Counseling for College Students with Empower Counseling: Graduation Stress.
I bet everyone is asking you “How excited are you to be graduating this year?”. What thoughts come up for you when you hear this question? I imagine your head is filled with many thoughts….some positive….some negative…..some helpful…and some unhelpful. Maybe you can not wait to get out into “the real world”. Maybe you have your dream job in your dream city all lined up. Or maybe you will be attending your dream grad school in the fall. If that is the case, congratulations!
For most, however, life is not so certain. Maybe you are on the waitlist for your favorite grad school. Or maybe you do not have your dream job, or any job yet. And this is realllllly, realllly stressing you out. If you are in this position, you are in the majority. It may look like everyone else has the rest of their lives planned out and are over the moon happy about it, but that is not the truth. Even those who look like the are exactly where they want to be are scared about the future.
Graduation from college is a time of enormous stress, even if everything is going in the direction you want it to go. Graduation can be a time of unbearable stress if you do not know what direction you want to go, or if what you wanted is not a current option.
You have grown accustomed to your schedule, your routine. You have great friends. You might have a significant other. Everything is so comfortable. And on the other side of this comfort is uncertainty and that can be scary.
What can you do to make it through this most stressful time in life?
Here are some tips from Empower Counseling in Birmingham, Alabama. We specialize in counseling for college students. These suggestions have helped many of our clients in the past.
Tip #1 for graduation stress: Counseling for college students with empower counseling: Stop comparing.
Have you noticed we never compare ourselves to those who are not doing well. We always pick out the person who is at the top of their game in whatever area we are comparing to. For instance, we compare our bodies to those who are blessed with the nearly perfect genetics. We compare our minds to those of the highest intellect. We compare our physical stamina to Olympic Athletes. Then we expect ourselves to be the best combination of all of them. Stop comparing. By focusing on others, you are using energy that is better spent thinking about and planning action toward what is important to you. That, my friend, is what is going to move you in the direction you want to go.
Quit Pressuring yourself.
You do not have to have your entire life mapped out right now. Just think one step ahead right now. What do I want to do immediately after I graduate? What action can I take to make that happen, or to move toward that goal? You can always change your mind and pivot later.
If you feel pressure from others, set boundaries.
If your family or friends are driving you crazy with questions about your life, respectfully communicate your thoughts and feelings to them. They can not read your mind. Let them know when you figure something out, you will let them know. Otherwise, ask them to keep the conversation about other topics.
We at Empower Counseling know graduation can be a tough time. If you need help navigating, we are here for you. Empower Counseling specializes in counseling for college students. Kathryn, Adam, and Kristine are all trained in Acceptance Commitment Therapy. We can help you determine what is most important to you, what direction you want to go, and the actions to take to get there.
Reach out to Empower Counseling today 205-730-6570