Writers: Abby Alvarado, Addy Alvarado
Researcher: Abby Alvarado, Addy Alvarado
Editor: Christopher Jan Dumaguin
Graphics: Krystel Mae Labio, Jia Moral, Richardson Mojica
College life can take us to the complete experience of ourselves; we will experience having the duty of taking care of our own life, and it is also a step in approaching adulthood where we anticipate and learn how to grant the future that we want for ourselves. College life is a road where we will learn how to achieve our goals with the support of our friends, peers, and teachers and mentors .
Friendships made in college might become lifelong friendships. The shared experience with them can help us in the adventure that we will face as college students during our university days.. Friendship in college can let us experience things we can never imagine like, crying over our ex, having chit-chats and pep talks when they needed it the most, going through studying at 3am while eating snacks, and going through exams whatever the outcomes will be. .
However, college pals are the ones who accompany us when we approach adulthood and encounter the real world for the first time. They are there for you at major moments of self-discovery, they support you during difficult times, they get to know the real you, and all of these are priceless moments .
During college, most of us have experienced financial dependency on our parents . We also make decisions that may give us feelings of uncertainty. Thinking of being too far for our desired path can be stressful, and oftentimes, these feelings can turn into loneliness and feelings of isolation .
As lucky as we are, relationships with people during college are our anchors of emotional support. Having someone that offers their shoulders and listens to our troubles and gives validation with our feelings . The prestep and process of college life can be difficult to handle. It is challenging, especially for some people. So most of them acknowledge being in touch with people they are close with, and making contact with friends . With this, having emotional dependency can often give the comfort of emotional distress .
Months After College
Then graduation comes and it is not like we expected it to be. The people we thought who would hit the road of adulthood with us are nowhere to be found. Not necessarily because they chose to leave us but because their purpose and goals are far from ours. According to Delzell (2021), friendships and social life changes after graduation. This is due to the loss of our busy social schedule in school with our close group of friends. There are some people in your circle that might choose to relocate and choose different career paths as yours and this could cause the feeling of isolation and loneliness . However, after graduating from college, it is common to feel alone, depressed, or lonely. When you’ve lost friends or a routine you liked, you could feel these emotions . Although, feeling these emotions are normal they still, well, sucks.
On top of that, there is the pressure of independence. College graduation is not only a celebration of our academic completion but also the time when training wheels are removed for most of us. This is the time when our financial safety nets are untied and the start of our journey as independent adults. In this epoch, people make use of their hard-earned degree to find a job that would pay for their bills, afford their lifestyle, and in the long run, help them pay back to those people who gave them the ladder to reach their dreams and get where they are now.
You could contend that your parents have given you everything because, after all, they are the ones who gave you life. They gave you food, shelter, clothing, put up with you, love, and support. All of these important things are ones that you would never expect anyone else to merely give, but since they are your parents, you would assume that’s what they should be doing. True, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find modest ways to express gratitude to the individuals who have given you so much . And for most Filipino adults, the best way to express gratitude is to financially help your parents back.
In fact, in a typical Filipino situation, once you graduate and get a job, you give your first salary to your parents instead of actually prioritizing on saving money . In addition, there is a Filipino trait called Utang na Loob that is a great contributor to this pressure. Utang na loob is a Filipino cultural trait that may mean debt of gratitude and reciprocity. The good deeds we get from others are treasured, especially during times of need. It’s as if we’re declaring that we owe that person a lifetime of debt .
Feeling alone after college is more common than you think. No matter how isolating it may feel, it is guaranteed that you are not the only one experiencing and suffering from it . Good news is there are still interventions we could to combat post-college blues. These includes;
Taking Advantage of Alumni Services. Post-college job hunting can be competitive, thus, services such as alumni services offered in most schools can be a big help on things like free resume editing, career coaching, or alumni-exclusive mentorship programs.
Strengthening Social Support. The end of college does not mean the end of friendships. Although possibilities of getting geographically far away from friends are present, maintaining connections and being supportive towards each other is important to keep each other encouraged throughout their individual journey.
Starting Small. With everything going on in the world and in your life, it can be simple to become overwhelmed. If you’re feeling lost, try setting a single, manageable goal. For instance, you could resolve to eat breakfast every morning for a week. A holistic approach to health means that enhancing one aspect of your overall well-being, such as increasing physical energy by consuming enough nutrients each day, can also positively impact other aspects, such as your mood. Plus, if sadness makes everything seem insurmountable, a minor victory can reassure your brain that you are capable of making a change and sticking with it.
Going Easy on Yourself. People who have a difficult time in the post-graduation phase are subject to many harsh preconceptions and stigmas. You could unjustly be accused of being “irresponsible” or “lazy” if you have trouble obtaining work or finding motivation. Try not to take these messages too seriously, even though it might not always feel that way. Living in a culture going through change and experiencing mental health symptoms do not make one a bad or lazy person. Also keep in mind how hard you worked for years to earn the marks you needed to graduate. It’s unlikely that someone with a weak work ethic could have achieved it.
If you or someone you know needs mental health consultation, kindly refer to our directory for mental health facilities, services, and organizations around the Philippines: https://mentalhealthph.org/directory/.
- How should I cope and combat post-college blues?
- How should we lift up those who experience post-college blues?
- How should we prepare ourselves for the changes, especially after college?
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