The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Wednesday September 27th

Recent graduates speak on post-graduation depression

Many graduates lose motivation to fulfill their goals when they finish their time at the College (Photo courtesy of Shane Gillespie / Photo Editor).
Many graduates lose motivation to fulfill their goals when they finish their time at the College (Photo courtesy of Shane Gillespie / Photo Editor).

By Liz Ciocher

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Students here at the College have given our institution a great reputation across many spectrums: educational, social and fundamental. We work hard and play harder. 

But once students reach their goal of graduation, where does this enthusiasm go?

For a lot of students, it remains in the walls of this campus. One might call this “post-graduation depression.” Technically, it is not a medically diagnosed disorder, but refers to a depressive episode of loneliness and recession that students face after graduating. Graduates may find that their time at their institution is up, and they have left their motivation with it. 

(Photo courtesy of Chris Jacob)

The Signal interviewed three students from the College’s class of 2023 about their thoughts on this phenomenon and if they have found truth in it.

“I think we definitely saw it coming, we knew we would be sad when we left,” said Chris Jacob, a communications alum. “I would talk about [leaving], but it wasn’t a real thing to me yet. It was like ‘yeah, it’ll happen,’ but it wasn’t real. Now here we are and it is pretty sad.” 

Mathematics graduate Billy Calabrese faced similar experiences since leaving the College. He was not surprised to hear that other members of his graduating class were facing a sort of sadness after leaving their college career behind.

“I think everyone’s in the same boat as far as there’s a lot of uncertainty for the future, and you’ll have to do stuff on your own,” Calabrese said. “It's a weird transition." 

Jacob, Calabrese, and business management major Daniel Webster, all recognized the same things they missed about the College the most: sociability and freedom. 

Both Jacob and Webster were members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity on campus, and all three graduates lived nearby the College in Campus Town apartments. In their opinions, these social aspects of their college experiences contributed the most to their losses.

“What do I miss the most? Oh, probably seeing my friends everyday, and you know, not having to work 40 hours a week.” Calabrese said. “My social contact has been a lot, but it's nowhere near as social as college.” 

Webster expressed similar feelings of a lack of socialization.

“I miss being around all my friends all the time,” Webster said. “I get bored now.”

To the three boys, the lifestyle switch was a drastic change. They have all gone in different directions. Calabrese is settling into a full time actuary position from an internship he acquired at the College, Webster is working as a contract specialist and Jacob is working in media production services for St. Luke’s Hospital. 

It has only been roughly 4 months since the three graduated and started working, but from the sound of it, they are in the thick of their post-grad slump. Now, with a new semester beginning again at the College, an added fear of missing out deepens their symptoms.

“It didn’t hit me until recently, probably August when I started seeing everyone go back,” Jacob said. “You go to school for 17-18 years, from September to June each year. It’s like you know in your head September, October, [and] so forth are school months; that's how it’s wired in your head. Now, since graduating, when those months come around, it’s like ‘what the hell do I do now? It’s what everyone else is doing.”

Even with the cloudy skies they face currently, Calabrese, Jacob and Webster found some light in their situation. With a focus on the future ahead of them, they will get over their post-graduation depression, as long as they do not hang onto the past.

When asked about any advice for students, they addressed similar themes, leaving an important message for seniors at the College–and for anyone at all.

“My advice for seniors is to enjoy the last year of college,” Calabrese said. “You’re only in college once, and then you work the rest of your life with no end in sight.” 

Webster advised, “Enjoy it while you’re there because life is different when you’re done. You lose a lot of freedom and the ability to be around your friends all the time, but it’s also important to look to the positives. The future can be exciting.”

Jacob recommended, “Really, just don’t take anything for granted. We’ve had so many memories where we were dying laughing, but now it's like we can’t remember them. Hold onto college while you can.”

The quotes from the three boys are important to us here at The Signal. Even though it’ll be hard to fathom when the end is near, we advise everyone to be present in all their moments until then. 




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