Post Graduate Depression?

If you’re a graduate of the class of 2017, like me, congratulations – you did it. You should be so proud of yourself for working your butt off for the past 3 years. All that hard work; late night assignment writings, breakdowns over individual presentations, exam stress all combined with at least attempting to enjoy “the best years of your life” in University. But as your graduation loomed you could feel the impending doom coming at you from behind, and at your graduation ceremony and onwards since, the dreaded question gets thrown at you over and over; “So what now?

I made a blogpost on my “Graduate planback in February of this year, where I expressed my feelings towards the topic and how I didn’t really have a plan and just hoped it would all fall into place. Well, 7 months later after the best summer of my life travelling America I find myself back at home and lets just say my plans are definitely falling, but I wouldn’t exactly say they’re falling into place.

I came back from America 3 weeks ago (if you’re wondering it was great, the single best experience of my life.) but since I came back the hunt for a job has begun. I’ve applied left right and centre for jobs and internships but so far no such luck.

I suppose some of you reading this would be quick to say “well, maybe you should have considered not traveling and looking for jobs as soon as University finished” but to that I come back with the simple response; it wouldn’t have made a difference. Friends of mine who also graduated back in July have said how they spend the entire summer – since handing in their last assignment back in May, searching, applying and interviewing for jobs, graduate schemes and internships alike and just like me, no such luck. As a result many of them have panicked and last minute decided to apply for post-graduate courses such as Masters and PGCE’s, and I really hope for their sake it aids their careers and they don’t end up in exactly the same place once they graduate from that course.

In the past 3 weeks I’ve started to notice something that I never noticed before, of course I’ve heard of people say it isn’t easy trying to start your career purely because these days there are more people coming out of University with degrees than there are jobs to accommodate them. But what really bothers me is the completely unrealistic requirements these jobs have. They want you to have a degree – check, but they also want you to have at least 1 years experience of working in the job role you’re applying for. But in order to obtain that experience you must be accepted into a job to gain the experience you’re trying to get in for, confusing right? This is where the vicious cycle begins.
No job without experience, no experience without job.

It gets to the point where you give up on applying to career-type jobs and start applying for basic retail or bartending jobs. Only to find out there’s a high chance you won’t get those either because now you’re “overqualified” and the companies know you’re not likely to stick around for long. I don’t know about you but that is the single most stupid thing I have ever heard in my life. My employment coach at the local jobcentre advised me on this and told me “never dumb yourself down” and he’s right. What’s the point in spending all that money and time doing your degree to just lie about not having one at all just to get a job in a fast food chain.

Post Graduate Depression is a thing, and a thing I wasn’t aware of until recently. But it’s becoming increasingly more real to me as each day creeps on that I dread checking my emails just because I know there’ll be nothing positive there, just more “sorry, you were unsuccessful” emails. We leave the world of education – which has been a constant in our lives since we were 3 years old, it’s eerie and scary out here without education to fall back on.

So, I ask after putting every ounce of emotion I have left on the subject into this post, I’m going to ask you all the question – What next? Let me help you out. If you find yourself in this situation- you are not alone, there are thousands of graduates (like you and me) who find themselves in this situation at the end of summer every year. Don’t let the walls close in on you, get out there and go for a walk just so it means you’re leaving the house. It sounds cliche but I know things will work out, for you, for me, for graduate in the same position everywhere.

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