Most people dream of the day they get to walk across the stage of a university and get handed this incredibly expensive piece of paper they’ve waited for called a Bachelor’s Degree. As long as I can remember, I had wanted to go to college, get a degree, and become this amazing journalist; similar to the dreams of Rory Gilmore. Little did I know what was to come. Reality hit me about two months pre-graduation that I would need to some day, eventually sooner than I thought, find a job that would define who I was for the rest of my life.

This thought shattered me. I wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility. I could barely decide what I wanted to eat that morning for breakfast. But I had to accept it. It was inevitable; sure I had a couple of options. I could be in college forever, travel the world and be incredibly broke, or settle for something I wasn’t dreaming of. I hadn’t quite prepared like I told myself I would, so I had to face the consequences.  Sure, it had dawned on me before that I would have to make this decision some day, but it was standing right before me, looking at me straight in the face, and I couldn’t bear to experience it. But I did graduate, and it felt awesome for about a week or so. My parents had never been prouder of their little girl, but I couldn’t help but be sad about the reality that was about to hit me.

A month post graduation, I was still feeling okay. I was applying for jobs and shortly after, I received a job offer to start at this company as an HR Assistant. I accepted it, because let’s be real; ABC7 wasn’t knocking on my door. I was happy to have a job, of course, but a part of me felt this emptiness inside of me. Two weeks into the job, I began to fall apart and feel emotions I had never felt before and didn’t understand.

There was an overwhelming sadness that had overcome me and it was terrifying. My boyfriend didn’t understand and neither did I. I couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong with me at the time. I had a full-time job, family and friends who loved me, but I felt empty inside. A part of me was missing and it was awful. I had to figure out the parts of that were missing and that became the most difficult part of this journey. Parts of me wanted to give up on what I was doing, but I had to remember how far I had gotten and I couldn’t look back now. Those parts of me had broken, but had to come to the realization that the broken parts of me didn’t define me. When I came to that conclusion, I was able to help myself out of this “funk.” I started applying for new jobs in things that seemed more ideal for me and lo and behold, I received a job offer at a new location where I was able to find parts of me that had been missing.

It’s taken me a while to accept the reality that was inside of me for about a year. I’m sharing this with everyone because there are a couple of lessons I’ve learned from this.

1. You can’t always choose the cards you are dealt

We’ve all had this fairy tale idea of the way your life is supposed to go. But when we come to the realization that we have to be patient and have faith in the way things play out, things will line up.

2. You’re going to be okay, eventually

If you’re going through depression, you can’t speed up the process. You can’t expect to be happy all the time, even post-depression. I still to this very day deal with sadness, but I am better at fighting off the feeling of being sad. Even when it’s hard, even when days seem hopeless, know that it’s going to be okay.

3. You are loved

As much as I didn’t want to surround myself with people I found myself needing people more than ever.

The transition after graduation isn’t easy, but remember to believe in yourself. Always choose the path that your gut tells you is right for you.

post-grad-depression

If you’ve graduated college, how did you deal with the transition? Tell us about it in the comments. 

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