Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Post College Blues

It is well documented that the class of 2009 graduated into one of the worst job market in decades. It sucks. It's tough.

But for me, the tireless job-searching isn't the hardest part of being a recent college graduate. The hardest part has nothing to do with the recession. The hardest part is the sudden loneliness.

I have been flung from my academic cocoon into life without a campus. I no longer have my college community of teachers and classmates. My friends are spread out across the country and abroad, each struggling to make their way in grad school, the working world, and other endeavors. Sure, I have a few friends here in Boston. I try to see them as much as possible. But it's too easy to feel disconnected.

A quick Google search for "post college depression" shows that this feeling is common, and not a new phenomenon. Indicators of this phase include inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness, excessive anxiety, loss of identity and lack of direction. Of course, the recession does have an effect. With so few prospects, recent grads have struggle more than previous years of graduates to stay positive.

So what's an unemployed 22-year old living at home to do? Well here's what I'm doing:

- Try to stay focused on my job search.
It's not easy, but I have confidence in my job hunt. I know that I have the skills and the qualities to land a great job. The fact that I'm unemployed is not a failure of my self.

- Get active.
Physical activity helps ameliorate anxiety. I signed up for a kickball team through the World Adult Kickball Association. I had my first game on Sunday. It was a blast.

- Create my space.
Living at home isn't all bad. I don't have to pay rent. But I need to make my own space under my mother's roof. That means cleaning my room. I'm working on it.

- Make friends.
This part is hard. I made some friends while temping at a bookstore. And joining the kickball team is as much for socializing as it is for physical activity - if not more so. I'm also trying to get in touch with old friends, as well as friends of friends.

- Take it easy.
I try not to stress myself out. I allow myself to watch TV for a few hours, even if I feel guilty about it.

No comments: