Let’s be real, surviving this year was hard enough for us. I can’t even imagine what students went through and how exactly they managed to graduate at all. But if they were brave enough to soldier through this year with the existing stress of exams and assignments, they deserved both an intimate and a socially distant, pompous send-off into the real world. And some schools managed to do exactly that. So here are some creative graduations in 2020 that schools organized for their students’ transition to adulthood. 

IIT Bombay’s Virtual Reality ceremony

IIT Bombay simply knocked it out of the park with this VR simulation of their graduation ceremony. It kind of gives the feel of the game ‘Sims’. But instead of roaming aimlessly, people are walking forward with ambitions and a degree in their hands. All students and teachers were to submit their pictures from multiple angles to create their 3D avatar for the VR ceremony. Clearly, one of the best creative graduations in 2020.

A day at Daytona

Two schools in Florida threw one of the most dapper graduation ceremonies that I know. They understood the importance of both the pandemic and a student’s graduation day. So they were not on board with giving away degrees and diplomas in Zoom calls and ended up celebrating in parading at the Daytona racecourse. Students drove on the runway with their families, in their own cars and marked their graduation by crossing the finish line. Pretty neat huh? 

‘Congratulations’ with a ‘kick-off’

Ah to think how innovative one needs to be, to picture a graduation ceremony in a football stadium? Jarrel High School’s graduation is a clear example of ‘thinking big’ in this respect. Offering a limited seating of 25% and 4 guests per student, the ceremony was optimally and socially distant. Guests also had to sign a document showing that they were symptom-free. The event ended up being both unique and quite normal at the same time. A perfect example of creative graduations in 2020.

Holler at your hologram

Kind of similar to virtual reality, but still quite different, students of Gilbert Public School in Arizona taped their students and teachers in separate rooms, giving and receiving their diplomas. These separate clips were later edited together for a virtual in-person diploma hand-off. Apparently, virtual ceremonies are quite popular in distant-learning programs and have proved to be quite useful during the pandemic.

Celebrating the new wave

This graduation ceremony was quite different and borderline weird (but who doesn’t love weird?). Imagine your school’s director waiting with your diploma in hand, across the shore, and you jet-skiing towards them to get it. It’s like the school wanted to get featured in the list of ‘creative graduations in 2020’. Since jet-skiing is one of the popular water sports in the Florida Keys, the school principal decided to incorporate this into the kids’ graduation. Dressed in caps and gowns, the students took turns riding the jet skis, up to the boat where the principal was waiting for them with the diploma. 

How are you planning to celebrate your graduation next year? Hopefully, it does not involve using creativity to make up for the distance between all of us. So wear a mask today to make that happen tomorrow.