It is supposed to be a time to celebrate and make memories. Family and friends gather to see you reach that milestone. 10 Years down the road, you look back and remember the day you headed to the next grade, finished learning a trade, or walked across the stage to cheers and applause.

Grads of all ages are missing out on celebrating their achievements and reaching milestones.  Students that are leaving headstart, preschool, kindergarten, middle school, high school, trade school, college, and grad school can’t officially have a formal graduation but they can still be celebrated in other ways.  

Here are some ways to celebrate your Grad and the ones around you:

  • Virtual Graduation Photo: Find a nice photo of the student, add Class of 2020 to it or use the frame feature on social media and post it to social media platforms.  Ask friends and family to comment words of encouragement. 
  • Yard Sign: Print the virtual graduation photo as a yard sign and place it in your yard. Check with your school district to see if they have coordinated yard sign distribution for graduates.
  • Virtual Graduation Card: Create an online “group card” filled with messages, GIFS, memes, videos, and photos. Use Google Drive, Slack, Trello, Zoho, Microsoft Onenote or another platform to create it. Remember to invite family, friends, and teachers to write special messages, share memories, and celebrate your graduate.
  • Graduation Wish List: Have your grad create a small list of things they are hoping to receive for graduation and share the list with friends and family.
  • Decorate the Door: Create a collage of photos of your graduate and use it to wallpaper your front door.  If decorating the whole door isn’t feasible then display a photo frame, wreath, or a balloon arch.
  • Graduation Parade: Have your Grad dress in their graduation cap &  gown or outfit of their choice and stand on the porch or in the front yard near the home. Get everyone to decorate their cars and slowly drive around the neighborhood cheering, honking, and celebrating. You can also have friends and family drive by the house honking. You can have a table set up outside for guests to leave gifts.
  • Video Tribute: Have friends, family, and your grads teachers submit short videos full of encouragement, well wishes, and special messages for your graduate. 
  • Graduation Photoshoot: Get creative with the photos you will keep forever.  Decide on a theme or build a custom backdrop for the shoot.  Try several themes if you can choose just one.  This is a fun way to spend time together and create memories. Ask family and friends for photo requests; silly for the aunts and uncles, serious for the grandparents, traditional for the parents. These photos are forever memories and can be used for the invitation to the virtual graduation so have fun.
  • Virtual Graduation Ceremony & Party: Organize a ceremony at home with a speech, homemade diploma, and commencement address from the grad’s parents followed by a party.  Gather all the important people in your grad’s life together to celebrate virtually by sending a themed invitation with a meeting link and/or ID. Encourage guests to wear school colors and.or grad-themes attire as well as prop up decorations in their background. Pick activities such as speeches, karaoke, and recreating TikTok dances to get everyone engaged.

Graduation this year may not be what any of us planned but using a little creativity, you can still honor your grad’s accomplishments, bring together the important people in their life, and focus on celebrating!

Blog by Teresa A. Janes