I have always known that they would be a thing as post graduation depression. I always wanted to research it, but never did until recently. Maybe because I was down with it, some how. Lol. A lot of research doesn't seem to have been done on this, but this doesn't change the fact that within the first year after graduation, most people are depressed - freaked out about job hunt; have panic attacks, rising from responsibilities and feeling of inadequacy; the fear of the need to abandon dreams temporarily; the need to go back to school as an escape and the realization that there's not much from life after all. Let's take a lil look through these depression signs before going over how to handle them.
1. Job Hunts: When you hear the statistics, you can't help but be scared. We know the rate of unemployment, the number of graduate produced yearly, the fact that top executives are complaining that Nigeria graduates are half baked, the fact that every job needs some years of experience. Info like these, makes you wish you still have at least one more year, you just can't deal. You spend the first few months visiting jobberman daily, sending out CVs and applications, and perhaps blaming your father for not having connections and the innocent witches in your village for frustrating you.
2. Responsibility Panic Attacks : You suddenly begin to feel like the weight of the whole world lies on your small shoulder - some Merlin kinda feeling. You want to be an 'on-the-spot-ready-made' adult. You start to drink responsibly, to dress responsibly (in suits and tie), you want to stop keeping late nights, and you start figuring out exactly what to do and how to pay your bills. You continue like this, until, you can't get enough of the bored-responsible being you have turned into.
3. The Feeling of Inadequacy : You begin to wish you weren't an adult yet. Pele. You just begin to think that you are not old enough, experienced enough and qualified enough to handle your stuff. After all, you never existed before. You start looking for a way to feel better about yourself. You begin work as an administrator in different group chats, commenting on every post on Facebook and Instagram, thanks to the change you get from a few older relatives.
4. Need to abandon your dreams temporarily : Being an undergraduate provides the luxury of having big dreams, which is locked in your wearing a convocation gown. Now, you are out of the gown, only to realize how wrong you have been. You begin to realize that your dreams need money to be funded. It begins to dawn on you that you may need to abandon some of your dreams for a while to be able to foot your bills. You begin to talk with older friends, and you realize they all left their dreams, but never went back to them. You are left even worse.
5. Officially Broke : You have always thought that students are broke until you graduated. Money doesn't seem to be coming from Momma and Papa. Come on, they haven't even recovered from the financial stress of your final year expenses, and you have needs that got to be met.
6. You want to go back to school : You suddenly start to think of getting more degrees, just as a way to escape. In your head, you know you hate school and that you don't need more degrees. But, you are not quite sure you are ready. So, you begin to pursue your masters degree, to buy yourself more time. Ji si ike.
Now, you are wondering how to go about this. Getting more alcohol, and hanging out with friends some more isn't what you need. Investing all your time on social media, will only worsen the issue. Waiting for the next episodes of Empire and How To Get Away With Murder isn't what you need either. I don't have all the solutions either, but you can try out my recommendations and add some of yours if you have any.
First, you have to accept the fact that you are depressed. The realization of that would definitely propel you to seek solutions. You would have to talk to older people, your mentors and do a little research your self. There's no perfect way to kill a rat, but knowing the many ways to kill the rats, will give you options. So accept the problem and seek answers.
Stop the comparison game totally. That Nneka got a job before you doesn't make her better. Jennifer's blog being the talk of the town doesn't mean she's more creative than you are. Comparison causes anxiety. When you compare yourself with others, you neglect to focus on yourself and what you can do or achieve. You only end up focusing on people who hardly know of your existence. For me that's too much work.
How about some self research. Have you bothered to think of your passion. For me, this is a time to take a leap, and damn your comfort zone. Don't dwell on the fact that there are no jobs, or that you couldn't get any. That's too much negativity. Focus on what you have, on what you can do. No doubt, you need a source of income, but don't focus on that so much that you begin to lose yourself. There are a lot of opportunities out there, grab as many of them as you can. Carpe Diem.