Written by Step Above Stigma's Events Director, Alexx Gibeau
After 4 years of hard work, late night library crams & fun nights out, graduating university marks a significant milestone and transition into a new chapter of your life. But along with that comes fear and anxiety about what’s next. A real adult job? Grad school? Travelling? A different degree?
In my first weeks as a fourth year, my professors and peers have asked “what are your plans for next year?” When I was in grade 12 and was asked the same question, I was excited and proud of my plans. Now that question makes me panic. “Is grad school for me?”, “Do I write the LSAT?”, “Is teacher’s college still an option?” “Should I go to college?” “Do I have a good enough resume?
When you are forced to answer these questions you are also forced to think about who you want to be moving forward. I have been a student since I was 5 years old. The thought of leaving academics to be an actual member of society, expected to know who I am and what I want is scary when my identity has been “student” for so long.
Quite frankly the thought of graduating is terrifying. I know that I am not alone in this feeling but I also don’t know how to manage it. It seems like nobody talks about how stressful it is to figure out what you want to do, apply for jobs and/or grad school, all while managing a full course load and ensuring you have good enough grades for grad school to be an option.
Although I know very little and haven’t figured it all out yet, here are a few things I’ve done to help try to manage graduation anxiety.
1. Talk to professors about your options
Most professors are willing to help walk you through masters applications or the job search. You just have to ask for help. The more information you have the
2. Talk to your friends
Many of your friends and peers are going through the same thing.
3. Don’t compare yourself to your peers
It’s so easy to look around and measure yourself against those around you but you don’t take into account that your goals and hopes aren’t always the same as those around you.
4. Let yourself off the hook
You don’t have to have everything figured out. Cut yourself some slack. You’ll get where you are supposed to in your own time.
Read our blog posts about personal experiences and stories with regards to mental health. Posts written by our team or those passionate about mental health.