How to Deal With Loneliness After College: Causes, Signs & Tips to Overcome From Loneliness

September 19, 2022
How to Deal With Loneliness After College

How to Deal With Loneliness After College: Is it normal for college students to feel lonely? Brianna Baker felt fortunate to have a job when she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in spring 2019.

Her peers did not. However, she didn’t choose to work as a public-health analyst for a large corporation after graduation. Follow centralfallout to get updated.

Baker, now 24, was expecting to attend graduate school straight away. Baker says that when that didn’t happen, she was left with a job that was both exciting and also lonely. “Working in a large team with no peers my age made it feel like I was a tiny fish in a big pond.

Baker excelled in both her psychology and interdisciplinary majors during college. Baker was used to being a high achiever. She was frequently given tasks at work that she didn’t know how.

“It was difficult for me to absorb the learning curve. I am an overachiever and wanted to succeed, but I didn’t know how. It was the kind of learning that takes time. Baker says that it was a difficult adjustment and stressful.

She felt lonely. Her college friends were scattered to other states and opportunities. Baker describes how her social life felt “ripped apart.” Baker tried to connect via social media but it only fueled her anxiety and made her feel worse about herself.

“It seemed that all my friends were doing well and thriving. But I didn’t have a car or an apartment with a view of the city. I could not post about my master’s or doctorate. She says she felt “mediocre”.

Baker felt sad, stressed and lonely after a few months. Baker says that life felt like a series letdowns. “I had many ideas about life after college, but the reality was not what I had expected.”

Stress After College Is More Common Than You Think

How to Deal With Loneliness After College

How to Deal With Loneliness After College: Baker’s feelings of sadness, loneliness and anxiety after graduation from college are not uncommon, according to Libby O’Brien PhD, a licensed professional counselor, American Counseling Association expert, and licensed professional counselor.

O’Brien states, “The first thing you need to realize is that you are not alone.” It’s normal to feel anxious, depressed, or feeling’stuck’ and uncomfortable after graduation. It’s a transition, and it can be difficult to navigate. It’s not always clear what the next step will be.

Tanya J. Peterson, a national certified counselor and mental educator, says that feelings of distress after college do not always escalate to the level of a diagnosed mental disorder. She has written seven books on anxiety.

She says that while these feelings of anxiety and depression are often temporary, major depressive disorder (or an anxiety disorder) are possible.

Here are a few causes for new college grads to experience anxiety or depression.

  • Reality and your vision of life after college don’t align. O’Brien states that recent graduates often come off the edge of unrealistic expectations. You think, “My life is about beginning.” But the reality of that image may not be what you envision.
  • Pressure can come from others and you. Friends and family may ask you a lot of questions about “What’s next.” Peterson states, “It’s small talk but it feels like pressure.”
  • You can also feel pressure from within. O’Brien states, “It’s an incredible achievement to earn a degree. You may feel internal pressure just to keep it up.” This may be especially true for students of color and first-generation college students, who may feel that their dreams are being crushed by their families.
  • You have abruptly entered the adult world. Peterson states that college can provide a buffer between adolescence, adulthood and full-on adulthood. It’s now time to find a job, repay loans and begin fulfilling all of the adulthood expectations and responsibilities. This can lead to a lot anxiety.
  • Your social life and friendships have changed. Graduation can often mean the end of a social life with close friends. You or your college friends might move to another part of the country after graduation. You may feel lonely and isolated after all the activity and support you received.
  • Already, the pandemic has made you feel isolated and anxious. Many people feel that the coronavirus (COVID-19), an outbreak, has made their post-college lives more difficult. COVID-19 is a term that means college students lost most of their connections to friends, classmates and professors. Peterson suggests that they may have lost an opportunity for internships or other opportunities. “They are now emerging from college into a world where businesses are shrinking. This is a lot to contend with.

What Are the Symptoms of Post-College Depression?

Signs Of Depression

  • Anxiety and depression after college can lead to a variety of negative emotions. It is possible to feel:
  • Feeling uneasy about yourself or your life?
  • You feel stuck or unmotivated and don’t know how to move forward.
  • You are unworthy, incompetent, or feel like you have disappointed your family or friends.
  • Isolated and without support in a new city, job, or education program.
  • For family and friends, be lonely
  • Anger at yourself for not achieving what you expected, or at others because they have made it difficult to achieve your goals.
  • Either irritable or edgy.
  • As if your emptions were on a rollercoaster.
  • Feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

Anxiety and depression can also affect your body. There are several possible causes of anxiety and depression.

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sudden bouts de tears
  • Changes in your appetite and sex drive
  • Headaches
  • Stomach problems such as nausea and a feeling that it is difficult to eat, are known as stomach problems.

Your behavior may change. You can use these strategies to cope with anxiety or depression:

  • Technology can be addictive. You could spend hours scrolling through websites, gaming on social media or scrolling through pages.
  • You can exercise too much or not enough
  • Don’t eat healthy foods
  • Do not consume too much caffeine or excessive amounts of alcohol, or take reactional drugs.

Accept your emotions and release guilt

How to Deal With Loneliness After College: You must first recognize and accept your feelings in order to get over the sadness and anxiety that may arise after graduation.

You may think you need to keep a positive attitude and go-get-them attitude. Peterson says that this is a way of avoiding the truth. Instead, pause, listen to your feelings, and let go of the judgments and labels. You can overcome that obstacle much faster if you accept and acknowledge your feelings.

Zipporah Osei found that the recent changes in her personal and professional lives had made her feel anxious and disappointed. This helped her to feel better.

Osei says that she wasn’t enjoying her new job or the city as much as she expected. She graduated from Northeastern University with a journalism degree in May 2020 and moved to New York City shortly thereafter to join a major media outlet’s research team.

She says that at first, everything was new and I didn’t know why. “I took a summer break from writing in order to feel better. However, I wasn’t feeling the same way by fall. “I realized that I was not mentally in the place where I needed to be.”

Osei, now 24 years old, “got conscious about processing the emotions I was feeling and not just ignoring them.”

COVID-19 was so restrictive that Osei couldn’t change what she could see or where she could go.

Deal With Loneliness After College

How to Deal With Loneliness After College: There is a percentage of  college students in a year. Which Told the reality of student life

She says, “I had to change my mindset and remind me of all the positive things that were going for me.” “I relied on my friends and family to help me through the difficult times, even though they were far away.”

She realized, too, that her feelings of depression and anxiety made her feel guilty.

“As a first generation graduate, I expected to feel great when I reached this milestone. She says she was surprised to find out that it wasn’t so. “But I did read about this happening to many people and talked to friends who were experiencing similar issues to me, which helped me see the other side.”

Osei was more positive about her future and her role in it within a matter of months. Her advice? She advises that you don’t be ashamed of feeling this way. You can feel better with effort and time.

How To Reduce Loneliness After College Graduation: How to Deal With Loneliness After College:

Ideas to Overcome From Loneliness

How to Deal With Loneliness After College: Peterson and O’Brien offer the following advice to ease feelings of sadness, loss, and anxiety after college.

  • Develop healthy habits. Get enough sleep, eat healthy food, and exercise regularly. O’Brien states that if you take care of your overall health, you will be able to manage feelings such as anxiety and depression better.
  • Keep in touch with your family and friends. Reach out to those who care about your emotional well-being. Peterson suggests that you connect with them via text, phone or video even if they aren’t there in person.
  • Find new friends. Friendships can change with age, distance, and changes that adulthood brings. Peterson suggests tapping into your passions and hobbies to create new friendships with like-minded people.
  • Do things that you find meaningful. O’Brien states that having a sense of purpose can help with dealing with negative emotions. If you aren’t yet employed, or your job is more about earning money, consider volunteering to help bring meaning to your life.
  • Practice mindfulness. Peterson states that meditation is a great way for the mind to relax and tune in. You can still practice mindfulness even if formal meditation is not something you are interested in. Mindfulness is simply a way to bring your attention to the present moment, pay attention to what you feel, and choose how to respond.
  • You can set achievable goals and then take small steps towards achieving them. Peterson says that this could mean taking 30 minutes to improve your resume or do a job hunt. Sometimes we set goals and want to reach them immediately to make up lost time. We often fail when we do this.

Brianna Baker tried a variety of techniques to overcome her feelings of despair after graduating. She joined a gym and made new friends. She started a blog to share her post-college experiences, and to advocate for social justice and system-level changes.

“Writing the blog was a cathartic experience for me. Baker, now pursuing her psychology doctorate, says that staying off social media helped me to stop comparing myself with others and to do things for myself rather than for validation from outside sources.

When to Get More Assistance: How to Deal With Loneliness After College:

With the help of family and friends, many people can overcome post-college anxiety and depression. Others may need more support.

You should seek professional help if your feelings are affecting your daily life, or if your perception of yourself has changed significantly from what it was just a few weeks ago. O’Brien suggests that you talk to your family doctor or primary care physician if you don’t know where to start.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 800-273-8255 if you feel the need to harm yourself. Chat with a trained crisis worker 24/7 or speak to one online.

Peterson states, “No matter what your stress, anxiety or depression is, you can always get help.” If you feel hopeless, you should reach out to someone.

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