My Guide to an At Home Graduation Celebration

This year has been an odd one for all students, but especially for final years. I know I’m not alone when I say that it doesn’t really feel like university is truly over yet. Simply clicking that final ‘Submit’ on a computer alone at your desk doesn’t really have the grandeur of a huge university-organised celebration.

However, everyone who has graduated this year deserves to still celebrate in style, despite the pandemic. You’ve just completed a degree; that’s definitely something to shout from the rooftops about! Here are some of my top tips of how to still have a great graduation at home.

  1. Throw a Grad Party

The term ‘Grad Party’ can mean numerous things. You could organise a COVID-safe soirée with your friends back home, an at-home party with your family, or set up an online party with your graduate friends who you can’t see in person. All of these options are a great way to celebrate finishing uni, surrounded by those you hold most dear. The pandemic does not have to get in the way of you celebrating with other people; in-person parties can still be safe for everyone involved as long as they all adhere to the rules of social distancing and mixing households. What’s important is that you’re making an event of you graduating. Graduation does not need to be you sat by yourself at your desk getting a degree classification email, closing your laptop and moving on with your day. You deserve a chance to celebrate yourself. No matter what grade you come out with, this is a massive achievement! Put some time aside to properly enjoy it. You can:

  • Play party games. Board games, card games, and for online parties, there are loads of digital board games out there like JackBox, Cards Against Humanity,, etc.
  • Eat great food. Order a takeaway, or cook via FaceTime with your far afield loved ones, so you all end up eating the same meal together, a la a fancy meal out.
  • Make cocktails (or mocktails). You could even come up with own signature ‘Grad Cocktail’, made up of a specialised recipe of your own creation just for the party, to make it feel a bit more special.
  • Get a good playlist going. Better yet, make a specific party playlist, again to make the event feel even more spectacular.

2) Get Fancy

Graduation means dressing up, honey. You’ve got to treat your at home event as you would the huge in-person uni event. Buy yourself some new clothes; ASOS have some great formal wear options at an average price, and if money is a bit tight, second-hand options like thrifting, Depop and Ebay are your best bets. If you’re into it, get your nails done, get a haircut, spend hours doing your makeup. Truly pamper yourself, so that before you even start the party, or hop on that Zoom call, you already feel like the stunning, professional and put-together graduate that you truly are. Today is about YOU; let yourself shine.

3) Get everyone involved

Graduation is an event meant to be shared. Now, don’t get it twisted; I’m not telling you to go out and mix with fifty randomers. We do not condone breaking COVID rules here. Celebrating alone, however, is no way to celebrate graduation. Be sure to get in contact with friends, family or both, and organise a time that you can party with everyone, making a great day for you all to remember.

4) Photos, Photos, Photos!

Take loads of photos! Set yourself up a little photoshoot; pose with your fresh-off-the-press dissertation, or pick yourself up a grad cap and gown to truly get that graduate image. You could even design yourself a little photoshoot station. Never underestimate the power of a plain wall, some blu-tack, fairy lights and cheap fake flowers to hang up. A little precarious ladder-wobbling later and you’ve got yourself a bonafide DIY photobooth, all at the cost of pennies if you’re smart about it. Pose with your family, pose with your friends, pose with your pets, hell, even pose with your houseplants; just take a bunch of pics. You’ll thank yourself later a few years down the line when you can look back on your fresh-graduate self and fondly remember what a great grad-celebration you had.

With the strangeness of this year, it’s been hard to acheive that sense of finality that comes from finishing university. It’s my hope that these at-home celebration tips will help any struggling new graduate achieve some closure from the end of their degree, and get that sense of true self-accomplishment. Congratulations everyone!

Image courtesy of Baim Hanif.

One comment

  1. I’m working on my MA dissertation now and we had received in February an email saying our graduation ceremony would be canceled. With Covid already restricting the student experience, having no graduate ceremony seemed like another downer. My friends and I decided then to have our own party and this article gave me some extra ideas.


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