Students everywhere are gearing up for graduation and their transition into college, graduate school, or the workforce. However, as the ongoing pandemic continues to impact the educational experience, students may be grappling with depression and anxiety over what comes next even more than usual.
Students of all ages have been asked to adjust to online and hybrid learning, and the virtual classroom has proven to be detrimental to their mental health. Studies show that it was the greatest contributor to student distress since the beginning of the pandemic, with twice as many students experiencing anxiety and depression. Soon-to-be graduates find themselves headed into higher education or the workforce having lost years of in-person learning and socialization with peers and mentors.
Fear for the future
In addition to difficulties with online learning, pandemic graduates are also juggling uncertainty about the future. Studies show that students are most stressed about their post-graduation plans, with financial constraints caused by the pandemic creating significant anxiety for graduates pursuing higher education.
To manage depression, stress, and anxiety surrounding graduation and future plans, try the following techniques:
- Get in touch with a school counselor or career advisor – These professionals can work with you to find financial aid solutions, explore educational options and career paths, and help you plan your next step.
- Focus on your end goal – Though the timeline of reaching your educational or career goals may have been disrupted by the pandemic, don’t feel discouraged. Remember that you are not alone in experiencing an unexpected shift, and your goals are still attainable despite the changes you’ve experienced.
- Give yourself credit – No one said it’s easy graduating during a pandemic! Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Remember to take time to de-stress during your college preparations or job search.
Though you may be walking across the stage alone or graduating in your living room, you don’t need to navigate the stress of graduating alone. We offer counseling services to help you manage depression and anxiety so you can focus on the bright future ahead.