Depression after Graduation: A Contemporary Look

University students from several generations used to be exposed to the narration that obtaining a college degree will drastically decrease chances of rejection with job searching. However, that narration has nearly become extinct, as young college graduates become more aware of the real-life struggles that come after earning a degree. If not all, most college graduates know that they must be aggressive and proactive when selling themselves to potential employers.

Recent UWG graduate, Jaymie Boyd, discusses the dark side of life after getting that golden degree. She recounts the many moments she felt hopeless and became more doubtful about finding a job that she actually loved doing. Even after she landed a job, Boyd still knows that she has not yet reached her highest potential with being in a career field that she fully enjoys. Those worries still remain in the back of her mind.  

“I started experiencing depression around August,” Boyd said. “Everyone kept asking me what I was going to do- I had anxiety from getting my bachelor’s because I knew I also needed to get my master’s sometime down the line.”

Boyd’s depression slowly grew not only because she could not find a job she wanted, but also because she lacked the funds she needed to do basic things for herself. After months of searching for positions that were related to her degree, Boyd started to realize she needed to settle momentarily for the next best thing.

“I applied to work for Target, a hostess position at a restaurant, and even a thrift shop,” Boyd said. “The thrift shop later told me they could only pay me minimum wage, even though I had previous retail experience. There were even several of my family members who would tell me that they could help me get jobs, but they never followed through with it.”

Boyd would soon learn that her journey of being unemployed would be extended for another few months. Her depression became worse as she continued to seemingly fail at creating her ideal post grad situation.

“My mother, especially, played a major role in my depression,” Boyd said. “She kept harassing me about finding something, and it also hurt me because I wasn’t contributing anything financially to the household.

“It made me feel like a burden,” Boyd continued. “She always hinted at me that I needed to try harder, even though there was no such thing as trying harder, because I was at my peak with trying. I was so down. I tried not to show my family my emotions, so I just kept it all in.”

Not only was Boyd facing the challenges of answering to her immediate family every single day, but she also had to deal with being the “odd one out” among her group of friends. Recent college graduates find it hard to cope with unemployment not only because their bank accounts suffer, but because they start to feel that huge, loud label of laziness and failure creeping up on them.

Most times, that label is completely false. After almost a year had passed, Boyd found a job that actually centered on her bachelor’s degree.

“It came out of nowhere,” Boyd said. “Surprisingly, a person I only knew for a short amount of time helped me get it, I was super happy!”

Boyd majored in psychology and is currently working in the field of child psychology. Even though she is ecstatic to be able to work in an occupation that is close to her “dream”, Boyd admits that she still has another journey to tackle.

“Now that I am actually working, my new concern is finding an occupation I want to do long term,” Boyd said. “I am currently working in occupational therapy, but I want to be in clinical therapy instead.”

In order to obtain a specific clinical therapy job, Boyd has to return to school and earn a master’s degree.

“I think my professors and advisors could have been a bit more realistic with me about the struggles of finding a job,” Boyd said. “It should be talked about way more.”

Even though Boyd endured her fair share of post grad depression, she heavily promotes the idea that all students going through similar situations as her to stay consistent in their work.

“You cannot give up, you have to keep going,” Boyd said. “Show up to potential jobs, introduce yourself. Ask a lot of questions, make them notice you!”

Boyd does not wish for anyone to change their mind on attending college because of its inevitable challenges. However, she does want individuals to be aware of the problems they could face afterwards and take the necessary steps to minimize hardships.



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