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Why Do Students Struggle and Become Depressed After Graduating High School


Written By Deandre Barrett  |  Education, College, High School, K-12  |  0 Comments | June 20, 2022

Some students become depressed after graduating high school, but this should be a significant milestone for many students around the country right? Instead, many students end up struggling and have anxiety upon graduating. Why is that the case? Fear of the unknown can drive even the most fearless students into a state of shock, depending on the circumstances. Students need time to figure out where they want to go in life. Sometimes, they don’t have all the time to figure that out.

Why do Students Become Depressed After Graduating High School?

One reason that students may become depressed after graduating high school is that they are missing structure. For example, they wake up in the morning and might have other stuff to do within that time frame; but somewhere along the line, they go to school for at least 4 to 6 hours a day for a week. Then they have the rest of the afternoon to do homework, hang out with friends, play games, practice a hobby, or rest for the next day.

Ultimately, there is a structure in place; after students graduate, that structure disappears suddenly. It’s similar to when people are released from the military or prison. Some people can adapt to making their structure afterward, but if there is no guideline to teach students, some students become lost.

Students may also become depressed after graduating high school because they may have to live on their own now, and living alone can be challenging and scary. Without proper knowledge ahead of time on how to survive living alone, some students won’t be able to handle that without feeling a sense of anxiety. There is also an expectation weighing down on students from friends and family that they can do great things. When those expectations aren’t met, students may feel they have let people down for not achieving something.

Compared to high school, students won’t have a guided line or easy access to support. Instead, they will have to forge their own path and figure out what works and what will not work in our society. Old friends going through similar issues may add to the anxiety. The expectation that everything changes once you hit this date can be too much for some people to handle.

The realization that students need to start working and may not have much time to find a job, receive income and live off of can be stressful. For many students, after they graduate high school, this will be their first job. They haven’t had the chance to struggle and look around to see what jobs are out there. What experience they might need for specific positions and how to get that experience.

How do Students Deal With Depression After Graduating High School

Students need a good support group from a community, family, friends, and teachers. Having someone watching over your work and sharing ideas to help improve your work is essential. Having a written plan or keeping a diary of what to accomplish goes a long way to ensuring objectives are recognized and finished on time.

One of the main reasons students get depressed is because of their fear of the unknown. Therefore, knowing where each student wants to go and how to plan it out is vital while documenting how they feel.

Joining different clubs and programs to find like-minded people gives students a more extensive support network. Having friends and colleagues, you may not necessarily be too friendly with can help drive daily interaction and support. But also, students need to remember that they aren’t going through this alone. Students all over the country are going through similar issues and having similar questions.

What Resources are Available to High School Graduates

There are plenty of resources available to students who may be struggling with depression after graduating high school. In addition to peer groups, clubs, and community programs, there are many online resources available that can be completely free of charge. While online resources aren’t the end all be all, it is important for recent graduates to explore community resources that get them active and engaged within their communities.

How Can Student Hires Help Recent Graduates?

Student hires offers valuable job opportunities for students that have graduated high school. Getting that first entry-level job or internship with an organization like Student Hires can help add structure back to a high school graduate’s life. Our teacher preparation programs work with recent graduates to help them work toward becoming a teacher. We provide them with resources, support, and work experience in the field of education.


Students becoming depressed after graduating high school will initially prove difficult for new graduates looking to navigate the world. As they build their support groups and engage in new experiences with different people around the world, things will become much more manageable. So what do you think about the state of students after graduating from high school? What was your experience after graduating from high school? Let us know in the comments, and then we can start a discussion!

Last Updated on June 20, 2022 by Deandre Barrett

Deandre Barrett

Deandre Barrett is a computer programming major at Lehigh Carbon Community College. He currently juggles a life balance between doing course work and marketing apprenticeships with Acadium. After graduating from the Acadium 3rd cohort in 2020 and finishing creating gaming reviews for Blasting News in 2017. He is now creating content for Student Hires and looks to use his experience to take the company to the next level. Student Hires has been focused on collaborating with K-12 schools & universities, as well as community employers, to create valuable job opportunities for local college & university students.

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