Tag: college

PCLD: Let’s Talk Post-College Blues

All right. This will be my first semi-serious post, and for this reason, I will attempt to step up my game on the little doodles. There’s nothing a pregnant cat in a penguin t-shirt cuddling a 10-day-old puppy can’t soften. Right? Or this…

Anyway, to keep this rolling in the right direction, and away from cracker-nibbling rodents, let’s move on to my late night, earth-shattering epiphany. (Please note: my epiphanies are more frequent than the time it takes for new episodes of House to show up on hulu.com. Still.)
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that pretty much every young person I’ve come in contact with these days–in particular, my crew–has been negatively affected by college. It’s not college at all. It’s the after college that seems to destroy people. And if an undergrad happened to go to grad school, this mental disorder was only prolonged until after that degree. I thought it might be more helpful to set this disorder up in a way that might be accessed as easily as any other WebMD definition. 
PCLD: Post-Traumatic Life Disorder
Much like a premature version of a “Midlife Crisis,” PCLD can be classified as a mood disorder that interferes with everyday life and occurs following the anticipated graduation from any post-secondary education. PCLD is characterized by one or any of the following categories:
This category is normally defined by those “fresh” out of college or post-secondary schooling. After a number of years confined to a rigorous routine of responsibility, one might find a false sense of solace in abstaining from anything academic or related to his or her field of study.
“I’m just going to take a break”
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Emotional “numbness”
  • Little to no concern for future
  • Lethargy
  • Weight gain
  • Lack of interest in field of study, or former interests
  • Minimum wage job(s)
  • Heavy drinking, followed by a need to “just dance
  • Sense of stagnancy without the will to change
  • Caffeine dependence
  • Facebook
Negative Self-Realization
The definition of this category relies heavily on the lingering insecurities of adolescence. It is largely found in those who pursue degrees in the arts or similar creative studies. As creators, it is common for those with PCLD to experience symptoms directly and/or indirectly related to their creations, such as feelings of inadequacy, worthlessness, and a need to change goals in light of negative self-discoveries; PCLD commonly takes the shape of feelings and actions associated with early adolescence. This category is also referred to as Regressive Post-Traumatic Life Disorder.
“I don’t know what I want.”
  • Hopelessness and self-blame
  • Search for an undefined dream or goal
  • Lack of confidence
  • Sense of making the “wrong choices
  • Indecisive
  • Nostalgic
  • Interfering, and often unwarranted, fear of failure
  • Depression
  • Nick at Nite
Defensive Frustration
The last category of PCLD is the most actualized. Hardly a resolution, these symptoms often surface in the latter stages of PCLD, typically in response to previous categories’ symptoms. If the pendulum were, for instance, swinging downward in the other categories, this is the most erratic, upward swing of PCLD, characterized by a hyperactive ego, which follows a low, often depressive, state.
“The world is my goddamn oyster.”
  • Sense of freedom from rules and life limitations
  • Exaggerated responses and reactions
  • A tendency to be overly defensive
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Inflated sense of self
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Hyperawareness, or paranoia
  • Impulsive and often masochistic life decisions
  • Heavy drinking
  • Insomnia
  • Sports

Without being funny, I’d like to explain myself. I’m pretty sure the time frame for the once-typical “coming of age” has been prolonged. Unfortunately for most, the decision is already made. You’re going to college right after high school. Your other option is to go against your parents, society, your peers… If you don’t go, you are looked down upon. C’mon. We’ve all eyed up the “Votech” kids as if they were of below-average intelligence. I have since changed my opinion.
Once you find a school, you must then choose what you want to do for the rest of your life. Key words here: rest of your life. It’s like a death sentence. From the moment you were hatched, the hopes were instilled: you can be anything you want, even president! Big dreams create high hopes, which are then introduced to the “real world” of low odds and let down. Next step: PCLD. Am I right?
I’m not here to knock education or academics. I’m not even sure what I’m knocking. I just know that the majority of my peers are struggling to find jobs, struggling to know what it is they really want, and feel as though they are the only ones out there experiencing it. NO, please know that you are not. There are a gazillion kids with degrees and no hope for a future.
I guess my questions are simply (ha!):
  1. Will the majority of us ever know what we want OR be happy with what we have?
  2. Is the previous question linked to the infinite realm of possibilities?
  3. Are we just a bunch of spoiled babies?
  4. Are we “spoiled babies” because of the false hopes that were instilled in us? Who is to blame?
  5. Is there a job that is completely fulfilling, while remaining so for the longevity of working life?
  6. When will the education system STOP making studies about money and more about skills/intelligence?
  7. When does PCLD end? Is there a cure?
  8. Will Dr. House and Cuddy ever get back together?