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Forums / Depression / Post Graduate Depression

Topic: Post Graduate Depression

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Reenie93
    Reenie93 avatar
    6 posts
    6 June 2018

    I graduated uni in June 2017 after a final 6 week internship at the end of my degree. I struggled to get through the internship as my mentor and I did not mesh so well and I felt anything but positive vibes from her. I constantly felt like I wasn't doing a good job despite getting a good report from her. All my previous pracs in my degree I received nothing but high praise from all mentors.

    Anyway once I finished my degree a full time position had opened up at my current employment which I took. (For reference I studied a bachelor of primary education and I was working at a before and after school care as an assistant). I took on the coordinator position at the before and after school care. I was comfortable here and I knew exactly what I was doing. For a while I used the excuse that I was taking a gap year for myself before I went into full time teaching but the reality was the thought of teaching and getting a graduate job made me physically sick. All i could think about was how I'm not very good and I'm going to be a horrible teacher who has no idea what to do so what is the point.

    a year later and I'm still trying to cope with my anxiety around teaching and I'm also considering if maybe I should choose and different job all together. However recently my work lost the tender at the school where we run our after school care, meaning a new company will come in and take over and we are all loosing our positions. This is stressful in itself. The new company has encourage us all to apply for positions but has told us we will still need to go through the full interview process. This is very upsetting because I feel like I have to interview to keep my job and I'm worried that other people applying will get it over me because they probably have more experience in the position then i do. My anxiety has been through the roof just dealing with this alone I can't sleep and I've been calling in sick to work because I can't bring myself to go knowing I might not be there anymore at all.

    A part of me is saying go and use your degree and get a job as a teacher but again the thought makes me sick and I already know I'm no good anyway. Then this thought makes me feel like such an idiot I wasted my time at uni to study a degree im going to do nothing with. This disapointment I have in myself hurts so much I just don't see the point in anything. I feel like I've let everyone in my life down and like I'm going to go no where so why even bother continuing.

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Just Sara
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    Just Sara avatar
    3399 posts
    6 June 2018 in reply to Reenie93

    Hi Reenie and welcome to our caring community;

    You're really coming down hard on yourself lovely. Being so self critical isn't getting you anywhere it seems, so why flog the dead horse? Positive reinforcement's a far better way to approach this situation don't you think?

    You've shown great self support by writing on this forum which is a credit to your determination ok. You want what's best and this in itself is uplifting.

    Feeling anxious as you've described is a normal response to what's happening. Getting thru it is a one step at a time process which if practised, can instil valuable habits for your future. Learning to face adversity like this is great preparation for other problems down the track. You're doing great ok!

    Life's a roller coaster so accepting these set-backs and using this experience for growth and learning is character building and strengthens your resolve thru life. Having resources like a counsellor helps too. Hunt around for one to talk with when it gets too much.

    Yeah I know, bit of a psychological lecture, but you need to have a positive mindset and focus on solutions instead of how hard it seems. Life's hard for all of us; it's the ones who learn to cope that excel.

    Asking ourselves what we want in life's the hardest question of all. We want so much to please and validate others, yet learning to do the same for ourselves is really hard for most. It's a wonderful habit tho if you can do it..

    If teaching in schools isn't appealing to you, there's plenty of other opportunities out there that would value your qual's and experience as a coordinator. Working with children isn't the only way to exploit your degree.

    What about adults? (Eg. TAFE) Or in-house training within a firm or organisation? Research and development for instance is a great field. So is project managing. These are but a few suggestions, but you get my drift yeah?

    Broadening your horizons makes for a more gentle way of answering the question of what you 'want' to do. Go thru the whole interview process if you like your position; I mean, you've got top standing due to already doing it. But run your own race ok. Worrying about how others rank moves your focus from you to them.

    Be selfish! Be competitive! Be there for you...

    Kind thoughts;


    3 people found this helpful
  3. Brunswick
    Brunswick avatar
    22 posts
    6 June 2018 in reply to Reenie93

    Hi there, Reenie,

    First off, I'm afraid that what you are going through is the common experience for many young graduates today. The current workplace is very brutal compared to the "good old days" where when you have a job, it's often for life with a nice little pension at the end.

    We live in an open economy, so we get the best, not just from Australia, but from the rest of the world as well. It's very competitive.

    What you need to do is to believe in yourself. You will find many people here who are in the same boat as you (scared, overwhelmed, lost) but who have turned the corner and are now here reaching out to help other people.

    From your post, I'm sure that you're a very competent, smart and professional. You need all the help you can get to pick yourself up and move forward.

    One of the strongest advice given to young professionals like yourself is to find mentors and network. It's no longer possible to do well just struggling by yourself and relying just on your own capabilities. Everyone will need to learn to work with and depend on one another. That's why places like this exist. And why social media is so successful. Some people are even finding their soulmates from online dating.

    It's very scary for most of us to do this. I'm not suggesting that you do but there are safe environments like BB and you do need to be supported at this time.

    You also need to learn additional skills. Skills around leadership, and self-belief. Things like setting reasonable and more immediate targets. Like acknowledging your fears and dealing with your natural self-reprimands. How to deal with failure is an essential skill. Do you know that in the past, going bankrupt meant you're a bad risk in business but that nowadays, businesses prefer people who have been through bankruptcies because they are more resilient?

    Just surviving in today's economic environment is a challenge. It's very hard to even find a job that suits you let alone be successful in what you do. I know many university graduates who are driving taxis or "working in Macca". You're not an exception in feeling this way. It's very very stressful. Believe in yourself. I don't know you but just from your post, I think you can do this. I believe in you.

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Reenie93
    Reenie93 avatar
    6 posts
    6 June 2018 in reply to Just Sara

    Firstly thank you Sez for your kind words and advice. I have not even thought about looking in other areas other then teaching children. At the moment with a mind so filled with anxiety and sadness it is a struggle to think with any clarity.

    I am thinking a counselor would be of great help to me but I don't even know where to begin. My partner and mum are both there for me and I am lucky to have them but sometimes I don't think they understand just how paralyzed I feel. I've never looked at it in the way of worrying about others ranks is not looking after myself first. I guess in a world of social media it is so easy to compare yourself especially being a young person (I am 24) but it's sometimes harder to not let the comparision effect the way you see yourself.

    Thinking positive and believing in myself is all something I still need to learn to do.

  5. Reenie93
    Reenie93 avatar
    6 posts
    6 June 2018 in reply to Brunswick

    Hi Brunswick,

    It is a some what comforting thought to know I am not the only one out there who hasn't found what they should do with their degree. I think it may be something that isn't talked about much. I have been doing plenty of giggling in depression and anxiety related to uni students but most of what I have found is related to people currently studying and not much in regards to how to cope with it post graduation.

    I never even knew this fourm existed but I am so glad it does, I just wish I had found it sooner.

    It such a horrible thought but I don't think I've ever really believed in myself. I always think that I'm going to fail and prepare for the worst. It is actually so humbling to hear some body say they believe in me. I even read it out loud to myself, thank you so very much.

    I have been absent from work today sick as I try to get myself under control and think more clearly. I have been thinking very hard and resliance is something I want to strive to gain. In the world today as a young adult I struggle when anything seems to go wrong in regards to employment. If like you have advised Learning new skills and accepting failures. I just don't know where to begin though whenever I try to accept it and learn from it I just break down crying again. I don't know if maybe I should just keep crying until I can no longer cry anymore tears about it.

  6. james1
    Multicultural Correspondent
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    james1 avatar
    2798 posts
    6 June 2018 in reply to Reenie93

    Hello Reenie,

    It is nice to meet you. I also found a job not too long after I graduated and I remember walking in on the first day with the other graduates and thinking, "oh man, I'm so much worse than them!" Everybody had honours degrees, double degrees, law degrees...and there was me with a little bit of philosophy and politics under his belt, trying to work in finance.

    I am now 26 and, 5 years into working for this organisation, I know I am still the "dumbest" of them all. I don't have the experience that the seniors have, and the new graduates all have finance knowledge which I don't since they actually studied it. But I have one thing going for me: determination.

    I would suggest that you are still new and it's very normal to feel this way. Most graduates do. Your "job" isn't to be an amazing worker because, honestly, nobody expects it. But be a good worker, a hard worker, and find what it is about you which makes you stand out from the rest.

    You were hired for a reason at your current before/after school care place - perhaps you can't see it, but they saw something they liked. Perhaps this will translate to teaching as well.

    It sounds to me like you have a very low opinion of yourself. This is going to be something that takes a while to work on, but you can use others to help you. You said that resilience is something you need to improve on. That's great that you've identified something! Now you can put that to the test and work on it by hearing others opinions on your strengths and weaknesses, and learning how to turn those weaknesses around as well as how to use your strengths to empower yourself.

    Just as much as you can improve on your weaknesses, you can equally use your strengths to remind yourself that you are just as valuable as the other applicants/employees.


  7. Brunswick
    Brunswick avatar
    22 posts
    7 June 2018

    Hi Reenie (and any other young people reading in),

    You may find it useful to read an article everyday just to get you inspired and prepared for the day. If you find this overwhelming, just trusting in yourself and picking yourself up everytime you fall is basically what it's all about. Learn to process your feelings (and thoughts) so that they don't hold you back and make you miserable. Try to move to a positive state as much as you can. Accept that you will feel down and that it is OK to feel that way. Then tell yourself you can move on and learn to think positively. Don't expect it to work everytime but believe that in the long run, you are a positive person. Talk to yourself the way you would to other people who are going through difficult times too. Read the way people here support one another and realize how much we all need positive strokes. Give yourself some. There cannot be too much positive words for people like us. We have such low self-esteem, we need all the support we can get. Don't be ashamed of this. We are the way we are because we want to be honest with ourselves, we are naturally humble, and we care what other people think. We prefer to hurt ourselves than to hurt others.

    Think about how much more useful you can be if you can learn to manage your own feelings, your own depressions and fears, and accept that you are a good person. We may be very far from perfect. We may feel that we may not even be good enough, but there are so many other people out there who need a hand. Who need you. Do it for them.

  8. Brunswick
    Brunswick avatar
    22 posts
    7 June 2018 in reply to Reenie93
    Hi Reenie, if you want to see a counselor, just tell your GP. You can have 10 free sessions every year. I do this myself. Just 10 times a year, every year. I find it really helpful.
  9. Tess2
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Tess2 avatar
    423 posts
    7 June 2018 in reply to Reenie93

    Hi Reenie, i dont think that you are alone in this at all. And to have doubts and anxiety is natural. I would encourage not to give up before you have started. Perhaps a part time job to ease your way in. Going for interviews is always stressful and all new grads would be nervous about this. Perhaps you have someone with experience, who you could practice interviewing with. Most people will actually want you to succeed. I have interviewed lots of new graduates in my working life and defintely wanted them to do well. Practice some positive reinforcement. Which parts of teaching do you like best, what do you feel you do well and keep telling yourself these things.

    keep connecting here for support


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