Tuesday 26 September 2017

Post-University Depression

"Almost nothing can prepare you for the change from university to the real world. Post-university depression is a real thing and it is time we start talking about it."


Let’s talk about something that a lot of people will be feeling right now, but what some people may not take seriously – post-university depression.

I remember my first year of university in a seminar where we watched a few scenes from ‘The Graduate’. I then went onto watch the whole film myself and since finishing university, I relate to and understand this film on a whole new level. There is no denying that university can cause an increase in poor mental health however, leaving university is no exception to this. It just spins the web further into ‘What an earth is going on?’ ‘Where am I?’ ‘Who am I?’ and I guess it gets to a point where we just need to laugh it off and power through.

University can be the best years of our young adult life. We are independent, but not. We are getting ‘free-ish’ money, an interest free overdraft, we’re probably drunk all the time and we make new friends every day. We are on an adventure of self-discovery but we are human and a lot of us do not truly realise the greatness of what we have until it’s gone.

Us post student-adults need some kind of halfway house equivalent that’s not our parents’ house, to help us get our heads together on this absolute nonsense known as ‘the real world’. It’s all the same; we all cry about having no money, struggle to find a job of some kind and then probably go travelling.

I’ve got to say to you adult-adults, there’s a lot of pressure on us student-adults to wake up and be adults and I’ve got to tell you, that’s not how the cookie crumbles. We are 22 and most of us haven’t the foggiest of what to do and how to do it. I was surer of myself before I started university than after I came out of it. The pressure that we can feel can make the journey of self-discovery incredibly unbearable. We’re not terrible people, we’re not lazy, we’re just a little bit lost and that needs to be seen as okay.

I’m not going to lie, there are some people who just have their act together. Before they have even finished university they’ve sorted a job, a house and a little money but this doesn’t mean they still don’t feel a little bit dazed and blinded by the real world.

I would say that the post-university blues make you feel as though you have gone back. At university it feels as though you are getting some kind of independence; you’re finding out who you are, what you like, what you don’t and the kind of person you want to become. But then you may go back home and realise this just is not who you are anymore and you may be constantly pressured to just become an adult and have everything together.

But adulthood and maturity comes with experience and a lot of mistakes.

There are 40 year olds who don’t have a clue what they want to do with their lives, and that is ok, so it should be the same for us post-university students.

As someone who had a teary breakdown this morning to their sister, don’t let the pressure of the real world determine what you think you should do. Take a deep breath. Take your time. Because no matter who is advising you what to do, no matter what identity turmoil you may be in, it is your life. Remember that. You’re the one who’s going to have to live it. So do what you think is right.
Don’t rush yourself. The university chapter of your life may have ended. You’re just adjusting to the change.

None of us knew what to expect in the real world, but let me tell you a secret, no one ever does; even the most ‘adulty-adults’ don’t really have a clue. The world is different every day. No matter how old you are, no matter what you’ve seen or done, we’re all just trying to find out who we are and what we want.

Don’t fear the unknown. Try and enjoy it. The world is at your feet.

Hey guys, it’s Tazmin. My journey suffering with severe depression and anxiety has been a difficult one; but I would not be who I am today had I not accepted my illness and worked to get better. I have just graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a First in Film and Media Production, something which I thought I'd never do.  I’ve had my blog Awareness for two years and it has been so rewarding for me; I want my writing to help, inspire and touch people. I now wish to support and encourage anyone who is suffering through university with this blog. Happy reading! (awarenessbytazmin.wordpress.com)

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