People all over the world are about to or just have graduated from all levels of schooling. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they can't celebrate this momentous achievement the way they were planning.
Thankfully, people are getting very creative in coming up with ways to celebrate, from surprise parties at home (with family only) to fancy brunches to virtual celebrations inside of video games.
Radio personality and American Idol mentor Bobby Bones is quarantined with his girlfriend, Caitlin, who just graduated. Because she wasn't able to walk on stage and receive her diploma, he orchestrated a whole graduation ceremony just for her.
There were speeches, graduation gowns, diplomas, and everything. It was very cute. Although not everyone was able to create an elaborate surprise ceremony complete with professional-level photos, they still found other ways to celebrate.
One recent alum was treated to a surprise graduation brunch thanks to her awesome roommate. There was a 2020 banner, a little teddy bear wearing a graduation cap, and mimosas. What more could you want?
Real-life graduation celebrations are something, but some people have been able to celebrate with those outside their household by taking a more... virtual approach. If you haven't at least heard of Animal Crossing, right now, you probably live under a rock.
The Nintendo game is perfectly primed to customize and serve whatever purpose you want it to. For some, that meant using the game to host graduation celebrations. One was even attended by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who gave the commencement speech.
How cute is this? This might not be the graduation Kevin imagined, but speaking as someone who sat through her own college graduation and tried not to fall asleep the whole time, this might be even better.
That wasn't the only Animal Crossing graduation. Plenty of other people designed them too. It's truly a great way to get to "hang out" with people outside of the pod of people with whom you're quarantining. Not to mention, the little avatars are just adorable.
One university in Japan took the virtual graduation idea one step further and used tablets and remote-controlled robots to make sure their students got the graduation ceremony they deserved.
No joke. They used robots so students could have the experience of walking across the stage and receiving their diploma. The robots were dressed in graduation gowns and caps, and the tablets showed the faces of the graduating students. It's truly a sight to behold.
Perhaps my favorite socially distant graduation ceremony, though, was the Parade of Graduates at Cal State San Marcos. Cars full of graduates drove by while people stood at a safe distance on the side of the road and cheered them on.
Plus, they had two of those wacky inflatable men flying high on either side of the road, and you really can't beat that. Graduations are usually filled with such tradition that they aren't as joyous and raucous as a parade, but I think they should be!
To college, high school, grad school, Ph.D. program, 8th grade, kindergarten, pre-school, and all other graduates out there, congratulations. I sincerely hope you got to celebrate and will get to celebrate again with more people and more fanfare soon.