Ways to help adjusting from college life to adult life
It is not uncommon to experience stress and low/down moods after completing years of schooling – especially if you start to ask questions that reinforce doubt about your capability of managing your life like, “am I really ready for the real world?” or, “what if I am not successful with what I’ve chosen to do for my career?”
There is an element of excitement for having finally graduated, but there is also an adjustment period that goes along with it related to entering the workforce and balancing a personal life.
It is typically the fear of the unknown that can further contribute to those feelings of stress and low/down mood. Therefore, it is natural that you may experience feelings of insecurity about what steps to take next in your life. Fortunately, there are ways to help yourself move forward and feel confident so that it does not negatively impact your mental health.
To begin, try setting up healthy routines and habits that can help you with addressing the basics for your mental health. This can look like you scheduling personal time to spend with social networks to share and discuss hopes, dreams, and concerns as well as finding ways to maintain contact after graduation for an extra boost of support.
Consider exploring through your college or university any alumni groups that could offer resources for moving forward with your career. They may also be able to offer assistance to reduce some obstacles/challenges you may be facing in the workforce.
Try practicing daily or as often as possible, mindfulness or meditation exercises to support you with developing emotional resilience. Focusing on the present moment and what is going on well in life can help you combat those stressful and low/down periods. There are a number of mindfulness and meditation exercises available to you through YouTube, or through your mobile applications on your cell phones like the UCLA mindful app available on iOS or the “Calm App,” which is currently available to those under the insurance coverage of Kaiser for free at the time of this publication.
Just remember that if you are struggling today there is still another chance of improvement for tomorrow. There are people and resources out there that can help you with what you have not yet experienced. You may just be more resilient than you are giving yourself credit for.
This article was written by Angelica Ramirez-Diaz, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) #122193