Hold A Virtual Graduation Party

In a twisted way, this pandemic couldn’t have come at a better time. In contrast to the Influenza pandemic in 1918, we are living in a technological era where immediate social interaction no longer requires physical contact. 

Over lockdown, a great deal of us have become Zoom masterminds! This little known messaging platform sprung to action at the beginning of lockdown and has been used regularly since for anything from work meetings to pub quizzes!

The amazing thing about Zoom is that it can have up to 1000 participants from all over the world taking part in one call! In fact during lockdown, couples have even had weddings over Zoom, meaning all of their friends and family are able to ‘be there’ for the ceremony.

Why not organise a virtual Graduation celebration or ceremony with your friends? You can get dressed up, get the bubbles in and party in the comfort of your own home (optional clothing from the waist down - perks).

Benefits of Virtual Graduation Celebrations:

  1. The most obvious one is cost. Often hosting a graduation party yourself can mean buying in a shed load of food, alcohol, decorations and more. With virtual celebrations, you only really need to worry about your own household!
  2. Low risk - there’s no chance of someone getting drunk and smashing up Granny’s precious antique vase (again)...
  3. You can dip in and out - one of the great things about Zoom, is that often there are so many people involved that it’s easy to nip off and come back again relatively unnoticed. Great for all you introverts!
  4. Encourages talking - unlike standard parties where the only conversations usually involve miming over ‘Apple Bottom Jeans’, or catching someone for 5 minutes in the smoking area, virtual platforms encourage actual conversations (this could be a plus or minus depending on your friends). Why not put together a ‘pub quiz’ based on your mutual college experiences over the last few years? 
  5. More people can get involved - in the UK the majority of people live in relatively small properties, so unless you’ve rented out a huge hall, it can be hard to get everyone involved. With Zoom, there can be up to 1000 participants and you don’t even have to leave the house!
  6. Less pressure - hosting a party can be stressful. With a virtual call, the pressure is shared and there are less expectations! The house doesn’t need to be perfect (you can even use a fake background) and you don’t need to spend as much time getting ready! 

Zoom and similar platforms like Facetime are looking to be the future of communication and socialising. Who knows - maybe graduation parties and ceremonies will remain this way for years to come! The Class of 2020 could just be the pioneers of home Graduation.

DIY Graduation Decorations

Whether you are opting for a virtual party, or if you are able to have a small group of people over, it’s always nice to decorate for the occasion!

Party decorations always help to set the tone and get you in the mood to celebrate. 

Not sure how to decorate for a graduation party? Here are some of our top graduation decoration ideas:

1. Flags

Decorate your house (inside and out if you want to show off to the neighbours) with celebratory flags. These could be homemade or custom printed with anything you want, for example ‘Congratulations to the Lafayette Class of 2020!’.This will make you or your grad feel super special and might encourage your neighbours to join in with the celebrations too!

2. Create a Photowall

Creating a collage of photos from your years at university or college can be a lovely way to look back over your time and celebrate everything that you’ve achieved. Collect and print all of your favourite photos of any special moments and people you have met along the way. This would make a great background for your Zoom call and an excellent talking point for reminiscing on your university experience.

3. Make a DIY graduation backdrop

Why stop with a photo wall? You could get really creative and make a decorative backdrop! Why not decorate the wall with art and items that might make people smile? Even a simple idea like a sparkly curtain or tassel garland could help to make the occasion feel special.

* Idea: Perhaps you could create photo bunting with some of those special snaps you’ve collected?

4. Make DIY graduation centrepieces

Even if you aren’t able to have extra people over, you can still make the effort to make your own table look special with a DIY graduation centrepiece. 

Find a colour scheme that says’ Graduation’ to you! For example, take the colours of your university or college crest/logo and add some gold or black for sophistication. Everything looks more special with a bit of sparkle too! 

Think of something special that reminds you of your experience, for example books, and turn that into a theme. 

There are so many ideas on sites such as Pinterest, including:

  • DIY Graduation Caps
  • DIY Glitter Covered Graduation Letters (for example, you could spell out ‘2020’ or something more personal) 
  • Decorated Mason Jars
  • Confetti Filled Balloons!

Dress Up for The Occasion

Everyone feels more special when they’re looking their best, right? Even if you’re not going anywhere, it’s still nice to take the opportunity to dress up as you would have normally done. 

While you might not be walking across the stage to collect your transcript like you imagined - all is not lost; our sister company - Armstrong & Oxford, Ireland's leading supplier of graduation cap and gown hire are offering home delivery on all robe hire orders!   

Armstrong & Oxford understand how important your graduation ceremony is; it is the final right of passage as you leave college behind and enter the world of work as a young adult. All previously booked graduants are being offered the option of home delivery - and the team are welcoming bookings for upcoming graduation dates. 

For more information, or to find out if your awarding body is listed, visit https://www.armstrongandoxford.com/Pages/Public/AandO/StudentHire.aspx.

Give Graduation Gifts

Looking to say congratulations to your daughter/son on their graduation? Or perhaps a graduation gift for a fellow student or tutor? 

Graduation gifts are a great way of congratulating someone and making them feel special without necessarily seeing them in person. With many people continuing to isolate and movements still being restricted, sending your loved one a graduation card or gift could be a great alternative.

Here are some great graduation gift ideas:
  • A graduation keepsake box for storing their certificate and any other special mementos. A special photo album to make a record of their memories
  • Commemorative wall art or prints
  • Sites like Etsy.com offer unique gifts (often personalised) and are great way to support small businesses during this time
  • A money/voucher bouquet - it might sound boring, but in all honesty, the thing that most graduates really want (and need) is cold hard cash! But it doesn’t need to be a dull gift. There are lots of ideas of creative ways this can be presented - for example as a ‘bouquet’ or wreath!

Keep the Celebration Going

Although there have been many long term changes made in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s not going to be forever (right?!). Why not plan a Graduation Reunion Party for 2021? It will be exciting to have something big to look forward to, plus it will be really interesting to catch up with your peers and see how life has changed since graduating. Plus it strings out the celebrations for a whole year - win win!

Here are some tips for arranging a post graduation reunion party:

  • Stay in touch! Make sure you take people’s contact details and try your best to stay in touch after you leave your course. People can drift away quite quickly after college, but with regular contact these friendships can last a lifetime.
  • Set a Date. Even if you’re not sure where you’re going to be in a year's time, pencilling in a date is a good way of keeping the idea in people’s minds. Why not choose the date of your original graduation?
  • Book a Venue. Often people are more likely to stick to an event if they have invested in it. Why not suggest putting a deposit down on a venue now whilst it’s fresh in people’s minds?

Graduation is meant to be one of the most memorable times of your life. Don't let a pesky pandemic stop you from celebrating one of the biggest achievements of your or your grad’s lifetime! Follow our Ultimate DIY Guide for Home Graduation for a safer, cheaper, but just as special graduation celebration.