Post-grad anxiety is something that all of us experience when our college career comes to an end. As soon as you walk across that stage, your life will never be the same. The uncertainty of what’s next is one of the most anxiety-provoking things you will ever experience, but I promise you, it will all be ok! Here are some tips that helped me through my post-grad anxiety. I hope they can help you, too!
1. Know You’re Not Alone
It is so common to feel isolated at such a confusing and unpredictable time, and it’s easy to forget that all of your friends are going through the exact same thing as you. Talk to your friends about how you are all feeling about post-grad anxiety and you are bound to hear some similarities in your conversation.
While I absolutely do not condone comparing the speed of your life to anyone else’s, it is comforting to know that all of your friends are in the exact same boat as you and are feeling just as anxious about graduating as you are.
2. Embrace The Unknown
Graduating college is one of the most daunting experiences we will ever have to endure. What’s next? The unchartered territory of the real world is such a scary thought to all of us, whether we let our fear show or not.Fear of the unknown is not something we’ve ever really had to experience thus far. Every summer break we knew we were going back to school in the fall. But now, most of us don’t have a real plan for the future, and that’s perfectly fine.
This is the first time in your life that you don’t have a schedule to follow, which can cause a ton of anxiety for some people (like me!). Not having someone or something telling you where you need to be and when is something we haven’t experienced before. We always had class schedule to work the rest of our lives around, and without that, it could be really hard to be productive. It could feel like you have so much free time that you don’t even know where to start to make use of it.
It took me a while to gain a positive perspective on my suddenly schedule-less life. How amazing is it that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want? No one is telling me I’m late or can’t sleep in. That is incredible! Go out with your friends and have fun with all of this new-found free time. Take little day trips to places you’ve never been to before. Hone a new skill. Pick up a new hobby. Odds are, you will never have time like this to kill ever again. You have your whole life to work and, eventually, you will land a job. Try to enjoy this time while you still have it because it definitely will not last forever.
Take a step back from all of the anxiety that comes with the unknown and try to spin it in a positive direction. If you tell yourself something enough times, you will start to believe it and eventually it will become your reality. So, make your attitude and thoughts positive!
3. Do Anything That Makes You Feel Productive
Literally, anything. Even if that means getting out of bed before noon. Anything you can think of to make you feel like you’ve been productive, do it.
If you’re feeling like you accomplished something today, you’ll be inclined to want to feel that same way tomorrow. This will soon start a snowball effect and, before you know it, you’ll have put together a string of productive days, weeks, or even months.
What I liked to do to feel productive was dedicate a good portion of my day to applying for jobs. Any job that even slightly mentioned something that fits the description I was looking for, I applied for.
Maybe you want to work out, go for a walk or eat a healthy meal to start your day. Do whatever it is that makes you feel like you did something your future self will thank you for. You will see an astronomical decrease in your post-grad anxiety.
4. There Is No Race
It can feel like you are starting to compare your speed to the speed that your friends are going. This is NOT how anyone should measure their personal growth after graduation. Everyone finds their way at their own pace. No one is better or worse than anyone else, and it is hard to remember this when the post-grad anxiety is hitting hard.
There is no time limit on when you need to have a job by or when you need to have a plan for what’s next. It will all come to you when it’s supposed to, and you just have to find some way to trust that!
5. Assure Yourself That This Will Pass
While post-grad anxiety feels like it is going to be following you around like a dark cloud for the rest of your life, one day it will quietly leave you and you’ll be too focused on the next amazing chapter of your life t0 even notice that it disappeared.
Whenever post-grad anxiety starts to feel like it’s taking over your life, try to remind yourself that this is something that all of us feel, and not one of us knows how to deal with it perfectly. This is uncharted territory for all of us, and there is no right or wrong way to go about dealing with it. The only sure thing about this time of our lives is that it will not last forever.
Enjoy the time while you have it and be proud of yourself regardless of how long it takes you to find a job. You just graduated from college! That is an amazing accomplishment! The hard part is over. Try and remind yourself that.