As Universities across the UK begin cancelling or postponing their graduation ceremonies many students are left wondering whether they'll get the celebration they deserve. To make the best of the situation we've put together our top tips for graduating at home with those that matter most.
Get Dressed Up
Reasons to get all dressed up are looking few and far between in the coming months, but don't let the outfit you had lined up for graduation go to waste! Put a suit on, wear heels - whatever makes you feel on top - and have everyone else in your house do the same to make it feel like a real occasion. Channel the contestants on Love Island getting dressed up every night to go into their own back garden!
Wear a Cap and Gown
Graduation wouldn't be graduation without the cap and gown so make sure you get them delivered to your house before your home graduation day. Churchill Gowns offer home delivery with five days hire of a cap, gown and hood for £34 so you have plenty of time to try it on, celebrate with your family and get the all important graduation photos. Alternatively you could buy a set for £79 and keep it in case your University reschedules for a later date.
Decorate Your Home
There are plenty of graduation decoration sets available for home delivery - think balloons, bio-degradable confetti etc. but why not use all this time indoors to get crafty and make your own? Paper bunting or a banner can be made using string, felt-tip pens and paper and has the added bonus of being completely customised to you. Or, if it's the kitchen where you excel, you could bake and decorate a graduation cake.
Take Lots of Photos
Official graduation photos often look a bit same-y so a home graduation presents a great opportunity to be more creative. You can ditch the traditional swirly blue background and set up your own photo backdrop with your decorations, or have photos taken outdoors if the weather is nice. Unlike at a big graduation ceremony you won't be rushed through the photography part, so can get as many photos as you like with your family and check that you like them before they get printed. You don't need a fancy set up either, many phone cameras these days will do a great job in 'portrait mode' and websites such as Snapfish or Photobox enable you to order lots of prints online in different formats. You could even get the photos printed on mugs and send 'graduation merch' to relatives who couldn't be there on the day!
Make the Most of Technology
It's a great shame that all your friends and relatives won't be able to attend your home graduation, but just because they aren't there in person doesn't mean they can't cheer you on. Set up a big video call using free software such as Google Hangout, Zoom or House Party and have them applaud as you 'graduate'. If you want to reach an even wider audience you could live stream your home graduation on Facebook or Instagram, invite your friends to an online watch party and have them toast with a glass of bubbles when you get your degree. You could even get someone in your house to play at being the Dean; they can make a short speech, call your name and present you with your certificate!
Don't Compare it to a Normal Graduation Ceremony
Things are going to be different for the class of 2020 in many ways so try not to approach organising your home graduation by comparing it to the big event you expected to have. Sure, you won't have 2,000 people clapping you across a stage but it is an opportunity to have an intimate celebration with those who have supported you through your studies and are incredibly proud of your achievements. And, as the only graduate at your ceremony, you can guarantee you will be the centre of attention!
If you're planning on hosting your own celebration at home why not check out our all in one DIY graduation kits: https://churchillgowns.com/products/home-graduation-in-a-box