Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Graduation Season
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of our normal yearly rhythms, and that includes graduation season. This year, millions of seniors will finish their high school and college experiences without a graduation ceremony. While some might joke that they’re happy to not sit through another commencement, this is no doubt a difficult and disappointing situation. Here are a few ways to celebrate the accomplishment of graduating in the midst of everything going on:
- Have a celebratory family dinner. This idea typically works best if it’s tailored to what your graduate likes best. Maybe this means everyone gets dressed up and you eat their favorite home cooked meal. Or, maybe it means ordering their favorite take out and watching a movie of their choice. Whatever it looks like, letting your student say what sounds most special to them is a great way to celebrate.
- Collect letters from friends, mentors, and family mentors. A few weeks before the end of the school year, reach out to some of your student’s closest people and ask them to email a letter of encouragement to you. Then, on the last day of classes, print the letters out and give them to your student to build them up.
- Have a social-distancing approved graduation ceremony in your driveway. If this is something your student will be excited about, it can be a really sweet time. Invite your neighbors to stand in their driveways and your student’s favorite people to drive over and listen with their windows rolled down. Pick a couple people to give short speeches and say how proud they are of your student. You can even hand out a placeholder diploma! Feel free to make this as fun or serious as you like.
- Host a Zoom graduation party. Invite all your student’s favorite people to a Zoom meeting. Ask a couple people ahead of time to prepare a couple encouraging thoughts about your student to share with the group. To make it extra fun, ask people to bring their own slice of cake so you can all share a celebratory dessert at the same time.