We would all like things to be normal, or what we used to take for granted as normal. For those graduating, this is not what they had in mind. No one wants to be stuck at home but if you have to celebrate your graduation or commencement from the comfort of your row house, we have some ideas.
1: Watch a speech.
- President Barack Obama’s Commencement Speech to Class of 2020
- Ellen Celebrates the Class of 2020 with a Commencement Speech from Home
- Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2020 Snapchat Commencement Address on Overcoming Obstacles
- SGN Graduation with Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Jon Stewart, and Malala (Ep. 6) – Actually, the entire Some Good News series is excellent!
Doing a search on YouTube for #Commencement2020 will provide more results. The silver lining is that most of these people wouldn’t have been able to speak at your commencement and now you’ll be able to hear them. Pick your favorite person and see if they’ve recorded a speech!
2: Parents, give your own speech.
Parents, this might be the one time your kids might listen to you. Share the lessons you learned, what you thought back in the day, challenges, successes, etc. If you feel silly giving a speech in your living room, write it down for your graduate to read.
3: Put the gown on and do a procession.
Since you’re home, you don’t have to wear shoes – bonus. Take it a step further and call on your neighbors to stand on their stoops and cheer you on as you walk down the street. Just remember to keep at least six feet apart and wear your handy mask.
4: Write a speech.
Normally only the valedictorian gets to give a speech. Now, everyone has an opportunity to post a video to social media, if they’d like. Camera shy? Write something down and save it to reflect on later. Either way, take a moment to reflect on how you feel at this moment.
5: Order your favorite take out if you can.
Don’t dismiss doing the things we can still do. And, you’ll be supporting local business. Buy the cake. Eat it for breakfast.
6: Do a toast.
The theme here, is to keep doing the things we can still do. If you’re separated from your graduate, pick up the phone. The important thing is to take a moment to congratulate the graduate in any way you can.
7: Host a (zoom) party.
Invest in the paid-for version, if you can, so that you can host larger and longer video conferences.
8: Have a good ten minute sulk fest.
This sucks. Don’t fight it. Let it go. But move through because even though there is no graduation, your degree is forever!
9: Plan something really nice when things open up, because they will.
Life is full of tough times and they always pass. The 1918 flu pandemic lasted for roughly two years but it did end. We are further along with hygiene and healthcare so we should fare better. Start discussing the details now, even if nothing can be done yet. It’s good to have something to look forward to.
10: The resilience you gain from this will serve you well.
One of the top five soft-skills employers are looking forward is resilience. I graduated college before the internet had been widely adapted. Within five years of graduation, I was working in the new-ish medium. I had to teach myself web design but being able to pivot enabled me to stay relevant. Several years, and one graduate degree later, I find I’m still evolving. Look for the possible within the impossible.
Congratulations to all the graduates!