Graduating from the University can be the best feeling ever, imagine finally coming to the terms that there are no more lectures, no more assignments, no more deadlines, no more school examinations, and all of the school’s rules. These sense of feeling is like having a great break and a short-term holiday with no resumption. Some people feel so sad when that time of their lives comes, instead of having the good feeling, they have these negative feelings like no more pocket money, the fear of looking for a job or the fear of getting a very terrible job, the fear of facing and surviving the real world or the fear of hustling as some will call it and all the negative energy that comes with life after graduation.
I will classify three groups of people and how they see life after graduation. The first group of people is those ones that their parents have their lives all planned out for them that is, their parents have companies they will put them in charge of or they have a job or business out there for them so these group of graduates has nothing to bother about. The second group of people is the ones that have something going on for them already like a business they have already started building or they already worked out a job waiting for them so these group of graduates is partly settled so their worries are very minimal about life after school.
Finally, the last category is those ones that really have to hustle that is they have to find a job, find a high paying job because their parents probably saw them through school working so hard and now they have to work so hard to take care of themselves, their parents and probably other siblings. During the time of graduation, this last group of graduates feel so sad and withdrawn from others because they are burdened by thoughts of life. The funny thing is these last group of graduates actually graduate with the best results and if they cannot get some sort of connections, they fall into really terrible jobs with a horrible working environment.
Matilda, a graduate of Biochemistry, graduated with a second class upper as a matter of fact, she was the top of her class even if she didn’t make the first class. Matilda was one of the smartest people you could talk to. Her smartness was something to be envious of, she could easily read anything not related to her course of study and tell you about it. She could accurately write an essay for you in a non- science related course and you will get an excellent grade. Well, long story short, Matilda was one of those people that her parents struggling to see her through school and they were just waiting for her to graduate so that burden will leave them and they will focus on her three younger siblings. I bet in your head, you are like, she will definitely get a job, she is so smart and some people are thinking that if she did not get a job then they are pursuing her from her village. Truly, I think that was her case, as smart as she was, with a good result, strong in other fields and with an amazing personality.
Matilda was really praying to just get a good job because she had a lot of responsibilities to handle so she had to act fast. Being a Nigerian graduate, it is compulsory to go through the one-year compulsory service programme which is a good thing because it automatically gives you a one-year working experience. She managed through that time working at a private organization with little pay and a horrible working environment, she just had the thought that she would get a better place after service year. Fast forward to the end of service year, she could not find a better place to work and this organization where she worked for her service year was ready to retain her as their permanent employee.
Well, the company needed her because she was overqualified and they knew they could overuse her because she needed a job to keep herself and her family. Matilda, on the other hand, preferred working for them under those horrible working conditions such as; not being paid at the due time, reduction of the minimum salary when something goes wrong in the company, being used by her boss to run personal errands, overworking her and other things you can think of. It was frustrating for her, she was practically the breadwinner as her mother was struggling to get fees for her younger ones and they were constantly in and out of debt. Life was giving her a really hard time and she constantly wished she was still in school and that feeling of she is in school and her priority is to read her books and come out with excellent grades.
During this her trying period, she was working so hard on concentrating on other side hustles but this work was taking all her time and that was the only place she was getting a constant and reasonable salary so she had to keep the job. She also had the fear of venturing into other business and not able to succeed as she felt she did not have enough connections. During this time, her mother was not helping matters, she was getting constant reminders on how she sacrificed everything to send her to a private university and now she cannot excel in the real world. She would get insults like she does not even have a husband that can help out if the job is not so good, we all know how some words can mess with our minds and emotions. At this point in her life, she was sad, she needed to a break from everybody and find herself because she was gradually losing it. She got no encouragement from family, work or friends and she gradually started becoming a shadow of herself.
As they always say, there is always light at the end of the tunnel, she was able to pull through and help herself all by herself and the help of some other people who were with her in her struggle. It took her five years to finally get a proper job that was good for her and of course, she finally got married. At least, her story ended well, not everyone’s story ends well. She was lucky among a thousand more graduates who go through similar or even worse experiences all over the world. This story has a lot deeper things and undetailed happenings that this girl went through for more than five years and she is among the lucky ones that could have a happy ending.
The point of this article is not to tell you a sad story or make you feel pity for this girl and all she went through. The point is that post-graduation depression is real and there are a million youths out there who face it and are trying so hard to break out of it. The economy will get better hopefully but for people you know who go through this, lend a helping hand the way you can. Not everyone has a strong heart to take what life throws at them, not everyone knows how to find themselves, not everyone is lucky and not everyone has a happy ending. Post-graduation depression is real and we should do better to reduce this, the government, the individuals, organizations, everyone needs to work together to provide jobs and also provide good working environments for their employees. Post-depression should not ruin young people’s lives or anyone’s life at all. We all need to fight this because post-graduation depression is REAL.