Seniors, you've done amazing work over your four years of high school.
You should be proud of all you've accomplished: the lives you've touched through your volunteer work, the performances and games in which you've participated, the pieces of art you've created, and how you've grown as a person during this time. Although you may not have the graduation ceremony you expected this year, that doesn't mean you shouldn't celebrate the end of your high school career.
Here are some ideas our team came up with to help you make the most of this special time:
- "Have a family graduation ceremony. If your diploma will be mailed to you, have a beloved family member bestow it upon you. Make sure to film it!" – Jill
- "Put up signs of congratulations in your yard." – Catherine and Marc
- "Decorate your roof with lights spelling out your graduation year and other celebratory items." – Catherine
- "If you have a cap and gown, or can borrow one, take pictures outside your high school or in your yard." – Jill
- "Order a meal from your favorite restaurant and have a 'mini party' at home." – Jill
- "Have a big virtual graduation celebration with your full class. Later, have smaller virtual meetings with your friends where you talk about your favorite high school memories." – Me
- "Have a drive-in graduation ceremony." – Catherine
- "Participate in one of the graduation ceremonies hosted by celebrities and political figures like Barack Obama." – Jill
Get your family and friends involved and have a great celebration — with proper social distancing measures, of course.
In conclusion, I have a story to share from my high school experience, along with one more suggestion. Many years ago, the yearbook teacher left halfway through my senior year of high school, and all the work done up to that point was lost. Due to various circumstances, the yearbooks weren't produced and distributed until halfway through my senior year of college. So, a bunch of my classmates and I got together for a pizza party, signed our yearbooks, and caught up on life.
You should be proud of all you've accomplished: the lives you've touched through your volunteer work, the performances and games in which you've participated, the pieces of art you've created, and how you've grown as a person during this time.
While my experience was nowhere near as disappointing as yours, I hope that you will celebrate in a similar way when you can. Put together a very informal event once large groups can gather again. Meet up for a BBQ or pizza party in a park or ask your high school if they can host it on campus. Don't worry about a fancy reunion where everyone gets dressed up — you can do that in 2030; for this event, simply spend time together and reminisce. Catch up on your first year of college and enjoy hanging out together. Trust me, it will do your heart good to see everyone, even people who weren't in your immediate circle of friends. Start planning the event now and let that be something to look forward to once this virus is under control.