Health & Fitness, Personal

Post-Graduation Depression: The Thing Everyone Gets, & No One Talks About

Hi there everyone!  I know that I’ve been gone for a while, and I’m so sad about that!

I started this blog, and I had a great plan.  I was going to post 2-3 times a week,  I had an editorial calendar and a vision in front of me.

Then I graduated, and the strangest thing happened to me.  Instead of having this great drive to constantly work and improve upon this amazing new blog, I began to feel as though I had no energy to do anything.

This feeling of lethargy didn’t just stay with my blog: it touched every part of my life.  I had no desire to do anything.  I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to try to find a job, I didn’t want to even go outside on a walk.  I was constantly feeling stress about everything in my life, big or small.

So why?  Where did all of the excitement from graduation go? Where was all of that spunk I had for so long?

My old roommate was talking to our other roommate and me when she said something that finally felt like an answer: post graduation depression.  Her mom had mentioned it to her, and when she mentioned it to me I finally felt as though I could understand what had given me such a dramatic shift in attitude.

It completely makes sense, too.  Suddenly my entire world was shifted completely: no more school, which had been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I’m expected to move out of my parent’s house and become independent with my new job.  The bar was suddenly set so high for me, and I wasn’t ready to deal with that.

Unfortunately, my feelings aren’t necessarily unique.  So many people deal with the exact same scary changes that I do and feel the same or similar feelings that I do.

So why don’t we talk about this?

I wish I could give a concrete answer!  Maybe because society stigmatizes mental illness so much that no one wants to discuss anything related to it.  Maybe because people are afraid that if everyone knows that there will be negativity associated with college less people will want to go there. Who knows!

I completely understand that people all have different experiences when it comes to graduating college, or really any big life event.  My experience with this depression may be totally different from someone else; some people may only feel a brief sadness for the life they had that is now behind them.  It’s completely subjective, but I feel like it needs to be talked about for people like me, who are hit with a serious fear of the future and don’t know why.

I hope this helps someone, or creates dialogue for people to consider in the future!  Either way, I’m a message away if anyone needs to chat!  I will be returning once more to the blog, renewed and ready to go.

Beauty & Fashion

How To: Decorate Your Mortarboard (Grad Cap!)

If you’ve been following my blog, you would probably have seen that I graduated and shared my experience last week!

One thing that I wish I had before graduating was a guide on how to make my cap look amazing!  I asked a lot of questions that couldn’t really be answered by anyone around me, which is why I thought this would be a really helpful post to have. Even if you’re not in love with my cap, the steps and advice are all things I learned on my wild journey of making it!

This post contains affiliate links.  This means that if you make a purchase through one of my links I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

First: find your inspiration. Pinterest is an amazing tool to utilize when it comes to finding a cute cap!  If you search grad caps you’ll see tons of pictures with all sorts of styles. I’d suggest doing this a month in advance to give yourself plenty of time to plan decorations.  The pictures below ended up being the inspiration for my cap!

Plan ahead. I know this seems obvious, but when you’re preparing to graduate it is so easy to push off planning your cap.  Think of what you need right away so you have time to buy everything roughly two weeks in advance.  If you can’t find all of your supplies, go to another store or possibly order off of Amazon!  There are tons of options if you’re quick enough.

Now that you have your pre-planning completed, it’s time to actually start making your cap!

Making the Cap:

Step 1: Lay down your base.

This is an optional step if your design calls for it!  The really cool thing is you don’t have to paint the base if you don’t want to, either.  I actually used scrapbook paper purchased from Walmart!  It was $5 for this pack.  I had wanted a solid light pink, but couldn’t find the right shade, which sucked, but this paper would be really cool to use for its original purpose so I wasn’t too upset.

I believe caps are 10″x10″, so you can’t use regular sized letter paper, unfortunately.  However, it’s super easy to cut the square out; just flip the paper onto the back side and trace the hat with any writing utensil before cutting it out.

The hole to cut for the tassel holder is a bit tricky, but if you’re putting something over the top of your paper, you can just poke through the center with scissors and cut a rough circle a little bigger than the nub.  As you can see, mine doesn’t look so pretty right now and that’s okay!

I would suggest using this spray adhesive, which worked amazingly! So well, in fact, that I couldn’t quite align the paper because it was completely stuck as soon as it touched, so be careful when lining it up!  Spray the cap, then spray the paper, and wait for about 15 seconds. The glue will be super tacky and create a permanent bond, so you won’t have to worry about it peeling off right away!

Step 1

Step 2: Get your parts ready.

The next step after getting your base ready is to have all of your other materials ready to go.  For me, this meant cutting out all the shapes that were going on the cap.  I cut the circles using various household objects and googled a reference photo to make sure my sun rays were accurate.  This could also be considered step 1 1/2, as these shapes for me really were still part of my base.

Before gluing anything, make sure your design fits and looks how you want it to!  I had to peel up the parts of the circle I glued down because I didn’t realize how I had wanted my cap to look until after; oops!

Step 3

If you’re adding shapes around the little nub, the easiest way for me was not to cut out a circle in the center like you did for the base layer, but to actually cut a slit in the object up to the very middle.  This made it super easy for me to just slide it right over the nub and not have to worry about it looking ugly.  You’ll just have to be sure to glue down the split. Pro tip: DO NOT use liquid glue!  Those wrinkles in the paper are from that.  Glue dots are what I went with later, since they leave no mark and are easy to reposition if you don’t like the location or need to adjust it.  If you are putting anything around the nub, make sure your tassel still fits into where it’s supposed to go!

Step 2

Step 3: Get pretty with it!

After you have your base items laid out exactly how you want, it’s time to make your cap look just like you envisioned!  As you can see, I added some self-adhesive gems and fabric flowers I bought from Walmart.  What you don’t see in this picture that you will see in the end are some large clear gemstones on either tip of the hat, again from Walmart! I think there’s a theme here…

The flowers and gemstones were not self-adhesive, so I had to use a different sort of glue. Because the spray adhesive is so intense, I wouldn’t suggest using it on top of the paper; it will cause that really weird wrinkling.  I also found that the glue dots did a terrible job at keeping hold of those pretty little flowers, so I ended up using mod podge.

You can either use a paint brush, a sponge/spatula thing (what I used), or whatever else you have handy. If you do any sort of crafting, mod podge is essential!  It held everything in place so nicely; I put it on the paper and stuck the flowers on where I had wanted them.  For the gems, I swiped it onto the back (not a super thick layer) and held them down for about 10 seconds.  You’ll know right away if they stick or not!

Step 5

Step 4: Adding your words.

This is definitely the scariest part, in my opinion!  Well, it was for me at least.  If you’re using stickers, which I wish I had, it’s a lot less terrifying; just use a ruler to make sure you have straight lines!

If you’re stenciling, heed my warning!  I chose to stencil my letters onto my cap because I couldn’t quite find stickers that I really loved that would go with it.  I decided that I would use a pretty stencil that I had found at Walmart because I liked the way the letters looked and I wanted it to be consistent.

The first thing I wanted to do was use gold paint; unfortunately, there was absolutely no pigment to the color and it just looked really faint.  I then tried to use a gold metallic sharpie; again, the color was really ugly.  I think my sharpie was just dry at that point, because it usually looks so much prettier. I ended up choosing the intense bronze shade from the metallic sharpie pack, which looked amazing on both papers.

This is where the warning comes into play: DO NOT use the sharpie with the stencil directly onto your cap! I cannot repeat this enough!  When I did this, the sharpie’s ink had actually gotten under the stencil and the plastic basically caused it to travel everywhere outside the lines!  The whole reason my cap looks better in the final picture is because I had to redo the yellow circle.

If you’re using stencils, use a mechanical pencil to trace the letters of the stencil out, and then fill the lines in with your sharpie, also connecting lines that the stencil left open.  This will give you that gorgeous handwriting appearance without also making it look like your sharpie bled everywhere. (:

Apply any of those last minute touches you want that will make you say wow!, and you’re good to go!  Remember that this is for you to see and love, so make it your own.

The biggest thing to do now is get excited; you’re graduating!

Finally, Step 5: Rock graduation day with your cute cap!!Final

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What tips do you have for putting together an amazing cap?

Personal

Graduation Day

Well everyone, it’s official.  I graduated!  Last Friday I said goodbye to my school and have now moved on to bigger and better things, like moving and trying to find a job (good luck on that one).

I wanted to share how my big day went with you all, since I had such an amazing time!

What’s on my gown?

Gown

As you can see, I’m wearing two separate cords as well as a stole.  The solid purple cord is for students who graduate Cum Laude, or with a 3.60 GPA or higher.  The silver and purple cord is from the honorary I’m in, Student Ambassadors, which is basically a fancy name for campus tour guides.  Finally, I purchased my stole as a way to show pride for my sorority, one that I love and will miss greatly!

Onto My Day:

6:20am

I was up at 6:20.  That is so early; I even beat my alarm clock!  I will admit, looking back I don’t even know what I did, I just know that I was scrambling while I was doing it.

7:00am

My boyfriend and I made our final visit to Bloedow’s, which is a famous bakery in Minnesota because of their amazing doughnuts.

7:15am

My poor roommate had offered to do my hair, so I woke her up at 7:15 and we got to work curling it!  I have very long and thick hair, so I expected it to take quite a while; surprisingly, she got it done in half an hour!

7:45am

At this point I was freaking out, putting my makeup on quickly and then throwing my dress on after.  God bless my boyfriend, who helped keep me calm while I was having a mini anxiety attack about being ready on time.  I was in such a rush I didn’t even get to eat a doughnut; sad!

8:15am

8:15 was check in time, so we quickly drove to my school and I jumped out of his car while he went to find parking and then the rest of my family.  I went to get my name card and then found my friends, where we chatted until we were asked to line up.

8:45am

It was time to line up!  I separated from my pals and went to my spot in line, where I talked with my buddies there and had some final touch-ups provided by the adults helping organize us all.  Thank goodness, too, because my cords were not attached properly!

Somsen

9:00am

The procession started!  There were a ton of people in my graduation (about 300) so we had to walk around some of the buildings on campus before heading into the gym, where the actual graduation was.  Along the way there was a line of professors and staff on either side of us, applauding as we went.

Walking in

9:30am

After all of the introductions and speeches were given, it was finally time for us to begin receiving our diplomas!  My last name is near the beginning of the alphabet, so I was pretty early in the lineup and received mine right away!

Panhellenic Picture

10:30am

Graduation ended at about 10:30, and at that point I walked out of the gym and waited to meet up with my family.  Afterwards, we walked around, took a few pictures, and went inside so I could say goodbye to some of my favorite professors. I didn’t get pictures with many, but I assure you all, I had plenty to say to quite a few!

11:30am

After all the pictures were taken, we walked back to the car and headed to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants.  Unfortunately, my boyfriend totally forgot where he parked so we had to wander a little before making it.  Then I got to enjoy a delicious meal, plus a tequila shot – bad choice on my part, but it tasted so good!

The rest of my day was spent packing my room and relaxing.  I was exhausted by the end, but it was well worth it!

Mortarboard