Avoiding Post-Grad Depression: Extracurriculars
Currently living the post-graduate life in a city 16 hours away from my closest friends and family has forced me to deal with many grown up situations that I would rather not deal with, aka large bugs in my apt, sketchy landlords, and the fridge breaking ten minutes after filling it up with brand new groceries. Yeah, sweet life.
One problem that I would rather not encounter is seeking into depression, or what some may call the quarterlife crisis. And after doing extensive research on this topic for a previous blog called My Impending Quarterlife Crisis, I am realizing that it’s only a matter of time until I sink fully into the blues.
Therefore, I am attempting to be proactive and launching a pre-emptive strike on becoming depressed. Who’s with me?
My first tactic: reincorporate exracurriculars into my adult life. No, I don’t think that “joining a club” is the key to social issues such as obesity and body image as Leah rightfully points out. But, I was the QUEEN of being busy and involved in everything throughout high school and college. Why should the rest of my life be any different? Because of my activities, I met so many interesting people, learned all kinds of new things, and kept myself from boredom.
Here are some of the options that I am exploring now that I am no longer on a college campus:
1. Intramural Sports: Big cities tend to have adult pick-up leagues. For example, in NYC, Chelsea Piers offers all kinds of options for those no longer eligible for little league to get in on some sports action. And plus, sports leagues are a great way to meet some eligible bachelors…wink wink.
2. Childhood hobbies: Okay, let me explain, I’m not suggesting you start playing with Barbies or Legos again. But, when I was younger I used to make jewelry. Given, I don’t think there is as much of a market for friendship bracelets as there was when I was ten. Regardless, I’m just saying that there are a number of creative hobbies that can be transferred into adulthood. I stopped by a bead and jewelry store the other day while strolling through the Fashion District and realized I still had those creative juices flowing for elegant or funky jewelry pieces. Why not spend some time seeing what I can create? Also, I’ve always been interested in learning to knit or create pottery. Look into local classes wherever you are to divulge your artistic side now that you have no paper or midterm exam deadlines weighting you down.
3. Book Clubs: I know, what are we, like 40? Seriously, I just found a book club in my area that reads a book related to the career I am hoping to get into…and then meets to discuss it…over BEER! Sounds like a pretty great deal to me. If there is not one available, then think of starting your own. I am sure there are at least a few recent grads near you that would love an excuse to get together and dish over booze.
4. Church/Spiritual Groups: Okay, I’m definitely not suggesting joining a crazy religious cult type thing, but I do think that it can be refreshing to keep our mental or spiritual sides healthy and in check during this crazy time. Get involved with a group in whatever religion or denomination you might believe in. I feel that it’s always a safe bet to at least meet some nice (hopefully) people. Totally not into the religion thing? Try some yoga or meditation classes at least where you are able to relax.
Those are just some of the options I am looking into. My feeling is that if I can have at least one or two of these activities/events in my weekly schedule, it will keep me busy and help avoid the quarterlife crisis boredom, as well as enable me to meet some new people along the way. Anyone have any other great suggestions?