The Life

All the Perks of a Virtual Graduation Ceremony

Step #1: Pretend you're starring in the latest season of 'Black Mirror'.

We all know how the saying goes: we make plans, and life laughs.

None of us could have imagined that we’d be hit by a pandemic that would halt our lives for months on end and leave us in a constant state of flux (well, maybe Bill Gates did).

Nonetheless, amidst all the anxiety, the job losses, the market fluctuations and the panicked heads of state, we have students in their senior years of high school and university alike, feeling robbed of a life milestone they can never re-live. While the situation is unfavourable, the world’s priority for now is to wipe out this virus and minimize the spread. Sacrifices have to be made, and a graduation ceremony is unfortunately one of those sacrifices. My heart is with you, graduates.

But why does a virtual graduation ceremony have to be a bad thing? While it’s easier said than done, the right thing to do when a situation is out of our control is to make the most out of it. It’s okay to be sad and disappointed – but after you’ve allowed yourself to feel the emotions you’re entitled to, you can change your mindset and make it a good thing. Here are some perks of a virtual graduation ceremony!

Perk: You Don’t Have to Pick Between Family Members

Ah, yes. The dreaded two ticket limit. I never really had a problem with this quota, since I struggled even inviting my parents to sit through my graduation ceremony (there are a lot of people that I love, but hardly any that I would sit through 6 hours of names being called and speeches going on longer than they need to). However, I do acknowledge that some people have grandparents or siblings that would want to attend and could not, and it can get awkward when you can’t smuggle an extra ticket for them. Now you don’t have to! Everyone is in the same boat, and everyone can watch your name get called out, and cheer from the couch together.

Perk: If the Speeches Get Boring, You Can Mute & Grab a Snack

Most graduates will tell you they didn’t almost doze off at any point during their own graduation, and they’ll be lying (except for me of course…on the record). Since your virtual graduation is recorded, you can soak in the interesting, motivational speeches by alumni and replay them whenever you need a picker-upper, and maybe take a bathroom break during the…lengthier parts. Either way, you’re swapping the 6 hours you’d spend in heels or a stuffy tie waiting for your cue while holding in your bladder, for sweats, snacks and the comfort of your own sofa.

Bonus Idea: Host a Zoom Pre or Post Party With Your Classmates

Let’s be honest – you probably only really know 10% of your graduating class, if that. And more than likely, the people you knew, also knew each other, because you likely took the same courses and electives. So if you want to make the day memorable, host a Zoom party, either before the ceremony or after, and share updates, memories and laughs! It’ll be more intimate than the rushed conversations you’re trying to have while volunteers and faculty are shoving you around in alphabetical order.

On a more serious note, most universities and colleges are offering a real convocation in the fall for those who choose to attend. It’s normal to feel gypped of your milestone, graduates – however, remember to give yourself credit for surviving this portion of our history. I don’t mean just physically; I’m talking about the emotional toll it’s taken on all of us. If you ever need to chat with fellow new grads join our community on Instagram, and if you feel like sharing your post-grad story, reach out on our contact page!

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