Before I graduated, I had my hands in too many buckets, taking too many hours, with too many extracurriculars that only involved the university I attended. My professors and counselors thought I was on the path to success. But here’s the thing; No one prepares you for the free time you’re about to be exposed to. The nights of homework, socials and extracurricular meetings come to a screeching halt and you find yourself with a lot more free-time.
When you graduate, you feel obligated to be thrilled. It's the biggest accomplishment you've had thus far, and not everyone is privileged enough to have the opportunity to even attend a college. So, why are you upset? Why are you depressed? And why does it seem like you're the only person experiencing this? No one else seems to talk about it...
But trust me, I’ve been there, and there’s no sugarcoating it. It sucks.
With all of that said, I spent a year in a pit, struggling to find my way out. I tried CrossFit, Junior League, Alumni groups, yoga, a date with that random guy from the gym… You name it, I probably did it. I never said no, and agreed to anything and everything. And that’s all I needed. I said goodbye to my all too common dates with Netflix and Malbec, and embraced my vulnerability. But sometime it's not that easy.
That’s why I’ve come up with my top eight list of how you can get out of your rut and kiss the post college depression goodbye!
1. Join a gym. Cycling, yoga, running, do it. As quoted from legally blonde: "Exercise makes endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot your husband.” Don’t shoot your husband, join a gym.
2. Join something that’s bigger than just you. Whether it’s volunteer work, Alumni Groups, a knitting class at the local community college, it doesn’t matter. Get involved.
3. Make a new (and different) gratitude list, every damn day. List three things you’re grateful for that day (including that degree!) and dwell on that. You always have something to be grateful for.
4. See a therapist. Hi, it’s the twenty first century. Everyone and their dog has a therapist. Get your own.
5. Go out. Ditch the bottle of wine and mac and cheese that are waiting for you after work, and GO. OUT. You’ll be glad you did, and trust me, Netflix will be there for you tomorrow night.
6. Make something. Anything, everything. Dinner, a painting, a quilt, who cares? Make it. The world’s a lot better when you make something, and you will be, too.
7. Say yes- You’ll do more, and be more because of it. You’ll do things you never anticipated, and have experiences you would’ve missed out on before.
8. Be vulnerable. Go out with those girls you hardly know, say yes to that random date request, and have a drink at the bar BY YOURSELF. The world still revolves, and you’ll be a hell of a lot more proud to be in it.
You need to do you. Find what you love, what you're passionate about and make it yours. Be vulnerable and embrace it.