Why post-Erasmus depression makes me smile?

Published by Someone from Everywhere on


Why post-Erasmus depression makes me smile and get angry sometimes?


Let’s talk a bit about this post-Erasmus depression. This chat is for both experienced Erasmus students and newbies. I kept hearing about this new type of depression after I came from my Erasmus. Do you think it’s wrong if depression makes me smile?


The question is – aren’t you upset when you come back from vacation? Wouldn’t you have wished to stay there longer? Of course, you do. It’s normal. Should we call that post-vacation depression? Hell no! It’s wrong in so many ways.


I don’t know who came with this post-Erasmus depression idea, but it’s not explained or taken seriously in my mind. It feels like there are things out there that are not well described or communicated. 


If you have experienced Erasmus, you already know what you are going through after that, but in case you haven’t, you might take a wrong life decision based on “people talk.” No one says that Erasmus is not going to be challenging. You can learn more about the challenges in here. On the other hand…depressing is a big word.

Allow me to explain myself better. 

Is it post-Erasmus depression?

 When students do research and see that there is a possibility of having post-Erasmus depression after their journey, they might change their minds. Why? Because someone decided to create a disease out of something ordinary. 


While you study in your home country, you get into some monotony. You know what happens next, where you should go, you have your family, friends, comfort zone. Everything is in place, and the ground never falls out from beneath your feet. 


On the other hand, when you go to Erasmus, you get out of your comfort zone from day 1. It feels like an endless adventure. Even if life gives you lemons, you learn how to make lemonade out of them. 


This personality change and way to see the bright side of things happens without you even noticing. During Erasmus, you can have many situations that can affect you. (F.e. During my Erasmus, a relative of mine died. How did I cope with that? I cried and drank a bottle of vodka with my the person who became my best friend during Erasmus (keeps being that way nowadays). If I were home, I would have grieved for days.

 However, in Erasmus, you don’t have time to cry that much. You know that there is nothing you can do. You can’t just put a stop to your journey and get back to it after you finished grieving, so you need to carry on with your life.)

So, here’s the thing. At some point, you fall in love with this adventure (with good and bad). At the end of it, you feel like something of you remains there because it had such a significant impact on you. 

Life always gives you good days and bad days…should you get depressed for that all the time?

Why post-Erasmus depression makes me angry?

When you get home, you always wish you would go back. Some people find it challenging to live the life they had before Erasmus all of a sudden. It’s normal because you had your dream life there. You discovered many things, and no day was the same.


However, this is just a normal thing- it’s just life. Sooner or later, you will make new plans for yourself and your personal or professional growth, and this journey will be part of the events that formed you as a person. 


Many students feel like they belong more to the culture they have discovered – again, nothing wrong. It is not easy to choose between the place you call home because of your friends, family, childhood, and the place that shaped you as a grown-up. Either way, sooner or later, you will create your path and figure out what you should choose for your soul, but you don’t need to torment it. Look at this as a normal part of life, and don’t think of it as a depression.


Look at the bright side: you had the opportunity to have this great experience that greatly impacted your personal and professional life. There’s nothing wrong with feeling lost or wishing for those Erasmus feelings for the rest of your life. 

So, here’s the first thing that makes me angry about this- I can’t see how on Earth someone could put Erasmus and depression in the same sentence. Erasmus is all about joy, adventure, and happiness. It’s about discovering yourself, growing up, becoming a more intelligent human being. 

Why post-Erasmus depression makes me smile?

Now, here’s the funny part. Apart from the fact that this can be an induced depression and students might feel that way because they’ve been told that they might feel that way, there are websites offering solutions.


I’ve seen many having articles like “how to overcome post-Erasmus depression.” Here’s an example of the solutions given from one of the websites:

1. “Do a fun activity or help out other international students!

2. “Keep in touch with your Erasmus friends!

3. “Embark on a new study adventure and apply for a full Master’s degree

Here’s are my questions: 

1. What’s a fun activity for a depressed person

2. Would you stop keeping in touch with your Erasmus friends because you have post-ERASMUS depression?

3. Can everyone embark on a new study adventure or apply for a full Master’s degree? Would that help to get you out of depression?

I’m laughing right now, but hey, this is just a personal opinion. The people trying to help with this issue (that they didn’t create in the end) have all my respect. Even though I’m laughing, I appreciate their efforts in helping students. On the other hand, I believe there is no need for help here. In the end, it’s students who decide if they want to see that “back to normal” change as depression or as another regular life change. 

From the moment you get back home, it’s you who has to realize if you want to stay home or find another adventure. Either way, there is no need to focus on how bad it is to be back home, but instead, focus on being grateful for the journey you had. Many wish for it and miss that opportunity. Others don’t even have that opportunity. So, heads up! 

Here to the future Erasmus generation:

Here’s the truth. Once you choose this path, you will go through many challenges and changes. It’s an investment in yourself that can come as in any business with different risks. Let me just put it like this – Let’s say you have a great idea. (Your concept worths 1 million dollars, but there are also risks, and you think that it might not work) Would you take the risk and invest in your idea or give up on it because someone told you that it might not work in the end as you want?


The lessons: Don’t fall into the trap of post-Erasmus depressions and anything else. INVEST IN YOURSELF AND PUT YOURSELF TOGETHER AFTER THAT! You already grew a lot! 


P.S. Next week I’ll tell you the story about how my Erasmus ended up. It’s a mix between hell a lot of fun and that so-called “depression”.

And hey, don’t forget to follow on Instagram for weekly Erasmus joy and motivation. You are also welcome to join my Facebook page and Erasmus weekly community. Just saying…


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