Dealing With Post-Uni Blues

University is a hub of social activity. Partying together, studying together and, in most cases, living together. It can be a shock when, after three years of being part of something, you find yourself back at home with the folks.

Some graduates struggle to find a job, others to find their feet in life beyond uni. We’re here to tell you that it’s totally normal to feel this way. You’re not alone.

In 2017, Student Minds and City Mental Health Alliance conducted a study on post-graduate depression. They found that almost half of graduates felt their mental well-being had dipped since graduating and returning home.

A lot of graduates report difficulty in finding that initial job. In 2017 an Endsleigh survey showed that 76% of graduates expected less than the average salary (£26.5k) in their first year after graduating.

Things are harder for new graduates, and a lot of rejection – or nothing at all – can have an impact on motivation. 40% of new graduates said they felt ‘socially isolated’, while 44% believed their friends were more successful than them. It can be difficult to celebrate our friends’ success when we feel like we’re going nowhere.

Tough times don’t last, tough people do

It’s important not to beat yourself up about how you feel. Talking to someone you trust can help. Or you could try your local GP or Mind, a mental health charity who can talk to you about treatment, or help you get in touch with other sources of support. Remember, however tough things get, you’re not alone. Rehab 4 Addiction is a specialist addiction and mental health helpline, whether it’s yourself or a loved one struggling, please do reach out and talk to somebody. 

Don’t compare yourself to others

With a load of time on your hands after graduation, you’ll probably find yourself scrolling through your Instagram feed more than usual. Oh look, Tom has landed an internship at the BBC; Shrina is now running a successful start-up; Ellie is torn between two amazing job offers. Put. Your. Phone. Down. Comparing yourself to your peers will do you no good; everyone is on a different timeline. Set yourself goals and celebrate when you accomplish them in your own time.

Appreciate your skills and yourself

Aristotle once said, ‘Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation’. Apply for varied work opportunities, but do make sure you apply for jobs that will appreciate your skill set. Don’t let rejection knock your confidence – you didn’t do that degree for nothing.

Stay connected

No more teachers, no more books, no more timetables or emails chasing you for not tapping in for seminars and lectures. Lack of structure can make your days seem, well, meh. You’ll feel like you’ve achieved nothing and you’ll continue on that downward spiral. So…

  • Keep connected with friends, arrange meet-ups and chats
  • Keep up with local job fairs: timetable them in and go along
  • See if you can access your uni’s career’s advice

Find meaning

For the times between job hunts, find a project to commit to. Learn an instrument, volunteer at a charity, train for a marathon… it can be anything you want, as long as you enjoy it. It will give your days a bit more meaning, allow you to see progress and help you to get up in the morning.

Life’s milestones are exciting, but the changes they bring can be a shock to the system. What’s important is that you don’t suffer in silence. Don’t be ashamed to get the help and support you need. After all, the world is waiting for your contribution. And when you pass this hurdle, you’re going to be great.