Consider the following story as it relates to this week’s topic.
My college graduation day was amazing! Since we’re all vaccinated, I was able to celebrate with my family and friends just like I’d hoped. I worked harder than I ever have in my life to earn this degree and, for the most part, I’m incredibly excited to start my new life. However, with an internship and living with roommates in our first “adult” apartment in a new city, I’m starting to really worry about doing this without help. The internship doesn’t pay much and will only last a few months. What do I do after that? Who am I supposed to turn to for help? Is this what I spent the last four years working for?
Graduating from high school and/or college is exciting and are important milestones. It’s a time to celebrate making it through what feels like a lifetime of lectures, late-night studying, projects, and exams. However, life after graduation can also be quite scary. Whether you got into the college of your dreams or opted to take a gap year, have a great job or internship lined up, or still aren’t sure what the future holds, uncertainty and anxiety may linger.
Rice Psychology Group understands how important this period is, and not taking care of your mental health can hold you back from living a great life. Fortunately, our psychologists in Tampa are here to help you on this journey.
The Post-Graduation Blues
As a recent graduate, you might be asking yourself, “Now what?” Life doesn’t come with a study guide, PowerPoint, or rubric, so figuring things out for yourself can be overwhelming.
And the pandemic hasn’t made things easier either.
In fact, a 2020 survey by UC Berkeley and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities found that depression and anxiety soared last year in graduate students. On top of that, the sense of community you felt and the security you adapted to in college, for example, is likely to change significantly.
Adjusting to a New Life
Please don’t fret – having control over your life can be very exciting and rewarding. And taking care of your mental health can make things much easier.
Here are some tips that we happened upon from Mental Health America and thought were spot on (and why reinvent the wheel?) so we’re sharing them here for you:
- Be Patient – It’s going to take time to adjust to your new life. Don’t expect things to become familiar overnight. If anything, it can take several weeks or even months to settle into your new ways. This is also a time to reach out and build new friendships and connections!
- Take Responsibility – Find a system that works for you. Set reminders or make lists of things that need to get done like chores, paying bills, etc. And don’t forget to make time for yourself to do what you enjoy like being with friends, binge-watching a new series, working out, reading, and more. Take this time to get to know yourself better and celebrate this new independence. Try new hobbies and stay active.
- Find Support – Feeling more than a bit lost in your new life is normal. This is a huge transition. This is especially true if you relocate someplace where you know no one. Perhaps there’s someone at work or at your new school who’s willing to mentor you. If you’re religious (and even if you aren’t), churches, temples, and mosques are great places to build community and find support when you’re new in town. If you have a hobby, you might find instant community amongst like-minded people in a new place. For example, I can create almost instant community when going to a new barn or dog park because horse and dog lovers are “my people.” And, of course, as we squash the stigma around mental health, please don’t be afraid to speak to a professional like our team of licensed therapists and psychologists.
Let’s Move Forward Together
Contact us to schedule your free, 10-minute consultation. We’re currently offering private, online sessions via telehealth as well as a limited number of online and in-person evaluations for all ages.