Graduation During a Pandemic: 5 Ways to Celebrate Your Graduate This Year
5 tips and tricks to recognize the grad in your life
By Paige Bredensteiner, Director of Communications
Let’s be frank right away here: the class of 2020 is missing out on the most anticipated event of their academic career (if you’re wondering what that is...it starts with “g” and ends in “-raduation ceremony.” See what I did there?).
Although the graduates are surely disappointed in the outcome of this school year (me included), they are still being celebrated in several unique ways, including congratulatory videos from celebrities (like this one from actor and film producer Brad Pitt), and billboards (such as this digital billboard in Grand Rapids, Michigan).
But, what if you’re not a world-famous celebrity or have unlimited access to your city’s biggest billboard? That’s where this article comes into play. We’ll be covering five creative tips and tricks to recognize your graduate from “Quarantine University/High School/Middle School/Elementary School.”
- Hold your own ceremony in the yard.
“Alexa, play ‘Pomp and Circumstance.’” This idea can become as creative as you want it to be. Grab your portable Bluetooth speaker, or just find the song on YouTube and play it through your smart device. Have your grad wear their cap and gown, prepare speeches, and invite close family members to sit in the audience (6 feet apart, of course). Purchase a yard sign from Classic Sign Services to commemorate. Create decor out of everyday items. Finally, have the cameras ready to capture a ceremony your grad will surely not forget!
- Surprise your grad with their favorite carry-out (or dine-in, depending on your city or state) meal.
I don’t know about you, but if I was surprised with my favorite meal on any day of the year, I’d be so excited. We recently had pizza delivered to the Classic Signs office, and my oh my, were we all ecstatic. If you surprise your graduate, they will know how much you care and wish to celebrate them. It truly is the little things.
- Purchase an unforgettable and meaningful gift.
I know graduation gifts aren’t a new concept, but I’ve seen some pretty good ones this year that encapsulate the state of our world in 2020. One of my personal favorites is this Friends themed t-shirt. Want to keep your graduate safe? Order a mask that not only reduces the spread of germs; it is also ~fashionable~. If you’re looking for a gift that’s a bit more sentimental, try a personalized metal wallet insert or a photo book containing all of their school memories.
- Hold a graduation party via video chat.
I’m not here to promote any sort of video chatting tool, or start a feud about Apple or Android (Apple is WAY better. Oops.), but many have been using Zoom lately to chat with multiple people at a time. I’ve personally used it in a professional realm, to visit with girlfriends, and even to celebrate my friend’s recent 22nd birthday. It’s relatively easy to use, and the free plan offers quite a bit of premium features, including:
- Hosting up to 100 participants (talk about quite the virtual grad party!)
- High Definition video and voice (provides clear, sharp, and concise content)
- Virtual background (ever wanted your favorite celebrity in the background? How about a picture of Bora Bora? You can choose whatever!)
Cheers your favorite graduate, decorate the background with their school’s colors (or a personalized banner), and just have fun connecting with those you haven’t seen in a while!
- Submit a congratulatory video to your local news station.
It’s pretty common to view other people wishing a happy graduation to their graduate via video, but what’s stopping YOU from doing it? It’s simple: record a few words of you and your family wishing your graduate the best of luck and recognizing their accomplishments on your smartphone. Then, once you get the version you prefer (it’s okay to make a couple mistakes - talking to a camera can be a little awkward!), you can email it, create a Facebook message, or draft a direct message on Instagram or Twitter to your local news source. Even if it doesn’t go onto the air, show it to your grad by connecting your device to your television or simply playing the video on your phone. They’ll love it!
Well, there ya have it. I hope you’ve been inspired by this blog post! If you tried any of the ideas, leave a reply below to let us know how it went. If you enjoyed it, share on your social media feeds or email it to your friends and family. And, if you want to learn more about Classic Sign Services, visit our website or Facebook page!