Graduation season is in full swing, however, for many students in the UK, ceremonies have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The likes of Edinburgh University, Sheffield University and Cardiff University have all given students the option to defer the ceremony until next year or attend a virtual one.
Graduation is an opportunity to celebrate years of hard work and achievements, and missing out on these celebrations is disappointing for many students. One graduate told The Guardian that “it would be amazing to see all [their] classmates one last time – especially the international students who needed to fly home.” But without a formal occasion to look forward to, graduates are taking matters into their own hands and planning events. So, why not do the same with one of our four ways to celebrate your own graduation.
Host a dinner party
Hosting a dinner party with your friends or family is a great way of toasting the end of your degree. While restaurants have reopened after lockdown, many may still feel uncomfortable having a sit-down meal in a public setting. Fortunately you can still enjoy a meal at home and what’s more, it’s fun, you can show off your cooking skills and spend quality time with your loved ones.
To prepare, decorate your dining table with flowers and centerpieces as this will help replicate the grand atmosphere of the traditional event. Think carefully about what to eat, as after all, the food is the main attraction of any dinner party. This could be a fancy three-course meal, your favourite childhood meals or a DIY meal kit.
And of course, a graduation isn’t complete without celebratory drinks, so toast your achievements with a speech and some bubbly. If you’d prefer not to go out to the shops in the current circumstances, you can order champagne and other beverages to your door in just 30 minutes from Drinks House 24/7.
Be a big kid
Before you find yourself navigating the real adult world with a graduate job and responsibilities, say goodbye to your childhood by doing something you loved as a kid. You could visit a theme park and enjoy the thrill of the rollercoasters, play a few games of mini-golf or jump around at an adult play park. Or for a more laidback gathering, spend an evening with friends playing your favourite childhood video or board games. Do remember to consider the COVID-19 restrictions when planning any activities as this may stipulate what you can and can’t do within local guidelines.
Have a garden photoshoot
Having photos taken on your graduation day in your university robes and mortarboard is one of the highlights. But if your graduation has been cancelled, you’ll likely still want to create memories by having photos taken. You can do this in your garden or a location of your choice, as long as you keep your distance from others. The photos may look a little different to the ones you expected to have, but the good news is that you can still order your robes to your home and dress up. Decorate your garden with streamers, banners and balloons, and create a makeshift stage to pose on, complete with a podium and certificate.
Host a virtual graduation party
Since it’s unlikely you can attend a party with all of your peers to celebrate, hosting your own virtual graduation party is the next best thing. You can still have a big bash by connecting all of your friends via a video platform like Zoom, Google Hangouts or even FaceTime. This means everyone can get together without breaking the social gathering laws, and you can all put on your fancy clothes, share a few drinks and reminisce about your uni memories over video call.
Decorate your space to match either your chosen theme or your university’s colours, something everyone can join in on. A good selection of tunes is also essential, so get all your friends to add their favourite songs to a graduation party playlist and crank it up.