So, I am in my 10th month of post graduation and quiet honestly, I’m lonely. Is Post Graduation Depression even a thing? Im sure it is and that will be another topic for another day.
University was such a safe space for me because the only responsibilities I had was to focus on my grades and immerse myself in as many clubs as I could afford. I was so determined to enjoy my experience abroad and leave university a different woman. Between classes, clubbing and pulling all nighters in the library, I surprisingly managed to spend time with my friends and classmates. My university experience was one hell of a rollercoaster ride that lasted 3 years. Looking back now I would say this rollercoaster I am on now is proving to be much worse than my university ride.
Truthfully I had no worries about what life would be like after graduating. I naively believed that once I earned my degree I would secure a good enough job that would pay the bills and still allow me to have occasional shopping and cocktail dates with friends. Like many other recent graduates, I believed the lie that a degree from world-class institution would swing doors open for me. And now facing the realities of the job market, its safe to say I know a little better now that favour and connections bust open those doors. I am still knocking and hopefully soon, a door will be opened.
Since graduating from university a lot of the friends and associates I religiously spoke to have since faded into thin air. Just as bubbles on a windy day, they vanished. The worst part of this unpleasant reality is that this did not happen overnight, it happened so slowly. Weekly chats and phone calls turned into monthly calls and chats and a little bit after Christmas, these had completely stopped. Seemingly the pricy costs to call friends and the busyness of my employed friends, the glue that had kept our friendships intact was slowly melting away. I found myself alone again barely having anyone to reach out too when I just needed a shoulder to lean on. I found myself back to square one.
The few handful friends I am blessed to have are all abroad in South Africa, Mauritius and England. Yes sure I can still talk to them but most times, its difficult because their lives are still very full and busy. And quiet honestly there is something about distance that weighs heavy on relationships and friendships. The dynamics of your friendships won’t be the same as before when you were both certain that you would having cocktail Olympics this weekend. As of now, I’m far from certain on when next I will get to spend time with my girlfriends.
A few times, I tried to fight the dawning reality of being lonely. I chased for conversations and life updates until I realised I was the only one still interested in keeping the friendships alive. Undeniably it is human nature to fight for something you love and cherish when it’s on the brink of drowning. As I reflect now, I’m beginning to understand that the friends I made whilst in university were seasonal and situational friends. We all were meant to meet for that season in our lives and part right after. Truthfully it’s very few people who make life friends whilst in university. We were all transitioning from one stage of our lives into the next and that was the basis of our bonding. We enjoyed library dates, clubbing, club socials, shopping and eating out together. We had a lot in common during that season. But sadly now these old friends I had gotten to know and cherish for 3 years live in a whole different continent from mine, our friendships wouldn’t have much in common. Our everyday realities and responsibilities have changed and shifted.
It crosses my mind often how my life would be different if I was employed or pursuing my masters. If I was employed or running a business I would be financially independent, which is one of my 2018 goals. If I were pursuing my masters then I would be working my arse off, making sure I passed with distinction. Whichever path taken, I would be enjoying the company of friends, fulfilling my dreams and building towards my future.
Life has become pretty lonely after post graduation. Its’ just you trying to motivate yourself to get out of bed, and keep applying for jobs despite the backlog rejection emails flooding your inbox. Most days I wish there was a step-by-step practical manual for the millennial graduate.
Perhaps you cannot run from this phase. You can’t do anything to make the phase stop or go a tad bit faster. You just have to sit in it, pray and believe that soon enough you will have better days.
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