Well, Class of 2020 grad. You made it! Can you believe it? While sheltering-in-place and physical distancing isn’t exactly the way I would have imagined ending college, I believe you still deserve to celebrate your accomplishments with your family and loved ones. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably already looked into ways to celebrate this milestone. If you still need a few ideas, here are 10 ways you can still celebrate graduation while sheltering-in-place:
Attend your virtual graduation ceremony…and others! If you’re feeling the need for some inspiration right now, many notable public figures like Ellen are dedicating speeches to the Class of 2020. I’m personally marking my calendar for Saturday, May 23rd at 9 PM CST for my alma mater’s virtual commencement with UT alumnae and 5 x #1 New York Times Best Seller, Brené Brown. I also look forward to watching YouTube’s Dear Class of 2020 Livestream where the Obamas, Lady Gaga, and more will speak on June 6th, 12 PM CST. The best thing is that you can watch them in comfy clothes if you want!
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YOU were made with unique talents and skills. I believe you’re meant to use them for something YOU love. 🌈 I went to college to become an engineer. Since grade school, I thought I would use my love for math & science to pursue a thriving technical career. Now I proudly work in social media for a lifestyle brand, because my 💗 ached to do something I loved. You have the power to explore, create, and pursue your dreams. I hope you feel encouraged and empowered to do just that 😘💕 #sarahthebellagraduates
Schedule a senior photoshoot session: Nothing made me feel more excited than commemorating my time with graduation photos. I loved them so much, I started a #sarahthebellagraduates series on social when I graduated college! I know many portrait photographers are strictly enforcing physical distancing rules, so don’t be afraid to schedule or keep one on the calendar. If you’re in the Austin area and you’d like a recommendation for a senior photographer, please feel free to reach out.
Create an online gift list: This is the perfect time to ask and receive gifts from loved ones if you have a few purchases on your mind. I recommend creating a public Amazon wishlist. If you need some help, here are 10 graduation gifts I think you should really be asking for.
Send out graduation announcements: Even though we can’t be together in person right now, I know your loved ones are still excited to celebrate you and hear from you through a graduation announcement. For personalized, well-designed graduation announcements, I personally love and recommend Minted. Here are a few of my favorite customizable templates!
Invite friends & family to a drive-through: Decorate your front lawn with fun decorations like this gold balloon set and invite friends and family make a lap through the street and say hello!
Celebrate with your favorite meal: Pick up food from your favorite local restaurant that reminds you of school and have it at home if you can! My favorite celebratory meals in college were Matt’s El Rancho or Chuy’s. Tex-Mex, always.
Take a road trip: Even though flying might be out of the option right now, a celebratory road trip is a great physical distancing option. If you’re up for a drive to the Texas Hill Country, Getaway in Wimberly is a great, new stay that offers tiny cabins nestled in nature. It’s one of my favorite cities in Texas, and I’m already dreaming of a cozy getaway from the hustle & bustle of Austin. Feel free to use your student email for a 15% off discount or use this link for $25 off your stay! I’ve also linked a few books I recommend for your trip if you’re up for a good read!
Graduation TikTok: I created a physical distancing fun list after a few weeks of sheltering-in-place, and I’m now thinking to update it with “learn a TikTok dance” because wow, the app is addicting. If you’re on TikTok, scroll for some ideas and upload your own in your graduation gown to join in on the fun!
Throw a virtual grad party: Send out an invitation for a video call and host a game night, virtual gift unboxing with family, or graduation catch-up with friends. Game night options include QuizUp, Cards Against Humanity Family Edition, or even creating your own graduation version of Jeopardy.
Get your own printed photo cookies: When I turned 21, I hosted my dream 21st birthday party with a cookie painting decorating party at Austin-based bakery Kellie’s Baking Co. The party was amazing, but Kellie herself surprised me with a set of personalized photo-printed cookies. These cookies weren’t only beautiful—they were yummy too! She told me anyone can upload photos from their Instagram or personal albums and ship them nationwide: the perfect gift for yourself or your loved ones if they prefer a sweet treat over a graduation announcement.
How are you celebrating graduation? Let me know in the comments below!