5 Tips To Help You Beat The Post Graduate Blues

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For those of us who have already finished our undergraduate degrees but haven’t found full-time jobs, this time of year can become a period of mourning.

Many recent grads find themselves in a bit of a slump after school ends.

Moving back home and figuring out the next stage of your life or looking for a job can be stressful, but there are ways to avoid falling into a funk that many refer to as “the post-grad blues.”

After graduating from Queen’s University in April and moving back to Toronto to live with my family, I felt like I had lost my independence.

I’ve discovered some simple ways to keep myself happy in the moment and focused on the future – as uncertain as it may be!

Whether you’re an overwhelmed grad student or an un- or under-employed graduate, trying these simple tips will help you learn to adapt to your new adult lifestyle.

Find a new hobby

After graduating from Queen’s University in April and moving back to Toronto to live with my family, I felt like I had lost my independence.

This can be countered by finding a new hobby, whether it’s playing tennis a few times a month or starting a book club with friends. Doing something new on your own will make you feel accomplished and more invested in your new lifestyle. The more social the hobby, the better!

Invest in yourself with a list of goals

So what if you have yet to find your dream job? If you find yourself feeling lost and confused about your career path, don’t despair. Make a list of things you want to accomplish, whether they are plans for grad school or volunteer initiatives that you want to undertake.

Set realistic goals that you can meet. Crossing things off a goal list will give you a sense of satisfaction and increase your level of happiness. Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Train for a half marathon?

Think of it as an investment in your future. By enrolling in French classes once a week or attending a conference that caters to your career interests, you will be expanding your own skill set and making yourself more employable. Don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments!

Connect with friends regularly

Let’s be honest, one of the best parts of university was the social life.  As an undergraduate student, you’re always surrounded by good friends. If you’re living at home, it’s especially important to make an effort to get together with friends a couple of times a week. You’d be surprised how much a quick coffee date can brighten your day.

Developing simple routines like meeting pals for lunch every Thursday or going for a manicure once a month will give you things to look forward to and make this transitional period more tolerable.

Volunteer in your community

Now is the time to experiment with potential career paths through volunteer initiatives. If you think you want to pursue a career in social work, volunteer at a shelter or local food bank. If writing is your passion, take on assignments for your local newspaper. Volunteer experience will not only give you an edge in the job search, but it may help you discover what career is a best fit for you.

Find a healthy work-life balance

Studies have shown that people are happiest when they strike a balance between spending time at work and relaxing with family and friends. Whatever you are doing after graduation, make sure that you set aside sufficient time to unwind and engage in your favourite hobbies and activities.

Entry-level positions and graduate programs can be demanding and stressful, but finding the right balance between work and play can help you focus better during the week. Above all, remember that you are not alone. The majority of 20-somethings feel confused and desperate about the state of their life after graduating.

Use the ample resources at your disposal, including TalentEgg, Volunteer Canada, Ontario Public Service Careers and University Affairs. These websites will help you jump-start the next chapter in your life and provide opportunities for personal growth.

By thinking of your post-grad lifestyle as an exciting adventure, you’ll get over any lingering nostalgia for those undergraduate days before you know it.

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About the author

Erin MacFarlane is a recent graduate of Queen’s University, where she majored in Political Studies. Currently enrolled in the Public Relations program at Humber College, she loves experimenting with new forms of media and hopes to one day become as influential as her idol, Barack Obama. Check out her blog, pr chatter.