In post-university life, without the constant buzz of classes, parties, and friends, the silence is deafening.
There's an endless amount of articles that detail the typical university experiences – binge drinking, random hook-ups, all-nighters – but there aren't many (any) discussions about what happens after we take off the cap and gown.
Once we graduate, full stop, many of us aren't sure what to do. Sure, there's the coveted summer internship or the costly Eurotrip, all done before attending a prestigious graduate program, but not everyone has the ability to do these.
To those of us sitting at home browsing through our Facebook feeds, these people appear to be having the time of their life. The FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is another stark reminder that we're no longer students. We're no longer in this together.
Or, maybe, these are recent grads who are seeking the same things we were all spoiled with in university: community.
Like myself, many recent grads overloaded themselves with extra-curriculars and a packed social calendar. If you left home to attend school, you may have built a network of close friends and drinking buddies.
In short, there was always something to do.
After being in that environment for nearly half a decade, it's difficult to realize that part of growing up means learning how to spend time alone. It becomes very easy to feel sorry for oneself, even feeling listless and sad.
And no one really talks about it.
In university, students have dozens of mental health resources available. After graduation, though, where are these people supposed to turn?
A 2013 article in the Independent surveyed 40 UK students and recent graduates, where "95 per cent believed that post-university depression was very much a real thing". There are no numbers for Canadian students.
In university, your sense of self-worth is easily connected to your professional achievements. It isn't hard to see how students can feel so dejected after graduation, especially if their job prospects take a while to materialize.
But temporary unemployment isn't the only barrier to post-university contentment.
Many recent grads, facing debt or a low-paying job, often move back home. Young people are often left feeling like they're regressing, after years of attempting to be independent.
I've seen it happen to friends, and I've seen it happen to myself. Though I have a job, the monotony of going to work, then home, then work again, is a massive difference from a hectic student lifestyle.
It's not that it's boring. It's that, without constant novel stimulation, I began to feel useless and frantic.
There's no easy way to deal with this. Like with any sudden life change, we're often left reeling.
I decided to treat post-university life similar to how I treat break-ups. I took up new hobbies and I learned to place greater value in whatever time I did spend with friends. It's been working well so far.
It would be best to try to avoid this altogether, though. Universities should do more to recognize what happens after convocation. While I can name many different on-campus resources designed to help me find a job, I strain to think of how to find help through my post-grad funk.
It's not all on schools, however. Students, too, should help each other in this new stage of life. After years of being so isolated, competing against one another for jobs or grades, it's times like these where, cast out into the relative unknown, we need to keep some sort of noise going, a comfortable din that eases the transition out of the party.
Janina Enrile is a graduate of Queen's University, where she was co-editor in chief of the Queen's Journal. She currently works in Toronto.