Picture this: there's sun shining all around you but right above there's a dark storm cloud that only you can see, feel and sense. The presence of rain, the roaring thunder, the piercing lightning and the desire to do absolutely nothing. Well, that is what my depression feels like.
Pair that with constant comparison, tireless applications and the discouragement of one rejection email after the next and there you have it, post-grad depression.
It has officially been three plus weeks, seventeen-ish days and a countless amount of hours since I crossed the stage as a graduate of North Carolina State University.
And as much as I tried to avoid it, there I was. A statistic. Another graduate with a degree and without a job.
Post-grad depression seemed like a mythical legend until I was looking it right in the mirror. Like many, the past twenty-two years of my life has been planned around the advancement of my education but that all changed when I decided to take a gap year among other options. During my gap year, I had plans of holding a full-time job in some bustling city while brunching and traveling on the weekends.
Well let's just say, my reality set in.
Before I knew it, I found myself back under my parent's roof with no job, in debt and unmotivated.
And in that moment I knew that I had to take the reigns of my mental state. In order to change your position, you have to tweak your perspective and here's how:
1. "Check yourself before you wreck yourself."
We all know this unsung phrase often curated from the lips of our parents, warning us to get in check before they do it for us. Well, sometimes you have to get yourself right, sis. Your mindset and mental health go hand-in-hand, so when one is off so is the other.
Here I was, crossing the stage one day and sulking over my nonexistent full-time position the next, forgetting that I was first-generation college student and that this was a major milestone for my immediate family.
I say all this to encourage you to not let the clouds overshadow the shining moments. Obtaining a degree may seem normal but let's not forget that it isn't something that is always achieved. So be proud of your now instead of worrying about the unknown.
2. Faith it until you make it and then faith it some more.
To keep it hot, short and to the point: you can either choose to place your worries in the hands of the Lord or you can sit there and let it consume you. BUT, what you CANNOT do is both. *sorry Drake.*
3. Be Humble. Sit down. And breathe.
Just because you aren't traveling, moving across the country or going to law school doesn't mean that you don't hold value. Just because you're living back home after spending thousands of dollars on a "piece of paper" doesn't mean you wasted time, resources or talent. Instead of constantly thinking on the contrary, I had to remind myself to stop taking the small things for granted. Instead, I should be grateful that I have parents allowing me back into a loving home because not everyone can say the same. Grateful that I can return to a community rooting for my every move. Grateful that I was able to experience college in itself.
Stop letting the articulated highlight reels that are Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat devalue what you are and who you are becoming.
And just like that, my every day fight with post-grad depression becomes a little bit smaller and my positivity, productivity and passion takes it's place.
So I ask, what are you letting consume you?