How to beat the postgraduate blues

 By Rachel Measures, BA (Hons) Media, 3rd Year

It’s the end of 3rd Year! Finally the exams and assignments are done, all the celebrations are over, and now you’re left to wonder what life after summer is going to bring. It’s a time where the unknown is your present, and you’re left with the reminder that as the cliché goes, the best time of your life is over.

Of course, you must remind yourself that this isn’t true, and what you’re feeling is entirely valid and very natural. After all, you’ve been a student for three years now-your entire adult life so far- and the routines of university have become second-nature. Though you’ve grown in independence, it’s now time to become a fully-fledged adult.

The postgraduate blues (postgraduation depression), are something experienced by so many university graduates around this time of year, and it’s a very real thing. The reason I wanted to write this post is to acknowledge that, but also to reassure you, and to give you some tips if you find yourself in this slump.

First let’s acknowledge what you are feeling….

Lost independence

If you go back home, have no job, and have to rely on your parents, it can seem like a step backwards – but remember you are just gathering yourself. Get applying for jobs, see if you can afford a flat, and find your feet again. Taking time to sort these things out is no failure and will most likely help you in the long run.

Change and fear of the unknown

Not knowing what your next plan is can be hard, but you must trust that you will find something. Even if that something isn’t your dream job, it’s a step to getting there. All things take time, you just have to keep thinking positively.

So how can you overcome the blues?

Don’t fight the change

It’s something that is outside of your control, so give yourself some time to freak out and figure it all out, but then try to embrace it- as a more exciting thing will be coming your way.

Talk to people, remember you’re not alone

If you’re feeling a little lost at home, speak to your parents. Hey, they’ve probably been through it themselves at some point.

You can also speak to your careers advisor – here at Hallam you can use the Careers services up to 5 years after you graduate.

If you’re feeling the pressure, speak to your peers too. Even if some of your friends have found jobs straight away, and have a whole plan, it might be reassuring to know from others that you’re not the only one who feels the way that you do.

Don’t compare yourself to others

It might take avoiding social media for a bit- as when all your university friends are shouting about the jobs they have, it can feel frustrating and isolating, and you could feel like the only person without a plan. Remember that the likeliness of you being alone is very slim, but also that everyone has a different timeline. You’ll get there in your own time.

Recognise improvements you need to make

Every application and every job interview is a learning experience regardless of the outcome. If one doesn’t go well, reflect and learn what to do better next time. Think about it as a positive experience so that you can pick yourself up.

Also remember that the careers service at Hallam offers mock interviews, CV advice, and application help to support you too.

Know that this won’t last forever

And that it will work out.