by Daisy Urgiles
Graduation is a major milestone in a student’s life, intended to honor years of hard work and dedication. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a trying time for graduates who hoped to cross a stage in a cap and gown and receive their diploma while their loved ones cheered them on. Although most schools and universities have taken the precautionary step of postponing or cancelling graduation ceremonies, family and friends are finding creative ways to celebrate graduates from afar.
We asked our Guideposts readers and staff how they’re helping graduates celebrate their accomplishments while physically distancing. Here are a few of their thoughtful and creative ideas:
Celebrate the graduates in your community by painting rocks with their college or career choices on them. Not only is this a fun activity to do at home, but it's a great way to congratulate recent grads and acknowledge their promising futures. You can maintain social distancing by placing them on the doorstep of everyone in their family and friend group. The distribution of rocks can ultimately form a network of friends and a strengthened sense of community.
Invite friends and family who live nearby to decorate their cars with signs and balloons for a celebratory drive-by parade. Everyone can still maintain social distancing guidelines by staying in their cars and cheering your graduate on from a safe distance. This gives seniors the opportunity to see their loved ones and get the recognition they deserve.
Recognize the graduating senior in your life by decorating your front lawn with balloons, custom lawn signs and festive décor so everyone who drives by will be able to celebrate, too. Although you’re loved one may no longer be able to receive their diploma in front of thousands of cheering people, their friends and community members will still be able to cheer them on when they drive past their decorated homes.
Friends and families can still celebrate their graduate’s accomplishments from the safety of their homes by creating virtual parties on a video sharing platform. You can decorate your yard or living room and have your student wear their cap and gown while those watching can share tears, smiles and laughter.
Surprise your student by having friends and family members record congratulatory messages on their phones or computers. Encourage people to share uplifting stories and include words of advice. The short clips can be easily edited into one touching video that can be sent to your grad via text or email. Your graduate will treasure the thoughtful gift for years to come.
Although ceremonies or graduation parties have been moved online or postponed, you can still pamper your graduate with gifts. Brighten their day and reward their years of hard work with a sweet surprise on their doorstep. Whether it’s a bouquet of flowers, a senior care package or something as simple as a homemade dessert, this thoughtful gesture will make your recent grad feel recognized and rewarded.
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