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Moving Beyond The Post Graduation Blues

You’ve graduated—Congrats!

You have spent your life working up to this moment. It is an exciting time full of possibilities…and sometimes stress. Much of the way your life used to function is going to change, and while that is not a bad thing, the transition can cause anxiety and uncertainty.  It’s ok to feel the graduation blues.

Even adults remember that moment of walking across the stage full of excitement, smiling from ear to ear, and then walking into their bedrooms, looking around, and it hits them—a crushing sense of loss. Yes, this is what they were working towards their whole life, but that part of their life was now over.  Post-graduation feelings may be something you weren’t prepared for. The graduation blues are something that hit both the graduate and parent alike—while different in the way they play out, both are seeing a stage of their life come to an end.  

So, what do we do? How can we help ourselves through this exciting yet difficult time? 

1. Make a Plan 

As you would with any big change, you need to prepare for it.  

Ask yourself where you are going to go after school. Find a job? Take a trip?  Take a good hard look at the months after graduation and decide what you will do with that time. Give yourself something to look forward to and focus on. 

2. Keep your Eye on the Future 

Maybe you haven’t landed that dream job just yet; don’t worry; these things take time. 

Think about where you want to be by the end of the summer and do something each day to get there—whether it is job hunting or finding an internship/volunteer position to help build your resume. Maybe it is Googling other areas and positions in the same field to help get you additional experience, and to make the right connections.  

3. Know that You are not Alone 

Talk to your friends who are in the same boat as you.  

Many of them are struggling with the same things you are, and together, you can support each other and reduce anxiety. Not to mention, friends can be great resources when it comes to landing your future career.  

 4. Be Realistic 

Very few people step off of the stage with the job they want.  

 It is okay to go back to waiting tables or working at a coffee shop while you hunt for what fits. Don’t expect everything to be waiting for you. You will have more work ahead, but you will find what you are looking for, just keep trying and using the tools you learned in school.  

 5. Take Care of You

Now is not the time to forget about your health.  

Make sure you get enough sleep, eat right, exercise, and take breaks when things feel overwhelming. Now is a great time to learn more about yourself. Take some time to try a new extracurricular activity. Get involved in your neighborhood or a professional organization. Do things that make you happy. Rome was not built overnight, and nothing good will come of being overwhelmed and overworked.  

There is no doubt this time feels hard, but give yourself some credit for what you have already accomplished. Take a look back every once in a while and think about where you started—you have come a long way!  

As Dr. Seuss wrote, “Today is your day. You are off to great places.”  

Therapy for Moving Beyond the Post Graduation Blues

Therapy for Life Transitions, Anxiety, Teens and Young Adults

Move Forward Counseling offers therapy for life transitions, anxiety, teens, and young adults.  If you need support managing life post-graduation and any unmanageable feelings that may be leading you to unhealthy choices or feeling stuck, our therapists specialize in counseling young adults and teens for a variety of other challenges, too. You can book an appointment for moving beyond the post-graduation blues by chatting with our scheduling team on this website or calling our office during regular business hours. You may also contact us using the website form.

Related Articles for Moving Beyond the Post Graduation Blues

Psychology Today: Graduation Blues – How to cope with your feelings on this special day by F. Diane Barth, LCSW

Psychology Today: Managing PCSD – “Post Commencement Stress Disorder” Handling Graduation Blues after Commencement by Bernard J. Luskin, EdD, MFC


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