Avoid Graduation Blues – Let Your Hair Down after Uni!
You may have heard of the phrase ‘graduation blues?’ Until now, it has probably been something that’s gone in one ear and out the other, which is fair enough – you’ve had a lot on! Finishing uni & exam season tends to leave you both physically and emotionally drained. Combining this feeling with the completion of a degree, often leads to the common question ‘What the hell do I do now?!’
But don’t sweat it, because we have you sorted with some tried and tested ways to relax and truly take some much-deserved time for yourself once you’ve finished uni forever – tips to pick yourself up and avoid the graduation blues!
Start off with a ‘me’ day
You are going to feel exhausted from all the stress during university finals, so a day to recuperate is a must, as you deserve to completely crash, giving you the chance to unwind and get back to your normal self. Whether it’s a duvet day where you binge watch as much TV as you like without guilt, getting outside to enjoy fresh air and nature, or eating and sleeping as much as you want, whatever it is, find your own way to sit back, relax and chill.
Catch up with friends & family
Revision and exam season can unfortunately turn us all into hermit crabs, where there are barely enough hours in the day for eating and sleeping, and socialising just doesn’t seem possible. This can result in feeling quite socially isolated, which is why reaching out to old friends and family members who you haven’t been able to see for a while is so important.
Research shows that social time with family and friends makes a big difference when it comes to happiness and overall mental health. Studies have proven that the amount of time spent with friends and family goes a long way towards boosting happiness, as Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert explains:
‘We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends and almost all other things we think make us happy are actually just ways to getting more family and friends.’
Daniel Gilbert – Harvard psychologist, professor, author & happiness expert!
So, whilst money can’t buy you happiness, spending time with the ones you love is always a good investment!
Declutter your space from anything & everything revision
It is finally time to take down all those revision posters and the millions of sticky notes you have posted all over your house and remove any trace of exams and revision from your personal space. Packing up or throwing out your revision notes can be very satisfying, and it’s refreshing to wake up to an empty desk, rather than a cluttered pile of paper and notes. It also gives you purpose, which is really important after such a clear pathway through your exams. Lack of purpose or routine is something that can contribute to graduation blues, so think about a tidy room is a tidy mind.
Top tip: Be sure to recycle any papers you aren’t going to need any more, or pass your notes down to a friend who could make use of them, to reduce the amount of waste that revision creates!
Whilst university may be over, it doesn’t mean that you need to lose all motivation in your day-to-day life. There is a balance between relaxing and unwinding after this stressful period, and beginning to become a couch potato, doing nothing productive months down the line!
To combat this, pick up an old hobby or set yourself some new goals to work towards. This could be anything from learning a new instrument to getting a personal best in your favourite sport. Whatever it involves, aim to keep yourself busy and make some time for you, as this will keep you feeling fulfilled and productive.
Get lost in a book by reading for pleasure
After weeks of reading for revision, treat yourself by diving into a book that you have wanted to read for the past couple of months, but haven’t been able to face it after a long day at the library!
Research shows that reading for pleasure can result in increased empathy, improved relationships with others and leads to overall improved wellbeing. It also has social benefits, making people feel more connected to the wider community as it can increase a person’s understanding of their own identity and the world around them.
If reading is not something you enjoy, then try listening to an audiobook or a podcast on your journey or as you get ready in the morning. Be sure to check out our podcast of the week on our HelloGrads Instagram for some trusty recommendations!
One of our graduates has recently read A Thousand Splendid Suns and When Breath Becomes Air since finishing her degree, which have both been emotional rollercoasters and will have you hooked from the first page.
Whilst it is very important to kick back and relax, it is also necessary to be proactive and really get your foot in the door. You can make a start in many different ways, from preparing your CV for job-hunting, to perfecting your LinkedIn profile; whatever it is, make sure you understand what are the next steps for your career.
A great way to do this is through informal networking, by asking people you know who work in a similar field about their role and industry, to get a better understanding of what is expected and required. This may all feel a little daunting after finishing uni, almost as though you have been thrown into the deep end, but organising your time effectively and being proactive about your future, will only reap positive benefits in the long-term.
We hope this helps you to avoid graduation blues, or have the tools you need to turn it around. If you’re worried about someone or struggling yourself, ask for help and remember all your uni friends are going through the same.
Congratulations on finishing uni and getting to the end of your degree and Best of Luck! 🙂