dealing with your post-graduation meltdown


Let’s get one thing straight: change sucks. When I first went off to college, I felt I was ready, but the separation from my hometown girlfriends (we literally roll like 12 deep) was too much for me. But, these last 4 years, I learned a lot about myself and the world. My priorities became more focused once faced with the looming reality of adult life. Graduating last month was another huge jolt to my system.

A few weeks before graduation, I secured an internship with a museum in New York City. I was thrilled for all of three seconds. It’s not that I wasn’t excited, but that my anxiety wedged itself between my rational mind and my emotional psyche. Thanks to years of therapy (try it), I found ways to combat anxiety and depression. Still, this next step scared me. I more or less lost my mind. This change plus finishing a second thesis and having some small, insignificant arguments with my boyfriend was a recipe for disaster.

As it turns out, all it took was my libido to plummet for me to realize something had to change. I broke up with my boyfriend the day before I graduated, literally. I was with him for two years, and something felt off. He’s one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met and I miss him every day, but sometimes you have to listen to your gut. In our relationship, there were some fundamental differences that did not line up and a five-year age difference. When at such a transitional time in life, it’s not fair to drag someone else along, especially when he or she has already adulted for five years. I had never been on the initiating end of “the talk” and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The next two weeks were full of panic attacks, loss of appetite, vomiting, and lots of crying. It was awful, but it needed to be done.

Admittedly, this existential crisis of sorts hasn’t gotten much better. I’m still anxious and unsure of where I’m going, but sometimes a mental break can help in seeing things more clearly. At 22 it’s hard to imagine anything other than your immediate future and it’s not fair to drag someone along with you, even if he or she is willing. I wanted to focus on my budding career, and “find myself”, as corny as that sounds. Even though the pain can become unbearable, it gets better and I’ll come out on the other side a stronger person.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: don’t be afraid to do what’s best for you, even if it hurts. Health and well-being come first. A strong mind, body, and spirit are essential before you can succeed and be happy. In the end, if we find our way back to each other, it must’ve been meant to be. But, that might just be the romantic in me.

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One of the OG members of Bridget&Mary’s posse, New York native Kat Farrell graduated with a degree in International Trade and Art History from Susquehanna University. Currently trying to navigate the art world, she can be found in some strange gallery, sporting an all black, alarmingly minimal outfit…she’s the one with the wicked resting bitch face. If she’s not there, she’s in bed drinking black coffee and worshipping the Kardashians (in an ironic way, duh).

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