As we all deal with a new reality in the Covid-19 pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty to go around. Life doesn’t look the same as it did four months ago as flights are grounded, the unemployment rate rises, and some people even grieve the loss of loved ones.
This is a strange and tough time for all of us. Some people who are bearing the brunt of these changes are students across the globe dealing with the shock and disappointment of their final semesters in college being cut short and graduation ceremonies being postponed or canceled. After four (or more) years of hard work, the ceremony and celebrations that they had imagined won’t be happening the same way they have for decades.
But, these things are all outside of our control. Don’t let these last two months of your college career taint the memories of your college experience.
Here are some ideas for you to make the most of the situation and celebrate your accomplishments the best way that you can:
Make a Statement
Many students participate in the tradition of decorating their caps to stand out in the crowd at commencement ceremonies. Just because your commencement ceremony isn’t happening doesn’t mean you can’t make a statement of your own.
Set aside some time to think about what you want your cap to say and gather some materials to make it come to life. Ideas online range from creating a cap that expresses pride for conquering the past four years to looking forward to the future to inside jokes with your friends. Go with whatever you think represents you best. Use the time creating your cap design to reflect on your time in college. Ceremonies help us process life changes, so since you don’t have that opportunity, this activity can be helpful to bring closure to your college experience.
Once you’ve created your masterpiece, share it with the world through a social media post! (And go ahead and tag us for a chance to be featured on our Facebook page!)
Celebrate Small Your Own Way
Even though you don’t get to be with your friends right now, there is still plenty of value in celebrating your accomplishments with your family. If you’re a first-generation college graduate or your family supported you through college financially or even just emotionally, this is a celebration all of you can take part in together.
Set a time to throw a party with your family and take photos with your cap & gown. Think of a theme that suits you best – maybe you want to have a Luau or Backyard BBQ. It can be whatever you want it to be.
Take some time to speak with your family about your college experience and thank them for the sacrifice they made to get you where you are today.
Come back to campus for photos and celebrations
We don’t know when this will be over, but we can hope that one day, it will be safe enough to gather again with your friends. Perhaps start planning a day to return to campus for Homecoming or a football game to reminisce with your friends and take cap & gown photos together at your favorite spots on campus.
Make superlative awards for your friends and create your version of commencement. Ask your friend with the best public speaking skills to write a commencement speech to wish all of the graduates the best of luck. With enough teamwork, you can create an even more memorable time with friends than getting your name called out and walking across a stage.
Make new memories
Since you can’t spend the final months of your college career with your friends, plan an amazing trip to celebrate together when all of this is over.
Have you always dreamed of cliff jumping on the coast of Spain? Or maybe sipping a latte at the foot of the Eiffel Tower? It will likely be a long time before it’s safe to travel again, but that gives you something to look forward to (and gives you some time to save up for the trip, too!). Plus, as you and your friends all go your separate ways, it’s good to find a way to stay in touch. And then when the trip finally comes around, your delayed gratification will surely pay off with the trip of a lifetime. Pack a cap and gown and get an amazing shot to celebrate all that you’ve accomplished.