Graduation

Breaking Down the Post-Grad Blues

Self-Doubt Getting You Down? You’re Not Alone.

By: Lucia Elmi

Many of us may find ourselves in midst of post-grad blues this graduating season. (Credit: dalgazette.com)

Graduation is slowly creeping in and for those of you that are still kicking, you’re putting your last power kick into getting those papers in, and studying to get those A’s on your finals.

For the rest of you, well‒ you know who you are. You’re waiting around for the end to finally come so you can finally stop making excuses for why you’ve been slacking off. Using the cliché “senioritis” excuse has become used up and dried away, and quite frankly, no one buys it anymore.

Then we have the next subcategory of people, branched off into two groups. The first group are those that are relieved to finally break free from the shackles of the all-night gloom and high-strung stress routine of college life.

All you’re dreaming about is the bliss of soporific relaxation and a rule-free lifestyle. For you, now that timelessness is a virtue, the sky’s the limit.

Then we have the next group, the not-so-peachy people that shrink away at the mere inkling of anything related to graduation. It makes you tense up, and then your thoughts start spinning with a single question in mind: now what?  

You are about to enter a new phase in your life, one where routine is just a thing of the past and all of your friends will take their own roads less traveled.

This world is big place‒ there are so many people to see, so many new experiences to have, and with that comes challenges you may have never faced before. It makes you wonder where your place is in the grand scheme of things.

First thing to recognize is that you aren’t alone. There are plenty of soon-to-be graduating students that have those same worries, although you may not realize it.

Everyone seems to have their life together, and they keep their heads up high, like nothing can knock them down. They appear to know what they’re going to do once they graduate and enter the real word.

That’s where the truth ends: they seem to know what they’re doing. But, do they really?

That’s the beauty of a thing called survival bias, the ultimate puppet master of reality. Survival bias or survivorship bias is the false assumption that someone or something overcame a difficult conflict or life circumstance, making it seem as though success seems to be within reach of everyone else (the supposed majority) except you.

This fails to take into consideration that the number of failures is actually much greater than the number of successes, and the only reason no one knows this is because those failures remain largely invisible.

For example, let’s consider this. Turn the clock back a bit and recall the time your high school senior class got their acceptance letters from colleges. Day after day, your classmates came in with the exciting news that they got into Harvard or Yale or any of those top universities you could dream of getting into.

And then you receive your letter, disappointed (but half expecting it) to find that you got into a local community college. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it definitely doesn’t bring the same glory if you were getting into a top university across the country.

This does not mean you are doomed to fail. It means that it pays for you to look at things from a different perspective.

Life is about the journey, not the destination. If you don’t know what your future looks like, it’s okay.

We all go at our own pace, so take your time and enjoy the little things that come your way. You’ll find your way there soon enough.

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