The time is here. With a hard-earned diploma in hand, many college students walk across the commencement stage and into a new feeling—anxiety. A degree can bring a before unfelt combination of excitement and fear of the unknown.
“From kindergarten through college, the days have a structured learning environment. When you take that away, it is hard for some graduates,” said WellSpan Behavioral Health Clinical Director, Candace Rutherford.
For students that are dealing with leaving college friendships and the launch into the “real world”, here’s some information from the American Psychological Association and Summit Behavioral Health that can help ease the transition.
Act Now! Take the needed steps to land that job. Polish up your resume and start applying for jobs. Use the web of friends you’ve made in school to find connections that will help you pursue your career.
Speaking of your friends, Keep Connected. The sudden change into adulthood can be scary. Keep in contact with your college friends to build up a much-needed support system. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you’re feeling with them – chances are, they’re feeling it too!
Stay Positive. You worked hard for that degree and you know what you are doing. Remind yourself that you can handle any barrier that comes your way. In your job search, if you are not lucky enough to stick the first interview, take each one as an opportunity to get better.
Eat and Sleep Well. Eating whole, real foods reduces the effects of stress and anxiety on your body. Getting enough sleep is critical to being able to make good, well thought out decisions. This is a time in your life when you need to be able to plan and avoid impulse. Sleep deprivation leads to poor impulse control.
Move Your Body. Get some exercise. It is a natural anti-depressant and a great release of negative energy and stress. Even better—find a buddy and go together! This one helps all the others suggested above! If you move more, you sleep better, you are more positive, you attract more positive minded people thus staying connected and you feel more positive about your body and you treat it better with better food!
Remember, although this can be a very stressful time in your life, it can be a very exciting time too. Treat your body and your mind well and take your time to think things through. Enjoy the moment!