Skip to main content

Health library

Back to health library

Graduation ideas for the class of 2020

A open gift box with confetti, candy, straws and party horns spilling out.

May 21, 2020—For many graduates this year, the circumstance of the pandemic has canceled the pomp of graduation ceremonies. COVID-19 means no commencement speech, no walking up to the stage to receive a diploma, and no in-person celebrations with family and friends.

If you have a grad in your house, you know firsthand the disappointment they're experiencing. Graduation was supposed to be the day to celebrate this major milestone. And it still can be—albeit in a different way than was expected.

Here are some ways you can make graduation day special for the student in your house.

Host a video-chat graduation party

Let your graduate know you're proud of them by inviting friends and family to a video party.

Have your grad wear their cap and gown. Play "Pomp and Circumstance" when they walk in the room, and consider chucking some confetti in the air while you're at it.

You can make this party special for your household by making or ordering your grad's favorite food. Consider asking your loved ones on the video call to offer toasts, so that your graduate feels extra special.

Record a video tribute

This will take a little advance planning. Ask friends and family to record messages to your grad. Urge people to include words of advice and inspiration. Or they might share a special memory.

Compile the messages together into one video tribute. (There are companies online that can do this for you.) This can be a special gift your grad can look back on for years to come.

Hold a gift scavenger hunt

Ask family and friends to send gifts to you instead of your grad. Hide the gifts around the house and make a trail of notes hinting at where their gifts are hidden.

Have the last gift be a pack of thank-you notes your grad can send out.

Make a graduation photobook

Print out special or fun photos from the past year (or longer). Present the photo album to your student during a dinner at home held in their honor.

Host a household-only barbecue

Adorn your backyard with graduation-themed decorations. Cook up your grad's favorite BBQ foods. Make a playlist of popular songs from their high school or college years for the party's musical accompaniment.

Organize a drive-by salute

Ask your local family friends and community members to drive by your home at a specified time. Encourage them to honk or hold signs of congratulations as they drive by. Get your grad outside to enjoy the surprise that's all about them.

The graduating class of 2020 deserves a big pat on the back for wrapping up their education during this difficult time. Let's give them an at-home celebration they can appreciate and remember for years to come.

Read more breaking news Related stories