Graduation is still a major milestone and many seniors are looking forward to that moment. Here are some ideas for celebrating graduates while maintaining physical distance, whether you’re the graduate or you want to honor one.

1. Throw a virtual graduation party.
Graduates have put in years of hard work and they deserve to be celebrated. Even while practicing social distancing, you can enjoy this special moment with friends and family and can celebrate your graduate’s achievement by hosting the celebration virtually. Here are step-by-step instructions for throwing a surprise virtual grad party for your class of 2020 graduate:

  • Download Skype. The group video calling feature makes this the perfect party location. And with Skype’s latest Meet Now feature, your family and friends can join in even if they do not have the Skype app installed. Simply generate your unique call link and be ready to share it with your loved ones in the next step.
  • Send out the invitations. Pull out those baby photos for a “then & now” comparison and design your own invitations using a Word template or create Evites. Include the date, time, and Skype link that you created above so your friends and family know when it’s time to party. Make sure to let them know it’s a secret! No time for spoilers.
  • Decorate your space. A party isn’t a party without decorations. Print out these templates to decorate your party space. Send them to family and friends so they can join the fun.
  • Surprise your graduate. On the big day, act as if everything is normal. Pretend it’s a regular family video call—or, if you’re one to put on a big show, blindfold your graduate! Whatever you do, make sure to capture your graduate’s surprised face using Skype’s call recording feature. You’ll want to keep that look of joy as a memory to cherish.
  • Have fun! Enjoy your time with family and friends, take time to laugh, and make the best of a tough time. Make sure to end the night with a toast—have everyone take a turn to say something special about the graduate of honor. Be sure to record loved ones wishing your graduate well and declaring how proud they are.

2. Create a thoughtful graduation gift.
You can bestow a priceless gift by encapsulating some of the most-important memories for your graduate to cherish forever. Create a graduation photo album using a photo album template with PowerPoint (free online) that shows your graduate over the years and documenting what’s most important to them right now—friends, sports, pets, hobbies, celebrities, and more. Get friends and loved ones to send you inspirational quotes and messages for the graduate and sprinkle them throughout. When you are all done, share with your graduate, family, and friends.

3. Celebrate each other, Class of 2020!

  • Host a Class of 2020 awards night. Everyone becomes known for something during school, so what awards would you give out? Bring together your closest friends and determine who wins for “Most likely to become a billionaire,” “Most likely to get married first,” and whatever else you can think of! Use these customizable awards templates to make the creation process simple. Nominate your host of the evening, think of the silliest awards, choose the winners, and join a Skype call to hand them out while enjoying laughs and a good time with friends.
  • Class of 2020 photo album. Everyone has captured valuable memories over the past couple of years, and you all deserve a space to look back on them. Start a shared OneDrive with your senior class! Invite your friends to upload their favorite photos from the year to create your own shared class of 2020 photo album. Now everyone will have something to remember each other by. Get started with OneDrive:
    1. Go to the OneDrive website or app on iOS or Android and sign in with your Microsoft account.
    2. Create a new OneDrive folder to serve as the home for your new Class of 2020 photo album.
    3. Click the Share button at the top of the page.
    4. Select “Anyone with the link can edit” to customize the link options. Make sure to select “allow editing” so that classmates can add their photos. You can also add a password for added security for your friend group.
    5. Once you save these settings, copy the link in the share box and send it out in an email or text to your classmates.
    6. Start uploading your photos and enjoy reminiscing with your friends.
Graduation season is different this year. With a little planning and creativity, you can make it special for the graduates and help celebrate this important milestone.