Community//

How to Cope with Post-Graduation Anxiety

It’s not easy to graduate into one of the most uncertain times in recent history. You’re not alone!

Post-graduation anxiety: it’s a thing. Some call it the commencement blues, and Psychology Today even dubbed the feeling “Post Commencement Stress Disorder.” Could you be feeling this and not even know it? As it turns out, feelings of failure, irritability, sleeplessness, and a loss of control of your life post-commencement are way more common than you think. 

The fact is, major life transitions always come with doubt and struggles. It’s hard enough to deal with the loss of your school community while also navigating all of the expectations of post-graduation life. And now, graduating amidst a pandemic and economic turmoil, college graduates are feeling more stressed and anxious than ever. Post-graduation anxiety affects high school graduates as well. 

Truthfully, graduation alone is a remarkable achievement. According to United Way, a successful completion of a high school diploma results in higher income, less unemployment, and other various social benefits throughout a student’s life. But the pressure on students to take their degree and turn it into an astonishingly successful career right away can be daunting, especially when it feels like the world is stacked against us. 

How can we cope without losing sight of our goals? Here are some tips to cope with post-graduation anxiety, remain centered, and embrace the uncertainty of this time. 

Join a community

No longer being in high school or college can leave many of us feeling like we’ve lost the support of a community experiencing the same things as us. It can be a very isolating feeling, going from living surrounded by other students to alternative living situations, such as back in your childhood home. The good news is that many recent graduates are facing the exact same situations and feelings as you –so why not find new ways of connecting with them?

Join a community of recent graduates (or start one!) on Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Twitter and Instagram. Find others who are posting about similar things as you, reach out, and connect. Or, if you really want to keep your mind off of the situation, you can join groups completely unrelated to graduation but instead focused on your interests.  

Start a new hobby

Speaking of, why not take this time to hone some skills? Whether they be for professional development or not, now is the time to focus on your passions and do things for their own sake. Many find starting new hobbies to be a healing practice that takes us out of the stress of the big picture and brings us into the moment.

Exercise

Consistent exercise is a time-honored salve for mental health. Not only will it keep your mind off of things for a while, but it also is proven to reduce feelings of stress and depression. With all the online workout classes available these days, why not add a new exercise regime to your routine? It’s always good to start early in life! 

Make a plan 

Need more actionable tips to deal with your anxiety? Consider meeting with a career coach (many are available through your university or local community employment center) to make a plan personalized to you on how you can use this time to take steps to move forward in your career. 
If you experience feelings of anxiety on a consistent basis, please contact a mental health professional or a trusted adult to aid you in getting the help you need.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

The caps and gown- something the Class of 2020 won't experience.
Thrive Global on Campus//

The Year Without Graduation

by Jill A. Johnson-Young, LCSW
class of 2020
Community//

How To Help Senior Students in This Pandemic

by Dana Baker-Williams
Courtesy of Aaron Amat / Shutterstock
Well-Being//

Post-Graduation Depression is All Too Real

by Ashley Laderer

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.