Post Commencement Stress Disorder
From kindergarten through college, school becomes like a second home for many students. Schools give students a place where they are part of a community while providing support, education and social skills. Yet after graduation, that structure crumbles, and with no set timetables, mandatory classes or exams to study for, anxiety, depression and a sense of loss about what to do next become all too common for many students.
Commencement is an academic and social custom that symbolizes a rite of passage. Commencement imposes self-expectations of achievement (internal) and societal expectations that one is going to perform satisfactorily in the workplace (external). Fear of failure and inherent shame are several of the consequences if one does not meet the internal or external definitions of “success” after commencement.
The post graduation stress disorder, is not an official diagnosis, but “post-graduation depression” is commonly used to describe the extreme sadness recent grads report after they leave behind the world they created in college. Post-graduation depression, is understudied and probably underreported because young adulthood isn’t a population that is well studied at all. From a research perspective, it’s hard to categorize them, because of age and economic conditions . While young adults are in college, they may have been in an environment that was more accepting of alcohol and recreational drug use, and while depressed it’s possible this is being used as a coping mechanism.
Background and Significance
Stress can be defined as the perception of discrepancy between environmental demands (stressors) and individual capacities to fulfil these demands. Also stress is the adverse reaction people have to excessive pressure, then the individual is confronted by a situation that he or she perceives as overwhelming and cannot cope with. Academic stress among students has long been researched, and researchers have identified stressors as: too many assignments, competition with other students, failures, lack of money, poor relationships with other students or professors, family or problems at home.
The college level stressors are overcrowded lecture halls, poor infrastructure, unorganized semester system, and inadequate resources to perform academic work. When all of these events take place, a student becomes disorganized, disoriented and therefore less able to perform well, thus resulting in stress related health problems. The pressure to perform well in the examination or test and time allocated makes academic environment very stressful.
One of the biggest stressors for student is money. According to Federal Reserve data, the average monthly payment for a borrower in their 20s is $351 a month, while the average balance carried by that age group is about $22,135 This mean that it will take at least 6 years for a student to be able to pay his or her debt. This will not be easy with only six months to devise a financial plan to pay off this debt, some graduates find themselves pushed to make career decisions based on their financial needs, while the search for a dream job looks impossible.
Symptoms of PCSD
Feeling you are not in control of your life.
Feeling a lack of support after commencement.
Feelings of failure if the new graduate is unable to find work in their area of specialty in a reasonable length of time.
Sleeplessness and irritability.
Avoidance of normal, everyday activities.
We need to remember that these symptoms might not present themselves until some weeks or months after the commencement.
By comparing all the articles that I found about post commencent stress disorder I can said that PSCSD is real and present in many people after they finish school. Today, the job market is so unstable that it is a primary source of anxiety for those currently employed in addition to those entering the job market. What surprised me the most is how easy it is to avoid post commencent stress disorder, whatever the causes of Post Commencement Stress Disorder, these steps can be helpful to any graduate:
Reduce cost of living
Spend time networking
Make a plan
Build your skills
The future of any society lies heavily on the young people since they are the tomorrow’s leaders of any country; therefore, it is important to identify the causes, symptoms, and the consequences of stress on students. This will help the college administrators and parents to come up with the best strategies to help the students to overcome with these stressors while pursuing their careers. The negative effect of stress on young adults is likely to pose challenge to the individual, their friends and coworkers. The outcome associated with stress such as suicide, violence, and drug abuse are a fact, and are worth paying attention to. Stress poses a great threat to quality of life for students. Students interact amongst themselves as well as with their professors, therefore unduly stressed and unhappy students will reflect this in the process of the engagement that may result in conflict. Finally, universities have a moral duty to protect academic environments by adopting measures that reduce students’ exposure to situations where stress may become a big problem.