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It’s been a year since I graduated from college, and I still live at home. My therapist says I have post-graduation depression.


  • I graduated from college a year ago and couldn’t get a job, so I now live with my mom.
  • My therapist told me I have post-graduation anxiety and depression.

I remember the day I graduated from college like it was yesterday. After five years of intense studying, I was thrilled to be done with the college phase of my life.

The graduation party with all my college friends was truly memorable. We were all so excited about the end of late-night reading. The atmosphere was electric, and everyone was having so much fun.

I was most excited about the prospect of independence. I was on the precipice of being able to live my life on my own terms — and I was truly optimistic about the future.

But a year has passed since graduation, and I’m now jobless, depressed, and confused about my future.

Post-grad life is nothing like I expected

I had always thought that my best life would begin after college, and I had no idea how unprepared I was for the reality of living in today’s world.

I currently live at home with my mom; I had to move back in when I couldn’t keep up with the bills since I was unemployed. In the last year, I seem to have lost touch with most of my college friends, and the few I’ve kept in touch with all seem to have their lives pretty figured out; they all seem to be starting new careers, traveling, or getting married.

I feel like some sheer cosmic force has left me behind.

I was never known to get beat up about life; I was the positive, upbeat friend who always encouraged others to have a positive outlook. So, my new take on life has been particularly surprising to my family and friends, but it has been surprising to me most of all.

Most days, I ask: What went wrong? What did I not do right? Is it possible I missed a step, and maybe that is why I got left in the funk? But my questions are just that, and no one seems to have an answer.

Instead, I am stuck going through the motions of living without really living. In the time I have been back home, I haven’t missed a family gathering nor stopped hanging out with my childhood friends, and to most of them, I seem to have it all figured out. I don’t bother correcting this impression, but looks can be deceiving. I know I am going through life numb, yet I have no idea how to stop it.

My therapist gave me an interesting diagnosis

After discussing these issues with my therapist, she told me I have post-graduation anxiety and depression. She told me she sees this issue among many college graduates she works with, especially recently.

My therapist insists I find pleasure in doing the little things, but that is easier said than done. One day, I feel just fine and start thinking maybe this depression is finally over, and the next, I am back to where I began. My biggest fear has been: Will this feeling ever truly go away, or is this my new normal? I don’t want it to be.

But here is an unexpected twist: In the last year I’ve been home, I have learned so much about myself amid all my struggles. I have been able to answer questions like who I am and what I really want when I take away the expectations of others. I’m gradually realizing I have never had a time off where I had no achievement to attain.

For the first time, I am truly just living, which is not bad. Maybe my body has not been living but rather just moving to an auto-response, and maybe that’s why I am releasing all the stored-up energy.

I may never truly know the answers to all these questions, but I know I have decided to live my life without an outline, taking it one day at a time and doing my best with what I have been given.

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