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A Degree of Depression 

I am one of the 200 or so students who just graduated from the OSU-Cascades campus here in Bend. Hurrah, I'm done! After 6

I am one of the 200 or so students who just graduated from the OSU-Cascades campus here in Bend. Hurrah, I'm done! After 6 years of hard work pursuing an academic goal, I have finally achieved my Bachelor's of Science. People have repeatedly asked me over and over again how it feels to finally be done with school. I keep saying that it feels surreal, but that I'm sure the truth will finally hit home. I'm still waiting.

The truth is, I realized about 4 days after my graduation ceremony that I had been feeling quite melancholy. And it hit me.....I'm depressed! Why had no one warned me of this? After years of studying and pursuing a goal and feeling like I was accomplishing something, here I am, in exactly the same spot I was before. It is just so anti-climatic. I am still in the same mediocre job that I was in before, but now, I have even more time to be there since I'm not in school. It also turns out that I'm unemployable anywhere else. Me, along with every other recent graduate, have entered into a horrible job market where there are so many people applying for every available job that employers can afford to be as picky as they want. And does my Bachelor's degree mean anything? Noooo, they want experience. Well it's been kinda hard for me to get that experience since I've spent the last 6 years being educated. I graduated with a 3.86 GPA, and yet I am doing a job that any person off the street could do with a mere 12 hours or so of training. Oh, and that's not to mention that nice debt I've acquired getting that nice fancy degree.

So here is my proposal. The oppressive disorder of post-alumni depression should be immediately entered into the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Postpartum depression is in there, so why not this? All people suffering from post-alumni depression should jot down there symptoms and send them in to the American Psychiatric Association. So far, mine include:

* A strong irritability towards all people who keep asking what you are going to do with your life now that you've graduated.

* Resentment, not empathy, towards the many people being laid off everyday because you know there are even more people to compete with for a job now.

* A strong desire to spit in the eye of all high-maintenance customers in afore- mentioned mediocre job.

So power to all the depressed graduates! Let our needs be recognized! How do we treat this disorder (besides going back to school, which seems to be the only advice my fellow coworkers can give me)? Should I seek counseling, or load up on Xanax? After all, us graduates have needs, too (mainly, a decent job)!


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