changing your outlook on things. Why not decorate your room at home? Most of us go back home to our childhood bedrooms, decorated with childish wallpaper and posters and wilting teddy bears in the corners. Now you’ve returned as a fully fledged adult, why not decorate it to suit your new adult mindset? It will occupy you, give you something to look forward to, and the result will be an expression of the person you’ve grown to be.
Think about social media
Another point to remember in coping after uni: don’t take everything you see on social media at face value. You may open Instagram and frequently see old coursemates posting photos with new people, captioned “Loving my new work family!”, “post-work drinks”, or “ready to travel the world”. But understand that people only post what they want their audiences to see. In reality those same people may be really hating their new jobs, struggling to finance their lives, struggling to fit into new social and professional circles, and even just function properly on their own in a new routine. Don’t compare yourself. Everyone is different, and different lives will evolve at different paces. Just because you haven’t got a concrete career plan now, doesn’t mean you won’t do by the time next year rolls around!
Lastly, don’t isolate yourself. Take comfort in having your family around you, and enjoy it whilst you have the time. Open up to them as well as to your friends. Chances are, friends and family will have felt the exact same as you do now at some point in their lives. They’re there to help you, not to judge you. The more you open up, the more solutions you may be able to work on together. You’re now more connected to everyone than ever, so make the most of it.
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