In-person graduation events might not be on the table again this year, but that’s okay! There are still lots of ways you can celebrate graduation while social distancing. From drive-by parties to distanced photo shoots, there are so many things you can do to celebrate the new graduate. Here are some ways to celebrate the new grads while staying safe and socially distant!
- Post a yard sign outside. Yard signs are great ways to celebrate your graduate! Whether you include their graduation year, school or their cap and gown photo, it’s always a sweet way to tell them you are excited for their graduation and can’t wait to see what’s to come for them. Yard signs also make great graduation gifts for you to give a graduate! If your graduate is part of a sport or club, consider getting all the parents together to purchase coordinating yard signs.
- Host a drive-by graduation party. Drive-by graduation parties are great for anyone who wanted to have a large party but couldn’t in order to keep everyone safe and socially distanced! You can have friends and family load up in their cars and drive by your home to drop off any personalized gifts they got the graduate, eat a few snacks from a safe distance and take some favors home with them as a thank you for participating! They can create fun signs to display as they drive by, and you can decorate the front of your home for everyone to know where to pull up to. It’s such a fun and innovative way to celebrate graduation while keeping everyone safe and healthy.
- Have a photoshoot: Senior portraits aren’t cancelled! Photographers can stay safe and distant by using a zoom lens on their camera to capture all the important photos. Go to a local park or nature preserve for some outdoor senior photos. Cap and gown, formalwear, you name it – they can get some photos with it! Bring some fun props and lots of outfits to change into so you can make the most of your session. These photos are great for sending out graduation announcements or delivering invitations to any socially distanced events you might be having.
- Have a virtual movie night: Many streaming apps are providing the ability to virtually watch movies or TV shows with other users! Host a virtual movie night with your friends and family to celebrate your graduation. Choose something fun and uplifting for everyone to watch together, then sit back with a cozy personalized blanket and some popcorn to watch the screen! If none of you have access to any of the streaming services that offer this feature, then putting everyone together on a Zoom call and sharing your screen to watch the film or show play is a great alternative. Just make sure you’ve paid for the upgraded plans that let you stay on your meeting for longer than one hour!
- Send an ‘I Did It!’ bag to friends and family: While your loved ones will be sending you lots of gifts to congratulate you for your accomplishment, you should also consider sending out small favors to people who’ve supported you throughout your education! Friends, family, even coworkers can all receive a small token of your appreciation. Get a packaged cupcake, some personalized hand sanitizer and even some graduation themed items. Include a sweet thank you card for an extra special touch!
- Make a scrapbook: Scrapbooking isn’t just for your grandmother anymore. Fill a scrapbook with all the photos, screenshots and funny memes from your time in school. It’s a sweet keepsake to take with you to college or show on your social media to include all the classmates and friends and family that would normally celebrate with you. Use your school colors or your favorite colors, plus you can print all the photos right from your home instead of venturing out to get them printed. The scrapbook is a unique way to memorialize your education, even though you won’t have any photos from the annual homecoming game or anything like that – but you can fill it with lots of other things as well to make up for it!
- Host a virtual celebration: Even though many people are reporting a phenomenon known as ‘Zoom fatigue’, you can still have a short and sweet virtual celebration! Invite your very close friends and family to join you online for a brief chat about your accomplishment! Even if you stay online for people to hop on and off to smile, wave and tell you congrats, having something where people can see your face and you can see theirs will make you feel good about your graduation.
- Hang a banner outside: Outdoor graduation announcement banners have been around for years. Why not hang one outside this year? Think of a funny quote or phrase to add to your banner instead of just ‘congratulations!’ Something like ‘Honk for the graduate!’ is a fun way to get people celebrating with you. You can decorate the banner yourself, or have one printed. Include your photo, your school and your graduation year to ensure the banner gets all the press it deserves from your neighbors and friends.
- Have a parking lot meet-up. On a weekend, choose a few close friends or quarantine pod members to meet up with at an empty parking lot! A mini-tailgate is the perfect way to celebrate a graduate. Everyone can bring their own food, drinks, blankets and pillows to the meet-up so that you can stay distant from each other. Bring a bluetooth speaker so everyone can enjoy some tunes, then sit back and enjoy the celebration!
Even though you can’t have an in-person graduation celebration this year, there are still so many things you can do to celebrate the accomplishment! From putting a yard sign out to making a scrapbook, you can do a variety of things to really feel like you’re celebrating your graduation milestone.