Another year is passing where we unfortunately won’t be able to hold a formal graduation ceremony. Even though it’s a disappointment, there are still ways to celebrate your accomplishments, even from home. Check out these suggestions from James Madison High School to make sure you get to recognize all you’ve achieved.
What are some ways to celebrate at home?
To receive your diploma is a great way to recognize that hard work you’ve done. The disappointment of not getting to have a formal ceremony might make it seem like celebrating might not feel as special, but there are some creative ways you can still mark the occasion, even if it’s a little different.
Host your own celebration. It might be a scaled down version with just you, family, and maybe some friends, but it can be even more meaningful. You can stage a fake ceremony, with cap, gown, and music, and choose someone in your life that’s special to you to hand you your diploma. Instead of a stranger giving a general speech, have someone in your family deliver a personalized speech, tailored especially for you. Or, take the opportunity to deliver your own graduation speech thanking those who helped you make it this far.
Decorate! It’s simple, but a few good decorations can really inspire and create a celebratory setting. Get streamers, garlands, and balloons, set the table in graduation-themed tablecloths and partyware, and decorate your yard with signs letting everyone who drives by know you’ve earned your diploma.
Plan a special dinner out (or in). Pick someplace special that you really enjoy, or opt for something entirely new. Invite family and close friends, or if you’re looking for a quieter celebration, keep it to just immediate family. Take the time to enjoy one another’s company and reflect on how proud you feel.
Hold a virtual graduation party. Use a visual chat service like Zoom or FaceTime to host a virtual party if you’re not comfortable gathering in small groups yet or if you have a family and friends who aren’t able to travel to see you. Dress up, wear your graduation cap, and play around with fun backgrounds to set the tone.
Take photos. Odds are you’d be taking a lot of them if you were at an in-person graduation ceremony, so why not dress yourself up and take photos with your diploma and the people in your life who helped make it through? Don’t forget to share them to social media and tag JMHS and hashtag, #JMHSgrad2021!
Treat yourself. If you’re not someone who likes making a big fuss, it doesn’t mean the celebration has to skip you entirely. Do something nice for yourself to mark the occasion. Buy yourself that outfit you’ve been thinking about or take some ‘me’ time and treat yourself to a trip to the salon, a fitness class, or anything else you’ve been thinking about but not had the time to do.
Why is celebrating yourself important?
It’s important to celebrate all that you’ve worked toward over the years. Marking your accomplishments through any form of celebration can bring you a sense of pride, improving your mental well-being. Your brain will remember the positive feelings from this experience, encouraging you to reach the next challenge or goal you have.
The celebration isn’t only about you, either. Whether it's friends or family, the people around you want to let you know how proud they are of you. They’ve watched you persevere and overcome obstacles, supporting and encouraging you throughout, so this moment is just as much for them as it is for you. Don’t let the moment pass by to show your appreciation for their contribution.
Start planning your celebration, whatever way you like, and don’t forget to sign the virtual yearbook so you can look back with pride on your James Madison High School experience.