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Sick about upcoming graduation

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My college graduation is a couple of weeks away, but I won’t be graduating. I was a complete mess when I left school several months ago, and was further traumatized by abandoning my goals. I had planned on skipping the ceremony altogether, but I have several good friends who will be graduating along with my former classmates. I worry that I’ll run into the staff and students that witnessed my meltdown (it’s a very small school) and ended up causing a scene. I am literally sick about this. I can’t skip my friends’ graduation, but I feel awful just thinking about going.

Sick about upcoming graduation

Answered by on -


I would find a way to honor your friends’ achievement and make amends to anyone you hurt during the meltdown.

It takes courage to take responsibility for yourself, admit your error, and move on. You are not the first, nor last, person who has had a public struggle with coping. Learn from this and give yourself a chance to recover. This is an opportunity to heal, not to let shame rule you.

I would make a plan to correct the underlying issue and reclaim yourself and your goals.

If you do not have a therapist there is one available in your area. Check the find help tab above.

If you do choose to return to school (which I hope you find the courage to do) there are counselors there who will help. Often the greatest positive changes come from transcending our transgressions.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Sick about upcoming graduation

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Sick about upcoming graduation. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 18, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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