An Epidemic: Post Graduation Stress Disorder

It's only been ten days since I walked across the stage to accept that scroll which turned out to be not a diploma but a kind letter demanding donations to the university from this fresh batch of alumni. This faux degree led me into a downward spiral that many may never escape from: Post Graduation Stress Disorder.

There are many symptoms of PGSD and they are prevalent in everyone who has ever graduated from any sort of academic institution, whether it be a distinguished college or the boarding school your parents shipped you away to because the condom broke and they never wanted you in the first place. The fear of the unknown is definitely the most common phobia that plagues us weakly mortals. Oh, shut up, I dare you to challenge me to what you think the most common phobia is. Ohhhh, arachnophobia- the fear of spiders- has surely got this fear of the unknown beat hands down. No fuckface, the reason you’re so afraid of spiders is because you never know when the spider is going to hump your face or patiently wait in your bed sheets and crawl into your mouth as you are sleeping. Social phobia, oh no, you are so afraid of your peers evaluating you negatively in a social situation. No fuckbag, it’s the fear of not knowing WHEN (not if) they are going to humiliate you and your immediate family in public. Claustrophobia? Is this some sort of joke? I will find you and cram you into the trunk of my neighbor’s car and not tell you when I am going to push it into the city reservoir.

Now that we have that all cleared up, the primary cause of PGSD is the aforementioned phobia of the unknown. We do not have any structure laid out before us and we’re now on our own to take control of our own futures. I can break down a few elements that are already evident in the lives of the postgraduate.

1. The Job Search- this is the most obvi and I’m not going into it.

2. New Email Accounts- this is the inspiration for this update. Now that our college is done with us and canceling our school issued email accounts, today's graduate is scrambling to register a professional sounding name to blend in with the rest of the workforce drones with one of the popular free services such as Yahoo, Hotmail, but not really, only Gmail. Now, now I understand that Google is a powerful and innovative company poised to take over the world, and Gmail is only one of their many services that are far superior to their competitors' but this obsession in obtaining an invite and creating this new online identity with only this service is beyond me. In fact, according to this website, GoogleMail is way too creepy for any rational person to use. What’s wrong with Yahoo! or Hotmail or heck, Smithappens.com addresses… I have unlimited accounts to give away. If you want one, you may reach me at patrickjosephsmith@gmail.com and I am dead serious that's me.




3. Where to Live- It's always been a joke about going home and living with parents after graduation. If I had it my way, I would never leave this chair and live in my mother's basement for the rest of my life. The problem is she doesn't have a basement. So eventually I will have to move out, but for the time being, I am perfectly content on sitting in this chair and not paying for rent or food. My mother tells me to write a grocery list for her every Saturday morning for anything that I will need for the week since I am confined to this chair, and I did exactly that this past weekend. After crumbling my antiperspirant all over the floor and cursing all things holy, I jotted down “Right Guard Solid” on the list thinking my underarms would be aromatic and dry later that day. However, my mother misinterpreted my college level script as “Right Good Salad” and proceeded to pick up all types of delightful greens and apples and oranges and strawberries and nuts and dressings to make me a week worth of delicious salads. So here I am reaping the benefits of this fortunate mistake chomping down on these scrumptious leaves and fruits and enjoying life. My two shirts are soaked through in the pits and I reek of sweaty underarm gym socks.

4. Facebook Status- You Gdamn better believe that you are no longer a student and you better make sure you proclaim your new 'Alum' status, but you probably already did that when you updated your contact info with your new firstnamemiddleinitiallastname Gmail account.




5. Acting like a NonStudent- No longer can you go to bars to meet other college coeds and discuss your majors and take bodyshots off each other. Now you are a graduate and you are supposed to discuss mature things, such as the fact you live with your parents and you are a honky ethnic food delivery boy. You cannot buy a girl a pint of Natural Lite and expect to get blown in the bathroom stall. Actually, any girl who would do such a heinous act obviously would take down anything you put to her lips, whether it is an MGD or STD. I do not think I will ever get out of the immature/humorous/easygoing/pathetically desperate mentality that I’ve maintained throughout my life, and I do not plan on ever maturing.

Now that I have correctly identified these five early detection signs of PGSD, the road to curedom is to accept you have these problems, tackle them one by one, and move onto the real stresses of the real world such as insurance bills, mortgages, car payments, and infant crib death.

Godspeed Grads, I will keep you posted with my progress in never growing up.

Posted May 18, 2005 at 11:34 PM