Real Talk: Post-Grad Depression and Comparison Culture

Long time no blog. Truthfully, I was going to stop blogging altogether and shut down The Clothing Statement…but then my yearly subscription got automatically charged again–– so we’re back! Since graduating last May, I’ve reflecting a lot about my college years, who I’ve become, who I want to be, and what my future goals are. Truthfully, it’s been a lot of journaling, struggling, crying, and getting back on my feet. Graduating college is something I thought I wanted to just get over with, but due to the pandemic I wasn’t able to have a real graduation ceremony and never got to *really* close that chapter in my life. Those that follow me on Instagram might’ve seen this post where I talked about having somewhat of an identity crisis after graduation. Many commented or DM’d me saying how much they resonated with my struggles, so I wanted to continue the dialogue and provide a bit more vulnerability with y’all surrounding this topic in a blog post.

First, let’s talk about post-grad depression*. It’s commonly found in recent graduates and is usually rooted in anxiety and fear of the unknown. Graduating college should be a happy occasion, but with finishing that chapter in your life, you’re also forced to begin thinking about whether you’ll succeed or not as a “real adult.” Will you be good at your job? Will you be able to afford living on your own? Will you be able to pay your bills on time? There are so many things to worry and stress about as an adult. You may also feel like your progress is delayed in comparison to your fellow classmates or friends. Why can’t I look like her? Why don’t I make as much money as him? When will I be able to buy a car like them? Loneliness, unfamiliarity, and self-doubt – these are all factors that contributed to my post-grad depression.

Scrolling Facebook and Instagram, I saw so many of my peers posting announcements about their recent engagement, purchase of a house, new career, and the list of achievements goes on and on… Meanwhile, I felt stuck and felt weary due to the lack of progress. Don’t get me wrong, I had already secured a full-time job prior to graduation which was such a blessing, but the pandemic pushed my start date back. At the time, I didn’t even know when I’d be able to work. So while waiting for my start date, I kept comparing myself to my peers and feeling insecure about my entire life.

After a period of sitting in my own gloom and doom, I learned one of my biggest life lessons: someone else’s accomplishment is NOT my failure, my time will come. With this newfound realization, I started to focus on my own blessings and practiced gratitude, unfollowed people and accounts that made me feel insecure about myself, and filled my inner circle with people who made me feel truly empowered. Doing these things saved me from my post-grad depression and tendency to participate in comparison culture (well, for the most part. I’m only human).

I may no longer be Hamy the college student, but I am Hamy the young adult who now knows her worth. If you’re someone who feels stuck in life, I assure you, you’re not alone. We tend to focus only on ourselves and don’t realize that everyone has their own struggles and that we’re all making it up as we go. Be kind to yourself, do not compare your life to someone else’s, understand that your time will come, and remember that nobody else has a fucking clue what they’re doing anyway. Continue to feel pain and discomfort as you learn to navigate the unknown. With darkness comes light and with discomfort comes growth.

*Disclaimer: I am not a professional, this blog post is entirely about my own experience with post-grad depression. Please seek professional help if you believe you have depression and/or anxiety.

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