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I'm Done with School, Now What?

There seems to be an expectation that after a person completes high school or college, the transition will be smooth, seamless, and even liberating.  At the same time, at it’s core, graduating is a huge life change. When a person graduates, they are saying goodbye to twelve, seventeen, even twenty years of school in its many forms, which most likely provided them with:

  • Regularly scheduled classes, meetings, practicums, or internships

  • Easy access to organized extra-curricular activities

  • Easy access to social events, where the opportunity to make friends is readily available

  • Built-in intellectual stimulation

Working with clients in their late teens and twenties, it becomes apparent quickly that the struggles that bring them into therapy are either in part or fully due to the process of transitioning out of school.  Much of what comes up as a result of individuals being out of school include:

  • The stress and struggle of finding a job

  • A lack of built-in structure that comes from school

  • The emotional adjustment of starting full time employment

  • Managing anxiety over student loan debt

  • The struggle to maintain social support after school

  • Use of substances to cope with the sharp change from academic to professional life.

  • The worry of “still not knowing what I want to do with my life”

Many see these struggles as “just a part of growing up”.  That being said, this transition deserves a substantial amount of attention, and more than that; self-reflection.  Attending to these struggles post-school in a therapeutic setting includes:

  • Validating the weight of the change from being a student to not

  • Developing coping skills to manage the stress and anxiety related to:

    • Trying to find a job, and job rejection

    • The start of a new job

    • Managing finances and student loan debt

  • Helping individuals discover what they want professionally through exploration

  • Building deeper relationships with old friends and developing new relationships

  • Proactively develop structure that promotes healthy lifestyle post school.


If you have recently graduated or left school for any reason, please contact Philadelphia Wellness Therapy to schedule a free consultation. 

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